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


Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."


Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.


Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.


Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…


FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.


'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…


TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.


5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.


College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)


Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.


Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.


Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.


Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.


London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.


Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."