I was looking forward to reviewing this production a) because it was a show I didn’t know and b) it was being performed in Trinity’s brand new theatre, only opened on Monday of this week, the Marnkutyi Parirna (Three Rivers) Theatre. I was not disappointed on either account.
The theatre is absolutely beautiful and holds 500 people without the orchestra pit, or (as is the case with this production) 450 with. The theatre gets its name from the Aboriginal language for the meeting of three rivers. In this case, South Para, North Para and Little Para. It was built in consultation with the Custodians Of The Land and is absolutely stunning. A feature I was impressed with was the leg room allowed for passing people in a row. If you stand up, people can get past without stepping on toes; and every row is elevated from the one in front so no one should have their view obstructed.
The first production to open this sparkling jewel is a stunner of a show. Based very loosely on the 2000 movie of the same name starring Kirsten Dunst, this “Bring It On” is the stage musical with a book by Jeff Whitty, music by Tom Kitty and Lin-Manuel Miranda and lyrics by Miranda and Amanda Green.
Campbell is a High School Senior who has it all, a hot boyfriend, good grades and most importantly has just made Captain of the school’s very successful cheerleading squad (Cheerleading is such a big thing in America that they have competitions exclusively for cheer squads). But fate steps in and mysteriously whisks her away to a high school that doesn’t even have a cheer squad (gasp!).
As funny and superficial the plot is, serious subjects are represented such as acceptance, differences, betrayal, belonging and team work.
This production blows one away from the moment the curtain opens, with dazzling optics setting the scene for the energetic ride of a lifetime. It’s exhilarating to see such talent exude from these young adults. In a cast of 33 (12 of whom are principal roles) there is absolutely no weak link! Directors Kristy Triantafilakis and Melanie Lavis should feel extremely proud of this show and the performances of every single cast member. They have made sure that the audience are not left wondering about any character traits and that the actors know what their motives and goals are. There’s not a lot to say about Caley Watt’s choreography other than WOW!! Excellent ideas performed brilliantly by every member of the cast. I’m sure that I didn’t have the energy that these young people have in abundance when I was their age. Emma Knights is down as the Conductor so I assume it’s her we have to thank for the very strong vocals that fill the auditorium.
In such a talented cast it seems unfair to single people out, but it would be remiss of me not to mention the principals. Chloe Seabrook as Campbell is the quintessential young leading lady. Her vocals are beautiful, she can dance (even in a Leprechaun suit) and she just dazzles with stage presence. Saffron Bradley (Eva), Ashleigh Collins (Skylar) and Neve Cammans (Kylar) are the Cheer team socialites and we are left in no doubt about their characters – or are we? Connor Foreman plays hot boyfriend Steve with a lovable roguishness, some cool dance moves and a nice taste for comedy.
The other high school ‘crew’ are wonderfully represented by Caitlin Bentley (Danielle), Adam Rolling (Cameron), Eliana Girgolas (Nautica) and Samuel Cannizzaro (Randall). Cannizzaro is the perfect love interest and displays some great acting skills, in one scene in particular. Xavier Ludborzs displays great comic timing as goofy Twig and impresses with his ‘rap’.
There are two performers, however, who stand out for their brilliant understanding of comedy and character portrayal. They are Emily Tziros as Bridget and Daniel Maxwell as the trans gender La Cienega. Tziros just makes the stage her own whenever she is on and we just love her. Maxwell is absolutely outstanding in what is quite a difficult and brave role. He is also the Dance Captain for the show. If you look at his moves there is no doubt why.
I could rave about this production and the excess of terrific talent up on that stage forever. Just hope you get to see it. We asked Trinity to “Bring It On” and they did – big time!!