When I was planning the perfect Valentine’s Day for my girlfriend, I didn’t go with the usual chocolates, roses and overpriced “fine” dining experience. Instead I took my former dancer to a musical. Well not just any musical, but BRING IT ON at the DSM. I was a bit skeptical of how they’d translate the underrated film into a staged production, but my doubts and fears were completely assuaged. Bring It On The Musical kicks total ass and you should venture on down to fair park by February 26th. For more praise and a preview of the 2012 season (and sneak peak at the 2013 shows coming!!) click on through.
Some big names united to make this wild and entertaining show come to life. Making up this elaborate pyramid are Tony Award-winning writer Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q); Tony Award-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (In The Heights); Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning composer Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) and lyricist Amanda Green (High Fidelity); Tony Award-winning orchestrator Alex Lacamoire (In The Heights); and Tony Award-winning director/choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler (In The Heights).
Lin-Manuel Miranda is a name to keep on your brain for the next few months here in Dallas. He’ll be at the Nasher on March 5th as part of their great Salon Series. Then over at the Winspear Opera House Andy Blankenbuehler, Alex Lacamoire and Lin’s Tony award-winning show In The Heights will start it’s Dallas run. The Winspear will follow In The Heights with the intriguing Green Day’s American Idiot, in which Tom Kitt was responsible for music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations.
The designers across the board created an ever-changing and expanding set for the musical. The cool video boards perfectly created both indoor and outdoor scenes. The Randall and Campbell picnic scene overseeing the ocean was completely believable with the video board ocean animations. Lets jump to the wonderful cast though.
It’d take to long to highlight all the amazing performances in this DSM season opening Musical. Rather I’ll highlight the four that most stood out to me. Three of the four are in the above photo. Ryann Redmond (Bridget) took the mascot no-buddy into a diva-esque lead. Her early sense of humor played brilliantly off the beauty of the judgmental cheerleaders and this was flipped around as she became one of the musicals true inspiring role models.
The show is for ages 10 and up, though some of the language is borderline for such youngsters, it creates some amazingly powerful role models out of unusual characters. This is most apparent in the strong and powerful Gregory Haney (La Cienega). Don’t want to spoil things but Greg is just one of the “girls”. From his first introduction to his powerfully moving self-esteem scene with Bridget you can tell he commands your darn attention.
Both of these “girls” still looked up to a leader, and it wasn’t necessarily the Musical’s lead Campbell played wonderfully by Michigan Wolverine Taylor Louderman. The leader that shined brightest and proudest was Adrienne Warren’s Danielle. The dynamic “crew” leader signified the “black” school by portraying the only actual working, education loving, proud, and driven character in the musical. Most folks will point at the obvious racial questions the musical asks, but underlying all that is a world in which hard-work and self-belief can truly lead to success. Even though Eva, Elle McLemore’s tiny frame packs massive talent, leads the winning side it’s Danielle who brings together a school with her leadership.
Lastly, I gotta flip the script and praise the real ditz of the show. Kate Rockwell (Skylar) has the physical attributes of the tall beautiful blonde with legs for days. She also has the shortest skirt, my girlfriend made sure to point that one out! She has the most sex appeal of any of the cast. And yet, the scenes I loved her most in were the ones where she was just railing on kids with her mean-girl dominate demeanor. She’s funny, witty, and downright rude. The perfect heel to our heroes and yet you never really want her to be defeated. Mesmerizing is a word that comes to mind and that has nothing to do with her outer beauty, but rather her pitch-perfect mean attitude. She’s the Biotch and she knows it.
And now for our Preview of the crazy 2012 at the DSM!
Find out all the info on the DSM website, here.
2013 looks to be epic as well.
All the juicy info found, here.