Theater review: ‘Bring It On,’ Broadway!

The ensemble of “Bring It On” is ready to rumble — and learn a valuable lesson, of course.

Unlike many movies-made-plays gracing our stages lately, “Bring It On” chooses to adopt the commercial film title without lazily adapting the same plot. Instead, a new story is spun about an overeager high school senior who’s spent her “whole life” waiting to take her cheerleading team to nationals. At our viewing, the energetic audience skewed younger than the norm; beside us, a teenager spent two hours literally on the edge of her seat. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, but weren’t as quite as wowed; however, we can see the musical having a long life playing to this crowd.

Taylor Louderman is sensational as cheerleading captain Campbell. Not only can she carry off a genuine performance that could easily go 2-D, she also has a set of pipes that seems unfazed by the fact that this star spends time dancing and, of course, cheerleading. Ryann Redmond wins the spirit award for earning both empathy and laughs as the requisite dorky misfit. Though other leads don’t do much tumbling (the ensemble is stuffed with no-name gymnasts to carry that load), their talent is also apparent. And kudos for a diverse cast all around, despite a strange idea of what passes for “street” these days. We only wish they’d been given meatier conflict and didn’t do some of their best work via Skype (the show nods to “modern” technology like texting and Google).

Truly, the shortcomings are the predictable plot and forgettable music. The work may have gotten murky thanks to a mash-up of three musician/lyricists. Notably, Lin-Manuel Miranda (“In the Heights”) is up to his usual tricks. He’s still a breath of fresh air on Broadway – but as with our “Bring It On” heroine, we can’t wait for him to mature and figure out his next move. Maybe we’ll just wait for the sequel?

If you go
   
‘Bring It On: The Musical’
Through Jan. 20, 2013
St. James Theatre
246 W. 44th Street
$39-$135
www.bringitonthemusical.com


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Rapper affiliate of Wu-Tang Clan 'cuts off own…

Rapper Andre Johnson, who has performed with New York outfit the Wu-Tang Clan, is in a critical condition after reportedly cutting off his own penis…

National

Cleavage complaint: Disneyland staffer orders curvy mom to…

A curvy mom-of-three says she filed a formal complaint after staff at Disneyland Resort in California ordered her to cover up her boobs. Melissa Behnken,…

International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

The Word

Wahlburgers announce North America domination

Tuesday was a huge day for Donnie Wahlberg.

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox beat White Sox…

Red Sox walk 15 times in extra innings win

NBA

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics:…

Kris Humphries on free agency, future with Celtics: 'I hope to be back'

NBA

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery…

Celtics turn attention to NBA Draft, improve lottery odds with loss

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.