REVIEW: Choreography to Cheer About

by Joy Donovan on February 22, 2012

At least two cheers, if not three, are in order for the star of “Bring It On: The Musical,” the current Dallas Summer Musicals (www.dallassummermusicals.org).

The star of this musical built upon modern-day cheerleading is the choreography. Dance number after cheerleading routine after dance number is so much fun to watch that you might just wish for pom-pons to wave.

Behind it the high-spririted musical is Tony Award-winning director and choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler whose creativity really is something to cheer about. The cast, which features some regular Broadway types but also a squad full of experienced, competitive cheerleaders, executes the choreography well enough to earn top honors at any cheer camp.

This musical, boasting no big-name stars and featuring a very predictable storyline, looks at competitive high school cheerleading. Tryouts, backstage jitters, jealousy, practice–it’s all there, except no self-respecting cheerleader would ever pair her uniform with high heels.

But it serves as a short-cut to the stereotypes found in most high schools. There’s the blonde cheerleading captain, her best friend, the back-stabbing wannabe, the gay guy, the high school stud. Sprinkle them through two rival high schools and focus on the cheerleading, and you’ve got the basis for this show. If you’ve ever been in the modern-day cheerleading world where “Herkie” Herkimer from Dallas is the patron saint of this sport and competition is a given, you’ll know how close some of the show comes to real life. If you weren’t in the world of stunts and tryouts and ponytails, you can still enjoy the show.

The songs by Tom Kitt, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Amanda Green aren’t even listed in the show’s program. They’re nice enough, but it serves to emphasize what really is the star of this show: the movements, explosive and aerobatic.

Bring It On: The Musical will be presented by Dallas Summer Musicals through Feb. 26 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. It’ll make you want to do a toe-touch.

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