About Bring It On: The Musical
Bring It On: The Musical is a high school cheerleading musical inspired by the popular 2000 movie of the same name and its direct-to-video sequels (particularly 2006’s Bring It On: All or Nothing). A bouncing, flipping and tumbling ride through a particular kind of teen experience, this sometimes campy musical at the St. James Theatre features cheerleaders performing death-defying stunts while singing, and a story line with a positive moral about valuing one’s friends more than awards.
The show begins with 17-year-old Campbell praying that she can do her best as the new Truman High Cheer Captain, segueing into a gravity-defying group cheerleading number (“What I Was Born to Do”). Soon “Tryouts” are underway. Campbell judges the newcomers with her second-in-command Skylar (who says things like: “This is life or death: This is Cheer Camp”). Campbell fights for tapping gratuitously perky sophomore Eva and takes her under her wing. Suddenly, what has been a musical about blond cheerleaders in a wealthy school is upended by Campbell getting violently redistricted to go to a poor school in a dangerous part of town. Instead of being the most popular, she is now an outsider. Luckily, she is joined at her new school by former Truman High team mascot Bridget, who, now newly popular as a misfit, guides Campbell to getting in with the new school’s hip-hop crew (which Campbell almost blows by saying “My people call it a squad”). Campbell tries to become friends with crew leader Danielle and her entourage, which includes proud transvestite La Cienega. After proving she’s got the moves – even in a Leprechaun costume – Campbell’s in, just in time to learn that her former protégé Eva actually conspired to get Campbell sent to another school in order to take her place as captain. Campbell wants revenge and she knows how to get it: turn the hip-hop crew into cheerleaders.
Bring It On: The Musical’s path to Broadway began at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre and LA’s Center Theatre Group then continued on a cross-country tour before coming to New York –unconventional, as shows are usually toured after Broadway. The show's cast is made up of not only young triple-threat Broadway performers, but also real professional multi-award-winning cheerleaders. The creative team behind the show is equally impressive and award-winning: The score is a team effort by Tom Kitt, the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer of Next to Normal; Lin-Manuel Miranda, the lyricist and composer of the Tony Award-winning In the Heights; and Amanda Green, the High Fidelity singer-songwriter. The book is written by Avenue Q’s Jeff Whitty. Such a diverse creative team makes for a musical that incorporates both pop and hip-hop songs, traditional cheer and hip-hop dancing.
Two hours and 15 minutes (one intermission)
Bring It On: The Musical seems designed for pre-teen and teenage daughters and their parents. Fans of Glee, Avenue Q, Cirque Du Soleil, and cheerleading competitions will love the high-flying cheer sequences and the accompanying high school drama.
Good for kids?
This is a pre-teen and teenage musical, though adults may shed a few nostalgic tears for their own high school dramas.
St. James Theatre Location Information:
246 W. 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
1, 2, 3, 7, N, R, Q, S to Times Sq./42nd St.
About The St. James Theatre
The St. James Theatre has very comfortable seats by Broadway theater standards. There are concessions and plenty of souvenirs to buy.