Crook, Phillip B., Out
BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL-LIGHT ON THE LABELS, HEAVY ON THE STOMP
The team behind Bring It On: TheMusical knows what you're thinking: Splashy uniforms and spirit fingers aside, the production will be just another campy repurposing of a big-screen blockbuster. What you can't predict, however, is the number of tricks it has hidden behind its pom-poms.
Jeff Whitty, the show's writer (who won a Tony for Avemte Q) , believes that if audiences approach this fall's national tour of Bring It On: The Musicalwith a condescending eye roll, it won't necessarily be to the show's detriment. "I love low expectations," he says. "I think it's an advantage if people come thinking it will be stupid, fluffy fun. It's better that they be surprised by how much texture and heart there really is."
Preserving only the cheeky essence of the first movie and its quartet of sequels, Whittywrote an original story for Bring ItOn that follows two high-school squads competing for a national title: Truman, uppity and whitewashed, and Jackson, a multicultural potpourri. Jackson is Whitty's teenage utopia, where a transgender cheerleader, La Clenega, embodies the "be yourself mantra.
"She's the ringleader for loving yourself," says Gregory Haney (second from left), who plays the self-assured transitioning teen. And while La Ciénega has a boisterous energy that has won audience members over in past productions in Atlanta, many of them would never know she's trans. …