Bring It On The Musical | Supply Evolution

Bring It On The Musical | Supply EvolutionPhoto – Rod Herbert Photography

Translating a non-musical film to a stage musical is always risky business. Sometimes it works and sometimes it really doesn’t. Luckily Bring It On the film already had a lot of musical characteristics to work with, so its stage counterpart needn’t have strayed too far from the original incarnation. However, the story from film to musical theatre did change. Instead of a downright competition between two schools in a cheerleading competition, including the blatant stealing of routines from “black” to “white” squads, one preppy girl is forced to move to the competing school who, initially, does not even run a cheer squad.

Campbell (Alex Lewtas) receives a letter in her final year of high school that she has been redistricted to Jackson High School. She has to leave her squad, her boyfriend, annoyingly cute Steven (Justin Hitchcock), and her captainship of the cheer squad. The opening numbers that frame and contextualise Truman High School; “What I Was Born to Do”, “Tryouts”, and “One Perfect Moment” were fun, however could have been hammed up quite a bit (it is a musical after all). Voices needed to boom and energise the audience. It seemed a bit more like a warm up to the strongest performances towards the end of Act One and beginning of Act Two.

The preppy stereotypes of the Truman School were well played out, however, a lot of the blonde jokes did get tired come the second act. It was refreshing to see Jackson School explore hip-hop dance styles yet that almost came to a complete halt when it was time for them to start up their own cheer squad to compete in the championships. Both final routines seemed a little bland and perhaps even unchallenging for the performers. Nonetheless, the diversity of cultures, genders, backgrounds, and dance genres with characters such as Danielle (Kat Hoyos), Nautica (Kirsty Sturgess), and cross-dressing La Cienega (Timothy Langan), added some flair and interest to the musical.

Many of the cast members in Bring It On are new to professional musical theatre, most of which are trained dancers with their first cheer experience in this production. They are all very talented and there are also a few powerful voices amongst them, including Skylar (Jessica Van Wyk) and Eva (Jaime Hadwen). However, it seemed that the choreography and technical design were holding them back. Big musical numbers fizzled into awkward blackouts and choreography seemed largely simplistic.

Although many of the performers had a strong stage presence, Bridget (Sophy Carol), the misfit of Truman who got re-homed to the downtrodden Jackson High School, really stole the show. Her humour was unique and infectious, while also caring a strong voice and some sharp dance moves. At first she appeared to be the underdog – just a comic relief – but she put in the most enthusiasm in her performance and reinvigorated the audience.

The musical went down particularly well for the young girls in attendance, and suits their demographic (minus a few naughty words here and there). It is a fun performance that has a nice message of acceptance. The cast shows a lot of promise and it is hoped that this is a big stepping stone to launch their careers in musical theatre.

Supply Evolution Productions presents
original story by Jeff Whitty | music & lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda | music by Tom Kitt | lyrics by Amanda Green

Directed by Rod Herbert

Venue: NIDA Theatres, 215 Anzac Parade, Kensington NSW
Dates: 27 June – 9 July, 2015
Tickets: from $49
Bookings: 132 849 |

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