As it winds its way around the country, maybe, just maybe towards a Broadway theater someday, the new musical “Bring It On” wins over audiences with a very well-chosen cast of talented performers and some staging & choreography that is engaging and always an eyeful.
OK. So it’s based on the film of the same title from 2000 and is the not-so-challenging story of cheerleading, loyalties, friendships, teen angst, rival schools and tolerance. I get it. The book is not Les Miz.
But “Bring It On” gets the hook into an audience early on and gradually endears itself primarily because of some very smart casting.
Ryann Redmond in the role of Bridget, a chubby kid with a beleaguered self-image, steals a lot of the evening with a performance personality and voice that belies the first impressions of her character. Taylor Louderman, a native of Bourbon, Missouri, and a recent member of The Muny Teens, leads the cast as Campbell, the “heroine” of the story who does battle with what turns out to be her arch-enemy, Eva, played by Elle McLemore. Louderman and McLemore have big careers ahead of them. In this show or another, they are both Broadway bound.
“Bring It On” has a charisma and youthful charm that is uplifting. The cheer routines are ambitious and, at times, daring. As I mentioned earlier, the entire cast (picked from over 3000 who auditioned) is so well-chosen they all seemed somehow designed to be in the show. The six piece orchestra bangs out the musical numbers with flair and more than a little rap rhythms.
Whatever its future, “Bring It On” will always be a hit with audiences.