After Hamilton led me to pursue this musical theater endeavor, and In the Heights convinced me that it wasn’t just a passing whim, I decided I might as well become a Lin-Manuel Miranda completionist and listen to Bring It On: The Musical next.
This decision is putting my plans into question.
It’s not that Bring It On is entirely terrible. It does have an inspired line in “Tryouts” that rhymes “watch” with “biotch.” What troubles me, really, is the fact that pieces of the song lyrics sound like what a dumb person would write, if that dumb person were trying to pretend to be Lin-Manuel Miranda. For example, the finale, which is about the Power of Friendship: “I got you like Pokemon and Pikachu / Ron and Hermione / Baby we get freaky / I got you like Biggy and Puffy / Like Oprah and Gayle / Big Bird and Snuffy.” I’m hopeful that these dumb lines were written by one of the other co-writers.
It’s also obvious from listening that this is the kind of show that is vastly improved by seeing it live. I’m sure that the original cast, many of whom were trained professional cheerleaders and gymnasts, put on a fun show.
- I can’t decide if this exchange between Twig and the misfit Bridget is outstanding or horrible. Twig: “You lookin fine!” Bridget: “Jinkies, no one has ever said that to me before, with the exception of a hobo once, and my youth pastor.“
- I’m especially sorry I haven’t seen in person the song “Friday Night, Jackson,” in which the lead character, Campbell, is forced to try out for the dance team at her new school in costume as the school’s mascot, a “deranged” leprechaun.
- Have I mentioned that I love the movie Bring It On?
- Also, the original movie taught me about cultural appropriation. I’m not sure if I learned anything from the musical, other than “be confident” and “friends are more important than winning.”
In fact, I will close with this: If you are curious about the musical Bring It On, but don’t see any upcoming live performances in your area, just do yourself a favor and watch the movie again instead. GO CLOVERS, GO CLOVERS, GO GO GO CLOVERS!