Bring It On: The Musical
|Bring It On|
Official Playbill for the Broadway production
Bring It On|
by Jessica Bendinger
2011 Atlanta |
2011 US National Tour
2014 Non-Equity Tour 2018 Off-West End
Bring It On: The Musical is a musical with music by Tom Kitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, lyrics by Amanda Green and Miranda, and a book by Jeff Whitty. The musical, loosely based on the 2000 film of the same name written by Jessica Bendinger, focuses on the competitive world of cheerleading and over-the-top team rivalries.
The musical premiered at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia in January 2011. The cast included Amanda Lea LaVergne as Campbell, Adrienne Warren as Danielle, Nick Blaemire as Randall, Ryann Redmond as Bridget, and "award-winning competitive cheerleaders from across the country". A national tour of the musical played in major U.S. cities from November 2011 to June 2012.
- 1 Plot
- 2 Principal roles and cast
- 3 Musical numbers & Orchestration
- 4 Production history
- 5 Critical response
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 In other media
- 8 Audio recordings
- 9 Transgender character
- 10 Cheerleading choreography
- 11 References
- 12 External links
("Overture"). On her last day of junior year, Campbell Davis prays to be named captain of the Truman High School cheerleading squad ("What I Was Born To Do"). She gets the job, and her first duty is to replace the graduating members. Her friend Skylar looks forward to tryouts ("Tryouts"). Other members of the squad include Kylar, Skylar's all time follower, and Steven - Campbell's cute and worshipping boyfriend. Nerdy, chubby outcast Bridget doesn't make the cut, but Campbell takes a risk on adorable freshman Eva. As the rest of the squad heads off to celebrate, Campbell reflects on the difficulties to come, and dreams of "One Perfect Moment" ("One Perfect Moment").
At summer Cheer Camp, Eva's nervousness threatens the squad's chance to win the coveted Spirit Stick, an honor that indicates an upcoming Nationals win. To boost Eva's confidence, Campbell takes her aside and names her the Sophomore Spirit Leader – which means if Campbell were to lose her position, Eva would be third in the "line of succession" after Skylar and Kylar. After Campbell lifts Eva's spirits, Truman triumphs and celebrates their Spirit Stick win. Two weeks before the end of summer Campbell receives a letter with terrible news: she's been redistricted to inner-city Jackson High School. A horrified Kylar informs her that "they don't even have a squad!" Despite her attempts to stay at Truman, Campbell's fate is sealed. Her dream is gone. Even Steven cannot console his girlfriend.
Campbell arrives ("Welcome to Jackson") and discovers that Bridget has been redistricted as well. Intimidated and amazed, the pair is wowed by an impromptu performance by Jackson's resident dance crew ("Do Your Own Thing"). Campbell and Bridget meet the Queen Bees of Jackson High: Nautica, La Cienega and the head of the crew, Danielle. Bridget is an unexpected hit at Jackson – especially with the hormonal Twig who loves her curves. Campbell offers her talents to the crew, but a verbal slip-up turns the Jackson women against her. Danielle firmly explains that they are dancers and not cheerleaders ("We Ain't No Cheerleaders") – and the group lets Bridget in the crew.
Later, Bridget consoles a discouraged Campbell and takes her to the Burger Pagoda where Danielle works. Campbell tries to make amends, but Danielle is unmoved. As she's leaving the Pagoda, Campbell confronts a pair of entitled rich girls harassing Danielle. Impressed and amused by Campbell's fire, Danielle reconsiders and offers Campbell a one-time chance to dance with the crew, dressed in an old leprechaun mascot suit ("Friday Night, Jackson"). After a shaky start, Campbell kills it as the leprechaun – and catches the eye of Randall, the smooth school D.J. An impressed Danielle gives Campbell an official spot on the Jackson crew.
Later that night, Skylar and Kylar share shocking news, a slip-up in Skylar's grades means she can't be captain, and Kylar has contracted mono. By the rules of succession, Eva is now captain. Campbell grows suspicious ("Something Isn't Right Here") – and a visit to Eva's house seems to confirm her suspicions. Eva has taken on Campbell's appearance, and Campbell discovers Steven 'studying' there as well. Unconvinced by their explanations, Campbell breaks up with Steven and feverishly goes to Skylar and Kylar, who accuse her of paranoia and jealousy. Assessing the situation with Bridget, Campbell learns that Eva's mother is on the school board that decided on the redistricting. Outraged and certain of a conspiracy, Campbell decides to get Eva back by assembling a squad at Jackson and crushing her at Nationals ("Bring it On").
Campbell approaches a reluctant Danielle about creating a cheerleading squad at Jackson. When Campbell lies and says that a Nationals win includes college scholarships for each winning member and a chance to be on live television, Danielle agrees to join her and assemble a squad ("It's All Happening"). Weeks later at the Regional Competition, Truman watches Jackson perform. While Eva, Steven, and Kylar are wowed, Skylar is smugly convinced that Truman will win ("Better"). Though Jackson wins enough points for a Nationals slot, they take second to Truman.
Back at school, Twig asks Bridget on a date and Bridget shyly declines. This calls for an intervention from Nautica and La Cienega, who argue that it's no big deal when it comes to her insecurities ("It Ain't No Thing"). Her self-esteem boosted, Bridget chases after Twig. Randall asks Campbell on a picnic date on the cliffs above their town. She happily accepts, but moments later runs into a furious Jackson crew. Danielle has discovered that Campbell lied about the college scholarships as a Nationals prize and breaks up the squad. It’s over, and so is their friendship.
Upset and disgusted with herself, Campbell shows up for the date with Randall. After some pointed and playful ribbing, he encourages her to enjoy her high school years and stop worrying so much about her past mistakes ("Enjoy The Trip"). Meanwhile, Skylar, Kylar, and Eva discuss the dissolution of the Jackson cheerleading team, and Eva privately celebrates being made captain and the diabolical means she used to make it happen, revealing to the audience that she had orchestrated the entire change of leadership — blackmailing her mother into transferring Campbell, hacking into the school system to give Skylar a failing grade, and intentionally infecting Kylar with mono — confirming that Campbell was right about her suspicions ("Killer Instinct").
At Jackson, Bridget sports a hickey courtesy of her new boyfriend Twig. Campbell pulls Danielle aside and offers a profuse, pained apology. Danielle is still hurt by the lie, but acknowledges the joy their work brought her. Campbell explains that the experience changed her to the point where she no longer felt any ambition to go to Nationals – their friendship should have always been the most important thing. Despite her conflicting feelings, Danielle confesses that she misses Campbell and her friendship as well and decides to continue working together, meaning Nationals is back on ("We're Not Done").
At Nationals, Truman performs their routine exceptionally ("Legendary"). As the squad recovers, Eva runs into Campbell – Jackson is on deck to perform. Shocked at Campbell’s presence, Eva tries — and fails — to undermine her confidence. Eva’s efforts escalate as the rest of Jackson looks on, and she eventually reveals her villainous behavior, justifying her actions by claiming that they got Truman first place, which, in her mind, is more important than sportsmanship ("Eva's Rant").
Now on the mat, Jackson offers an exuberant, mind-blowing routine that breaks many of the fundamental rules of cheerleading, but inspires wild applause from the arena ("Cross The Line"). The dream of victory, though, is quickly dashed. Truman wins Nationals, while Jackson doesn’t even place.
After the judging is over and the winners are announced, Randall surprises Campbell, offering her his Pinewood Derby trophy from Cub Scouts, which he has repurposed with a Sharpie to credit her with “first place for everything that matters.” With Eva gone, the Truman and Jackson squads celebrate their true victory: friendship ("I Got You").
Principal roles and cast
|Campbell||Amanda LaVergne||Taylor Louderman||Robyn McIntyre|
|Danielle||Adrienne Warren||Chisara Agor|
|Eva||Kelly Felthous||Elle McLemore||Sydnie Hocknell|
|Randall||Nick Blaemire||Jason Gotay||Haroun Al Jeddal|
|Bridget||Ryann Redmond||Kristine Kruse|
|La Cienega||Gregory Haney||Matthew Brazier|
|Nautica||Ariana DeBose||Mary Celeste|
|Skylar||Kate Rockwell||Isabella Pappas|
|Kylar||Janet Krupin||Clair Gleave|
|Twig||Jon Rua||Nick Womack||Ashley Daniels|
|Cameron||Dominique Johnson||Clark James|
|Steven||Brandon Espinoza||Neil Haskell||Samuel Witty|
Musical numbers & Orchestration
- † Does not appear on the cast recording.
The pit orchestra consists of:
- Two Keyboards (one of these players being the conductor)
- 1st Electric Guitar/Steel String Acoustic Guitar
- 2nd Electric Guitar/Nylon String Acoustic Guitar
- Drum kit & Drum pads (various): Piccolo Snare, Popcorn Snare, School Bell (SFX), Tambourine, Temple blocks, Triangle
- Percussion: Caxixi, China Cymbal, Concert Bass Drum, Crash Cymbal, Djembe, Drum kit, Drum pads (various): Finger cymbals, Floor tom, Glockenspiel, Gran Casa, Gym whistle, March snare, Mark tree, Piccolo snare, Plastic maraca, Popcorn snare, Shaker, Small shaker, Suspended Cymbal, Tambourine, Timbale and Triangle 
The show premiered at the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 2011, running until February 20, 2011. The production was directed and choreographed by Andy Blankenbuehler, with set design by David Korins, costume design by Andrea Lauer, lighting design by Jason Lyons and sound design by Brian Ronan. The original cast featured Amanda LaVergne as Campbell, Adrienne Warren as Danielle and Nick Blaemire as Randall, as well as many cheerleaders from across the country who were selected in collaboration with Varsity.
US National Tour (2011)
After the Atlanta engagement, the musical embarked on a national tour, starting at the Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles in November 2011. New cast members for the tour were Taylor Louderman as Campbell, Neil Haskell as Steven, Nick Womack as Twig, Elle McLemore as Eva, and Jason Gotay as Randall.
The cast of the show took part in a celebration to kick off the start of the national tour, featuring performances from the show as well as cheer and dance squads from across the country taking part in a competition.
After travelling to Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Houston, and Toronto, the tour closed on June 2, 2012.
The touring stage production premiered on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on July 12, 2012, in previews and officially opened on August 1, 2012, for a limited engagement to October 7, 2012. The tour cast appeared in the Broadway production.
Non-Equity Tour (2014)
A Non-Equity National / International tour previewed in New Haven, Connecticut at the Shubert Theatre from January 16 to 18, 2014, opened in Macon, Georgia at the Grand Opera House on January 21, 2014, and ended in Tokyo, Japan on July 27, 2014. The tour featured Nadia Vynnytsky and Zuri Washington.
UK Tour (2017)
The musical was due to make its UK and European première with a UK tour starting at the Palace Theatre in Manchester from 6 September 2017.  However in August 2017 it was announced that the tour has been postponed until 2019 
Legal battle over production rights
The screenwriter of the original movie, Jessica Bendinger, sued in 2011, arguing that she had rights in the licensing of the theater production. She said she would allow the Bring It On musical to proceed if she was properly credited and compensated. In November 2011, an out-of-court settlement was made.
Bring It On opened at Southwark Playhouse on 2 August to 1 September 2018 Produced by the British Theatre Academy. Directed and Choreographed by Ewan Jones, Musically Directed by Chris Ma and Casting by Anne Vosser. The show starred Robyn McIntyre as Campbell, Kristine Kruse as Bridget, Isabella Pappas as Skylar and Clark James as Cameron.
The musical received positive reviews, with the dance numbers being praised. The New York Times reviewer wrote that the opening number of the Ahmanson Theatre production "truly dazzles" and noted the cast's "impressive gymnastic prowess". The News Observer review praised the cast of the musical and called the production a "high-energy stage spectacle". The Charlotte Observer review noted the show's "witty dialogue, zingily clever songs and inventive visuals" and praised the "high-energy" performances by the cast.
The Huffington Post positively reviewed the show, writing that it had been "a long time since [he] enjoyed a new musical quite as much as Bring It On: The Musical ". The review praised the musical's set and "sassy" libretto. Entertainment Weekly gave a more mixed review of the musical, stating that while the performances are energetic, "none are particularly memorable". The reviewer did however note that the "acrobatic cast impressively manage to tumble, dance, and sing at the same time" and gave a "special nod" to Gregory Haney.
In his review of the Broadway production, Charles Isherwood of The New York Times wrote: "The cast of this alternately snarky and sentimental show about rival high school cheer squads often seems to be in constant motion, tumbling and flipping across the stage in elaborate routines that culminate in towering formations of human pyramids.... While it has its moments of memorable wit and some appealing rhythmic Broadway-pop songs, Bring It On is by no means in the same league as those musicals [Next to Normal and In the Heights], and has the feel of a daffy lark embarked upon as a summer-vacation goof."
Awards and nominations
Original Atlanta production
|2011||Suzi Bass Award||Best Production||Nominated|
|Best World Premiere (Play or Musical)||Won|
|Outstanding Director of a Musical||Andy Blankenbuehler||Nominated|
|Best Choreography||Andy Blankenbuehler||Won|
|Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical||Ryann Redmond||Nominated|
|Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical||Andrea Lauer||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lighting Design for a Musical||Jason Lyons||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Design for a Musical||Brian Ronan||Won|
|Atlanta Theater Fan Award||Best Musical||Won|
|Best Direction of a Musical||Andy Blankenbuehler||Nominated|
|Best Leading Actress in a Musical||Adrienne Warren||Nominated|
|Best Featured Actor in a Musical||Gregory Haney||Nominated|
|Best Featured Actor in a Musical||Jon Rua||Nominated|
|Best Featured Actress in a Musical||Ryann Redmond||Nominated|
|Best Choreography||Andy Blankenbuehler||Won|
|Best Costume Design||Andrea Lauer||Nominated|
|Best Lighting Design for a Musical||Jason Lyons||Nominated|
|Best Sound Design||Brian Ronan||Nominated|
Original Broadway production
|2013||Tony Award||Best Musical||Nominated|
|Best Choreography||Andy Blankenbuehler||Nominated |
|Drama Desk Award||Outstanding Director of a Musical||Andy Blankenbuehler||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lyrics||Amanda Green and Lin-Manuel Miranda||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Design||Brian Ronan||Nominated|
|Outstanding Choreography||Andy Blankenbuehler||Nominated|
|Outstanding Book of a Musical||Jeff Whitty||Nominated|
In other media
On June 19, 2012, the cast performed "It's All Happening" and "It Ain't No Thing" on The Today Show. The company performed "I Got You" in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 22, 2012, and "Cross the Line" on America's Got Talent in August 2012.
Lin-Manuel Miranda has released two early demos of songs from during the development of the show, "Cross The Line Early Demo, December 2009" and "Don't Drop Demo", which was an intro tune to The National Competition finale that was cut later in development.
A large collection of photos from the Broadway cast party were published online.
On April 24, 2012, Sh-K-Boom Records released a three-song sampler from the national tour of the musical, including the songs "It's All Happening", "It Ain't No Thing" and "Enjoy the Trip". A full cast recording was released digitally on September 25, 2012. A CD was released in stores on October 16, 2012.
Bring It On was the first Broadway musical to feature a transgender high school character, La Cienega, originally played by Gregory Haney Book writer Jeff Whitty said, "In creating a universe of characters, I always try to find as many differing perspectives as possible, because that's where comedy comes from most often."
Due to the many complex cheerleading routines in the show, about half of the cast of the Broadway musical were cheerleaders and not musical theater performers. The cast of Jessica Colombo, a cheerleading judge and consultant, served as a technical advisor to the musical.
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- Internet Broadway Database
- Official website (archived versions from the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive)
- Playbill Database
- Music Theatre International Licensing Page
- "Bring It On - The Musical" Page on Lin-Manuel Miranda's official website
- Latest Broadway Buzz about Bring It On The Musical from Broadway.com
- Official YouTube Account for Bring It On The Musical
- Official Facebook Page for Bring It On The Musical
- YouTube playlist for Bring It On The Musical from Music Theater International (MTI), the licensor of the musical