Blonde, peach-cheeked Campbell sends up a prayer: please may she be elected captain of the Truman cheer squad and win the national championship. Bring It On the Musical establishes from the outset all the American coming of age stereotypes. Fortunately bucket loads of satire, sensational dancing and heart warming tenderness from the WA Academy of Performing Arts cast and crew make this an exhilarating night at the Regal Theatre even if you’re not a cart-wheeling, pom-pom waving squad girl.
|#BRINGITONWAAPA c Jon Green|
Bring It on the Musical (based very loosely on the movie) first appeared on Broadway in 2012 and is a musical for the iGeneration. The dialogue between Campbell and her friends takes place predominantly via video calls and Campbell’s boyfriend hears gossip from texts, Twitter, Facebook and “someone even tried to tell me in person.” Director Jay James-Moody emphasises this with audience selfies projected (via Instagram) on the stage wall during interval.
The plot involves Campbell being ‘redistricted’ to Jackson High School which doesn’t have a cheer squad. “No cheer squad?” wails her best friend Skylar. “What’s the point of having a high school?” Campbell manages to befriend the hip hop dancers at Jackson in a Save the Last Dance formula and tries to wreak revenge on the scheming Eva who ousted her from the Truman team.
Along the way the LOL moments including two Goth’s commentating on the superficiality of cheerleading, Campbell’s hip-hop audition dressed in a leprechaun suit and one-liners like “Put Little Bitch Barbie back in the box”.
Campbell is sung by petite, bouncy Hannah Burridge whose relationships with loner Randall (a sweet-voiced Jason Arrow) and hip hop dancer Danielle brings warmth to an otherwise two-dimensional role. Vocally Burridge isn’t convincing in the Act One solos and in Act Two she is outshone by the feisty Danielle sung by Melissa Russo with bright voice and brazen body language.
Christina Odam’s Eva is laden with sneer while Truman girls Skylar and Kylar (Rebecca Cullinan and Marissa Economo) flounce and mimic delightfully. Over at Jackson the attitude is just as exaggerated with transgender La Cienega (Hayden Baum) high-kicking stylishly alongside peppy Nautica (Stephanie Wall).
The contrast between the regimentation of cheerleading and the flamboyance of hip hop is a choreographer’s dream and Michael Ralph creates a virtuosic, fast-paced spectacle, moving a cast of 40 around the stage with ease. Rozina Suliman’s sassy streetwear (Jackson) and neon-lit lycra (Truman) heightens the characterisation. Movable school lockers and cafeteria tables provide sturdy dance props and allow for fast scene changes in Steve Nolan’s set which otherwise relies heavily on Mark Howett’s lighting and projections to add atmosphere. The score is packed with memorable pop tunes like It’s All Happening and Do Your Own Thing, performed with driving energy by a 10 piece band under David King.
IMHO #BRINGITONWAAPA can’t be matched 4 xpertise and NRG
|Getting into the iGeneration vibe @ #BRINGITONWAAPA|