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Rowdy cheerleading musical, flips and flies into Kauffman Center

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Bring It On

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Presented by Theater League, Bring It On: The Musical opened Tues., Feb. 11, at Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, as part of the Kansas City Broadway Series, and runs Feb.11-16 at various times, depending on the day.

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“Bitingly relevant and sprinkled with sass, inspired by the Bring It On film, takes you on a high-flying journey through friendship, forgiveness and determination. Bring It On: The Musical tells the story of the challenges and unexpected bonds formed through the thrill of extreme competition,” a spokesman for Theater League said.

Bring It On tells the story of a girl who climbed the cheerleading ladder of success from cradle to senior year, only to have her dreams ripped apart when she is re-districted and reassigned to a very different school with a whole different population of students. Campbell (the main character) learns many new lessons about life, competition, friendship, relationships, rewards, success, and failure.

Along the way, she grows up and realizes her former life was not what she envisioned, and her current life takes on a different meaning. Her biggest is finding success in a foreign environment.

To give Bring It On a more grounded story line, the villain, Eva, displays shades of the old movie classic, All About Eve, where an ingenue studies and mimics her idol until supplanting and replacing her. The difference comes in that the villain is funny and not nearly as threatening as the movie character.

Bring It On features a plethora of songs, dance, cheering, and laughs. The music is fun and the lyrics draw laughs. The dancing and cheer performances border on outstanding. The costumes make the show bright and reminiscent of high school spirit squads.

The road show, now is Kansas City contains a talented cast with strong performance skills. They act the parts and move like athletic cheerleaders. The stunts, tumbling, cheering, singing, and dancing all propel the show into a light but enjoyable evening. Give lots of credit to the three ladies that lead the show and cement the pieces together.

Nadia Vynnytsky, Campbell; Zuri Washington, as Danielle; and Emily Mitchell, as Eva give strong performances and possess a strong stage presence. Those three ladies carry the show and receive some strong support from the rest of the ensemble cast.

The show guarantees to entertain the audiences, though it does not really challenge audiences to thin or lern. Bring It On is all about entertainment and feeling good. It’s about teens working together for a common goal. A quick look at the audience finds countless numbers of younger girls (most likely cheerleaders or cheerleader hopefuls), and a strong showing of former cheerleaders, moms, and grandmothers who have most obviously experienced cheerleading at some time.

Tickets start at just $36 and are available online at theaterleague.com, by calling 816-994-7228 or at Kauffman Center box office at 1601 Broadway. Groups of 15 or more call 1.866.31.GROUP. Dynamic pricing applies based on demand, so purchase early to lock in the best prices and seats.

Performance dates and times follow: Evenings,Tues., Wed, Thurs., Fri., and Sat., Feb. 11-16, at 7:30 and Sun. Feb 16 at 6:30; Matinees on Sat., Feb. 15, at 2p.m. and Sun. Feb. 16 at 1p.m.

The musical comedy made its Broadway debut on August 1, 2012 at the St. James Theatre, and played through December 30, 2012. Bring It On-The Musical played 171 performances, according to ibdb.com The production earned Tony nominations for Best Musical and Best Choreography, and The New York Times called it, "Impossible to resist!"

“Uniting some of the freshest and funniest creative minds on Broadway, Bring It On: The Musical features an original story by Tony® Award winner Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q), music and lyrics by Tony Award-winning composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), music by Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning composer Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), lyrics by Broadway lyricist Amanda Green (High Fidelity) and music supervision by Tony and Grammy® Award winner Alex Lacamoire (In The Heights). The production is directed and choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler (In the Heights). The design team includes scenic design by Drama Desk Award winner David Korins (Pee-Wee Herman Show), costume design by Andrea Lauer (American Idiot), lighting design by Jason Lyons (Rock of Ages), sound design by Cody Spencer (Pee-Wee Herman Show) and video design by Jeff Sugg (Magic/Bird),” according to a press release.

“With a colorful crew of characters, an exciting fresh sound and explosive dance with aerial stunts, this all-new story is sure to be everything you hoped for and nothing like you expected,” the spokesman said.

Further, a spokesman said that half the cast come from a musical theater background, and the other half from competitive cheer background. Each had to learn the other's trade so to speak.

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