I’m the kind of person who isn’t afraid to do things on my own. Especially when it comes to going to musicals. I’ve seen “In The Heights” twice alone, “Fela” alone and last night I went to see “Bring It On: The Musical” solo dolo. I didn’t really have a huge interest in this show. I got an email with a code for discounted tickets, I had heard good things and decided to give it a shot. I went to the show with absolutely no expectations. It was one of the best musicals I’ve seen in a long time.
Hearing the title “Bring It On: The Musical”, you’d think it wouldn’t be that great. I had a friend who burst out laughing when I told her that was the show I was going to see. What drew me to this show (besides the cheap ticket price) was the involvement of Lin-Manuel Miranda. He’s the genius behind one of my favourite musicals of all time, “In The Heights.” He worked on the music to the show and since I know every single word to every song on the “In The Heights” soundtrack, I figured the music would be pretty good.
The first thing to point out is it’s not the same story from the movie. At intermission I heard some guys beside me say, “Where’s Torrance?” There were brand new characters and a new story line. Campbell Brown, the captain of her cheerleading squad, is transferred to an inner city school and creates a new squad to take down her old one.
The show was full of singing and dancing. There were real cheerleaders in the show, doing tricks, flinging girls so high in the air it seemed like they were going to hit the lights. At lot of times it reminded me of “In The Heights”, the way the characters would rap and even some of the choreography and formations because the same choreographer who worked on that show worked on this one as well. The show was funny too. It was modern with references to Twitter, Facebook, texting and video chats and it was a little racy with a few swear words thrown in.
I was laughing, nodding my head to the music and loving the dancing. It was a show that reminded me of how much I love musicals. There are theatre moments I’ve had in my life that I’ll always remember. Watching “In The Heights” for the first time in New York City, seeing “The Lion King” in the front row, seeing Fantasia in “The Color Purple” on Broadway and I’m adding last night to the list. There’s nothing better than going to a show with an open mind and being pleasantly surprised.
Bring It On: The Musical runs until June 3 in Toronto and will be on Broadway this summer.