“Bring It On: The Musical” Is a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the World of Competitive Cheerleading

"Bring It On: The Musical" looks at competitive cheerleading (photo by Joan Marcus)
"Bring It On: The Musical" looks at competitive cheerleading (photo by Joan Marcus)
"Bring It On: The Musical" looks at competitive cheerleading (photo by Joan Marcus)
"Bring It On: The Musical" looks at competitive cheerleading (photo by Joan Marcus)

The Durham Performing Arts Center will present Bring It On: The Musical on April 17-22 in its 2,700-seat, state-of-the-art theater, in the American Tobacco District in downtown Durham, NC. It is a up-close-and-personal behind-the-scenes look at the world of competitive cheerleading as dramatized on the silver screen in the teenage comedy Bring It On (2000), directed by Peyton Reed and starring Kirsten Dunst, and its four direct-to-DVD sequels: Bring It On Again (2004), Bring It On: All or Nothing (2006), Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007), and Bring It On: Fight to the Finish(2009)

According to the press kit for the current national tour of Bring It On: The Musical, which will play April 17-22 at the Durham Performing Arts Center:

“After a nationwide search of over 3,000 performers, the producers of Bring It On: The Musical [announced] the cast for the [current] National Tour, which launche[d] at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles on Oct. 30, 2011.

“‘Assembling this extraordinary company has been an incredibly exciting — and thorough — endeavor,’ said Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler. ‘We found an amazing group that sings, dances, stunts and cheers. They are a talented group of newcomers, led by two dynamic leading ladies. I can’t wait for audiences to see them.’

“Leading the cast are Taylor Louderman and Adrienne Warren. Louderman, playing the role of Campbell, is a 20-year-old newcomer from the University of Michigan. Warren, previously seen in the National Tour of Dreamgirls at the Ahmanson Theatre, portrays Danielle, a role she originated in Bring It On: The Musical‘s developmental production at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta [from Jan. 15 to Feb. 20, 2011].

Ryann Redmond, a 2011 graduate of New York University, recreates the role of Bridget that she originated in the Alliance Theatre Production. Elle McLemore (Disney’s ‘Suite Life on Deck’) plays Eva, and Jason Gotay (Broadway’s Rising Stars and Rent) stars as Randall.

"Bring It On: The Musical" features high-flying cheerleading routines (photo by Joan Marcus)
"Bring It On: The Musical" features high-flying cheerleading routines (photo by Joan Marcus)

“Also starring [in Bring It On] are Ariana DeBose (Hairspray, ‘So You Think You Can Dance’) as Nautica, Gregory Haney (Memphis) as La Cienega, Neil Haskell (‘So You Think You Can Dance’) as Steven, Janet Krupin as Kylar, Kate Rockwell (Legally Blonde) as Skylar, and Nick Womack as Twig.

“Additional cast members include Calli Alden, Nikki Bohne, Dexter Carr, Shonica Gooden, Haley Hannah, Rod Harrelson, Casey Jamerson, Dominique Johnson, Michael Mindlin, Adrianna Parson, and Bettis Richardson.

“The ensemble also features some of the nation’s most skilled competitive cheerleaders. Their combined achievements include over 25 national and 50 team titles in gymnastics and choreography. They were selected in collaboration with Varsity, the global leader in competitive cheerleading. Those members include Antwan Bethea, Danielle Carlacci, Michael Naone-Carter, Courtney Corbeille, Dahlston Delgado, Brooklyn Freitag, Melody Mills, David Ranck, Billie Sue Roe, Sheldon Tucker, and Lauren Whitt.

Cheerleaders foes become friends in "Bring It On: The Musical" (photo by Joan Marcus)
Cheerleadering foes become friends in "Bring It On: The Musical" (photo by Joan Marcus)

Bring It On: The Musical is the explosive new musical comedy that raises the stakes on over-the-top high school rivalries. Set against the world of competitive cheerleading, this powerhouse new show hilariously proves that winning isn’t everything when it means losing something – or someone – you really care about. Bring It On: The Musicalcombines an exciting fresh sound, gravity-defying choreography, and a thrilling story to create a total theatrical event worth cheering for.

Bring It On: The Musical unites some of the freshest and funniest creative minds on Broadway with libretto by Tony Award-winner Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q), music and lyrics by Tony Award-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), music by Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning composer Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), lyrics by Broadway lyricist Amanda Green (High Fidelity), and music supervision by Tony and Grammy® Award-winner Alex Lacamoire (Wicked). The production is directed and choreographed by Tony Award-winner Andy Blankenbuehler (In the Heights).

Bring It On: The Musical is produced by Universal Pictures Stage Productions / Glenn Ross; Beacon Communications /Armyan Bernstein and Charlie Lyons; and Kristin Caskey and Mike Isaacson, executive producers.

“Members of the artistic design team that help bring this production to life are David Korins, set designer; Andrea Lauer, costume designer; Jason Lyons, lighting designer; Brian Ronan, sound designer; Charles G. LaPointe, hair designer; and Jeff Sugg, video designer.

“When the musical comedy premiered in its developmental production at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta earlier this year, Wendell Brock of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution called Bring It On: The Musical ‘one high-energy drink with fiercely funny writing, catchy hip-hop tunes and an explosively original mix of singing, acting, dancing and cheer.’ Audrey S. Belle of AOL.com raved that Bring It On: The Musical ‘is guaranteed to be everything you wished for, nothing like you expected, but exactly what you will love!’

SECOND OPINION: April 14th Raleigh, NC CVNC review by Perry Tannenbaum: http://cvnc.org/article.cfm?articleId=5482; and April 12th Durham, NC Herald-Sun preview by Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: http://www.heraldsun.com/view/full_story/18215031/article-Choreographing-‘Bring-It-On’? (Note: You must register first to read this article).

          The Durham Performing Arts Center presents BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL at 7:30 p.m. April 17-19, 8 p.m. April 20, 2 and 8 p.m. April 21, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. April 22 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701.

TICKETS: $37.50-$74.25 (including fees).


DPAC Box Office: 919/680-ARTS (2787) or http://www.dpacnc.com/events/how_to_buy_tickets.

Ticketmaster: 800/745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/1624738/.

GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919-281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events/group_services

SHOW: http://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/bring_it_on_the_musical.

VIDEO PREVIEW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iRFu3nN3wvs.

SERIES: http://www.dpacnc.com/suntrust-broadway-series.

PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.dpacnc.com/.

DIRECTIONS: http://www.dpacnc.com/plan_your_visit/getting_here.

PARKING: http://www.dpacnc.com/plan_your_visit/parking_guide.


The Musical: http://www.bringitonmusical.com/ (official website), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bring_It_On_(film)#Stage_musical (Wikipedia).

The Film: http://www.universalstudiosentertainment.com/bring-it-on/ (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bring_It_On_(film) (Wikipedia), and http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0204946/ (Internet Movie Database).


Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

To start your FREE subscription to this newsletter, e-mail RobertM748@aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE TTR in the Subject: line.

To read all of Robert W. McDowell’s Triangle Theater Review previews and reviews online at Triangle Arts & Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/robert-w-mcdowell/.

By Robert W. McDowell

Robert W. McDowell is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer, editor, and critic. He has written theater, film, book, and music previews and reviews for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, and Classical Voice of North Carolina, all based in Raleigh. In 1980-91, he covered business, industry, government, and education for (We the People of) North Carolina magazine, published monthly by N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry. In April 2001, McDowell started Robert's Reviews, a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the performing arts in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Triangle Review is the latest-and-greatest version of McDowell's original newsletter. (To start your FREE subscription, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) From December 1980 until September 2017, McDowell served on the board of directors of The Cinema, Inc., a Raleigh-based nonprofit film society formed in 1966. He currently publishes a weekly list of FREE advance screenings of movies in the Triangle area. (To have your e-mail address added to this FREE list, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.) McDowell also co-edited and supervised the production of Jim Valvano's Guide to Great Eating (JTV Enterprises, 1984), a 224-page sports celebrity cookbook; and he served as a fact checker for Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead (Pocket Books, 1991).