When the invite landed in our inbox, we couldn’t have been more thrilled – two tickets to the opening night of Bring It On, the musical that Mirvish recently debuted in Toronto. We were huge BIO fans in high school, with the first film starring Kirsten Dunst instantly becoming a classic, joining our other teen faves like Clueless and Dirty Dancing. Rewatching it now that we’re older and wiser only confirmed our love for the movie (and also caused us to wonder how they got away with some of the lines that are a little more…risque and non-PC. But that’s another post).
Photo: Craig Schwartz.
Overall, the musical was awesome. We were a bit surprised to discover that it doesn’t really follow the plot of the original film, but in the end, it was as good thing. No one would be able to really do justice to KDunst’s character, anyway.
Here are our five favourite moments from the play. If these don’t convince you to go and see it, we don’t know what will.
1. Bridget: Played by Ryann Redmond, she is far and away the best character in the play. So. Many. Funny. Moments. She’s the foil to the ultra-put-together and popular Campbell (KDunst’s Torrence counterpart in the play, played by Taylor Louderman), and has some pretty hilarious lines. One of the best is not a line at all, but rather the way she waves her parrot wing in a sad flap after being told she’s not good enough to be on the squad, and has to continue playing the mascot. She also delivers some solid life lessons to Campbell about fitting in, and girl knows how to shake her booty.
Bridget steals the show (and Twig’s heart!).
2. The moment when La Cienega (Gregory Haney), a fierce and funny transvestite, calls Campbell out on her bullshit comment that La Cienega wouldn’t understand what it’s like to not fit in. Seriously. The audience laughed so hard, as it was a very funny moment, but it was also a really strong point in the production for one of the main messages to hit home – fitting in vs. being yourself.
One of the best characters of the play: La Cienega.
Photo: Craig Schwartz.
3. The AMAZING tumbling that happens: The athleticism of some of the performers was quite remarkable. We could literally hear the audience draw in their collective breath during some of the highest tosses in the air or particularly tricky-looking backflips or other… gymnastic-y moves. Plus there were some solid break dancers and hip-hoppers. There’s some serious talent on that stage, which makes the show that much more enjoyable, and the characters that much more believable.
Skilled, skilled dancers at Jackson High.
Photo: Joan Marcus.
4. Campbell’s leprechaun dance: The girls at Jackson High (the school in the “hood” that Campbell gets transferred to) make Campbell put on a leprechaun mascot outfit and perform at a dance-off of sorts that they’re having. It’s really, really funny to see a massive leprechaun head dancing around on stage. Trust. Plus, Taylor Louderman is actually very skilled at dancing in that ridiculous costume.
5. How fun it is. Sometimes it’s really nice to see a production purely for entertainment value, which this one has in spades. Yes, theatre should sometimes be deep and meaningful and thought-provoking. And we love those productions just as much. But honestly, seeing this with a good friend who appreciates easy humour with a glass of wine in your hand (yes, you can drink during plays at the Ed Mirvish Theatre!) is a really good night out.
Sequins and dance? Pretty much a guaranteed good time.
Photo: Joan Marcus.
Honourable mention: The use of Google maps/street view. Because it was neat, it worked, and makes the show relevant to both younger and older audiences. Plus, we’d never seen that device used in a play before and we’re suckers for a clever gimmick.
Bring It On: The Musical is playing until at Ed Mirvish Theatre (244 Victoria St) until Sunday, June 3, 2012. Performances run Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Wednesday, Saturday & Sunday 2 p.m.
Ticket prices range from $35 to $130 depending on the performance. Rush seats are available for $25.
Tickets are available online, in person, or by calling the box office at 416-872-1212.