Bring It On

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.

Other observations:

  • 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!

My Summer Musical Theater Plans

broadway-ny-333As I write this, a couple of days ago I made a Facebook post asking my friends to recommend their favorite musicals.  I’m generally familiar with several famous musicals, but less than I would like to be.  It’s a gap in my pop-cultural education and one I hope to rectify this summer by listening and really learning the soundtracks to several great American musicals.

The response to my post was beyond what I had expected!  I knew I had a lot of friends that liked musicals, but I did not realize just how many people are deeply immersed in this art form.  I’ve kept a list of the recommended shows and tallied up their total mentions, which I hope to share here eventually.Playbill_from_the_original_Broadway_production_of_Hamilton

For some context, although I’m not an aficionado, I certainly have enjoyed and know some musicals quite well: The Sound of Music, The Lion King, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Dreamgirls, and Spamalot, to start.  And of course the year 2016 brought Hamilton to a mass audience, and I credit that show and Lin-Manuel Miranda for igniting my interest in delving further into musical theater in general.

I’m looking forward to writing here about my journey through American musicals.  My goal is to listen to and write about at least one new musical each week through the summer of 2017.  After that, who knows?