At The St. James Theater Wednesday night, “Bring It On: The Musical” opened to favorable reviews. The New York Times said it had “high-energy gymnastics” and “heavyweight theatrical talent, plus “Breathtaking human fireworks.” The Huffington Post said the show “has more – more athletics, more songs, more dazzle, more interesting characters.” Overall, the notices were good, if not raves. Now marketing, audiences and word-of-mouth will decide how “Bring It On: The Musical” will sell on Broadway.
Taylor Louderman, a 21-year-old actress and dancer from the St. Louis area, headlines the cast in her first starring role on Broadway. Louderman also appeared in the show at The Fox when it played here March 27th through April 8th of this year while it was on a 13 week pre-Broadway tour. Louderman has a background as a Muny Kid and a Muny Teen.
The significance of “Bring It On: The Musical” is that it is another presentation by Co-Executive Producers Mike Isaacson and Kristen Caskey. Isaacson, who lives in St. Louis and formerly was with Fox Theatricals, is now Executive Producer of The Muny. Caskey is now President of Fox Theatricals and is responsible for bringing Broadway shows to The Fox schedule. They also continue to be Producing partners for new theatrical properties.
Besides this new show, the pair have also produced award-winning successes like “You’re Good Man Charlie Brown,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “Legally Blonde,” among others. Isaacson and Caskey have helped launch the careers of such Broadway luminaries as Kristen Chenoweth, Laura Bell Bundy and Sutton Foster. Foster’s brother Hunter Foster is currently on stage at The Muny in “Pirates! (Or, Gilbert & Sullivan Plunder’d).
The importance of “Bring It On: The Musical” is that it represents yet another successful accomplishment of Isaacson and Caskey in the very difficult world of mounting new Broadway caliber shows. It is a risky and expensive business in which many fail. Isaacson and Caskey have demonstrated an enviable talent of knowing what kind of shows to take on and how to make them happen.
Theater in St. Louis at The Muny and The Fox will only be the better for it.
Bring it on indeed!