What does it take to create a big, shiny commercial musical success?
1. Energetic cast full of attractive people: check.
2. Huge, pumping dance numbers that noticeably elevate the auditorium's energy level: check.
3. Bang-on dancers that perform so tightly it's like they knew each other in previous lives: check.
4. Witty lyrics that are topical and relevant in both delivery and subject matter: check.
5. Decent acting that doesn't seem too "musical-y" and give you a sweet tooth - check (mostly).
6. Dynamite set that is pretty, versatile and well engineered: check (It's simple but it usually worked. *Note: projections are not included in this statement.)
7. Voices that can belt your face to the back of the auditorium: check x2.
BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL won't provoke your inner Einstein, but it does fulfill all of the above criteria, and it will leave you shaking your hips and gasping at the gravity-defying cheerleading antics.
(Cut to me saying repeatedly: "Is that SAFE?!")
It's big, it's fluffy and, yes y'all, it's fun.
Let me be clear: I don't go to the theatre for the sheer entertainment value; most of the time I want to leave the theatre analyzing the crap out of my emotional reaction to what I've just seen - particularly if it's a negative reaction - and I sometimes resent not fully using my brain in the theatre.
But BRING IT ON celebrates the carelessness and selfishness of youth, and all of the vacuous and awkward self-actualization that comes along with it. And I am OK with that.
It initiated the "If I only knew then, what I know now" psyche about high school, which made me nostalgic for a time where I wasn't so determined to be so morally high-minded and could better appreciate silliness for silly's sake.
The moral of its story isn't thought-provoking. In fact, it's a moral that should reside in everyone's common sense from the age of eight, so it's nothing new. But at least it does have a moral; one that is presented in the most current and trendy way imaginable - with hip hop, low-grade cusswords, teen angst and some killer dance moves.
Superficiality aside, the cast of BRING IT ON, seriously brought it out, and for the low price of $25, you need to bring every teen you know. Particularly those that don't see theatre often; it's a chance for them to see themselves and their peers on stage, and, for a couple of hours, perhaps not be made to feel badly about their lack of online privacy, their incessant tweeting and their preference for reality TV. They'll love it.
As for the rest of the Mirvish subscribers? Weeeeeellllll, this one's just not for them.
BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL is now playing at the Ed Mirvish Theatre (244 Victoria St.) until June 3.
For tix, call: 416-872-1212 or click here.