High-Spirited ‘Bring It On’

 

Bring It On PressRBring It On: The Musical is a high-spirited show about rival cheerleading squads. The show, which featured a talented cast of young performers, was performed at the Stadium Theatre July 14 through the 16th.

Marissa Carlin was spunky and likable as  star cheerleader Campbell, who leads the squad at Truman High School. Campbell has everything going for her: she’s pretty, talented and popular.

Her life changes when she is redistricted to an inner city school, Jackson, where she is a fish out of water among the more racially diverse student population. The street smart Danielle (Alexa-Rei Leclerc) is initially hostile to the newcomer until a friendship develops between the two young ladies. Leclerc, with her athletic physique and steely attitude, worked well with Carlin. Their bond was convincing and carried the show. Their duet, “We’re Not Done,” was one of the highlights.

Tori Newton got a lot of laughs as the nerdy and socially awkward Bridget, who first appears wearing a parrot costume and transforms into a confident young woman. Joe Sarno exhibited some impressive vocal chops as Campbell’s boyfriend Randall on the duet “Enjoy the Trip.” Delaney Stephens was delightfully campy and over-the-top as the villainous cheerleader Eva, who served as Campbell’s biggest enemy. Mark Dreher and Markia Furtado-Rahill displayed plenty of sass as Danielle’s friends La Cienega and Nautica. Furtado-Rahill brought down the house with her performance of “It Ain’t No Thing.”

Director Dillon Tognacci crafted a polished and energetic show with lots of flash and a sweet message about what friendship really means.

Interesting tidbit: Composer Lin Manuel-Miranda, best known for Hamilton, co-wrote the songs.

The audience I saw the show with was packed with teenage girls who laughed at the jokes and were impressed by the dazzling dance routines. Bring It On: The Musical was made for them. It is about female empowerment and having the confidence to make your dreams come true. Not an especially profound message, but a useful one.

The Stadium Theatre Performing Arts Centre. 28 Monument Square in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. For more information on upcoming events visit www.stadiumtheatre.com.

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