BWW Reviews: BRING IT ON at the Capitol Theatre is Infectiously Joyful
The national tour of BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL, currently playing at the Capitol Theatre, is an infectiously joyful, high-flying celebration of friendship. Highly entertaining through and through, the show's Tony nomination for Best Musical last year is well deserved.
BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL (book by Jeff Whitty, music by Tom Kitt and Lin-Manuel Miranda, lyrics by Amanda Green and Lin-Manuel Miranda) is inspired by the BRING IT ON movie series about competitive cheerleading. Campbell is at the top of her game as the captain of her cheer squad, and her life-long goal of winning nationals is in her sights. But when she has to transfer to a different high school due to redistricting, she must convince the new school's dance crew to cheer, or her dreams will be shattered. Along the way she learns that some things, like honesty, friendship, and selflessness, are more important than winning. It isn't the weightiest of material, but it's true to the high school setting, and its heart is in the right place. The story and characters are compelling, the jokes are very funny, and the score is strong.
The cheers and stunts in this production (coordinated by Jessica Colombo) are thrilling, and the pervasive choreography by director Andy Blankenbuehler (Tony Award winner for his IN THE HEIGHTS choreography) is intricate and impressively executed.
These choreography and design elements all work together to create seamless transitions that swiftly move the story along. They also effectively suggest a number of different locales while giving the production a sleek, contemporary look.
The show's leading roles are winningly played by Nadia Vynnytsky (Campbell) and Zuri Washington (crew leader Danielle). Maisie Salinger also deserves a special shout out for her performance as their friend Bridget.
If you are a fan of contemporary musicals such as IN THE HEIGHTS and LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL, this show really is a must-see. It's only in Utah for a short window of time, so make your plans now to see it this week.
BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL plays the Capitol Theatre for a limited engagement through Sunday, March 2, 2014. For tickets, call ArtTix at 801-355-ARTS (2787) or visit www.arttix.org.