By Tatum Stafford
It was Jackson vs Truman at the opening night of Bring It On at His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth on Friday night – and there is no denying that this was a showdown of epic proportions.
Whilst this production differs from the classic 2000 film in its characters, plot and setting, lovers of the Kirsten Dunst-led movie will not leave disappointed. The show is packed with cheer puns, hair flips and sassy moments that are sure to leave audience members wanting more.
A clear highlight of this show is its fantastic choreography and stunts. Its ensemble power through such intricate routines as ‘Friday Night Jackson’, ‘Cross The Line’, and the electric opening ‘What I Was Born To Do’ with vigour and inspiring energy. The show is choreographed by Michael Ralph, whose excellent work I am excited to also see in WAAPA’s upcoming Sweet Charity later this month.
Kirby Burgess opens this show with an inimitable strength and a belt to be reckoned with. Playing the earnest cheerleader Campbell, Burgess carries the show with defiance, matching her incredible voice with confident dancing, cheering and acting. Her co-cheerleaders at Truman, Skylar (Emily Thompson) and Kylar (Hollie Anne James) are the perfect foils for Burgess’ protagonist, and provide tons of welcomed comic relief and some incredible vocals. Newcomer Jasmine Smith as the hardworking Danielle was another standout, and provided some of the show’s heavier scenes with a great amount of depth and heart.
Baylie Carson’s Bridget is another standout within the production. Showcasing stellar vocal ability and perfect comic timing, Carson is a joy to watch and was certainly a hit amongst the audience. Karla Tonkich as Campbell’s nemesis Eva was equally as entertaining, and provided the show with some Britney Spears-esque flair with the Act 2 showstopper ‘Killer Instinct’.
Special mentions are also due to Samatha Bruzzese as Nautica and Marty Alix as La Cienaga; two hilariously empowered members of the Jackson dance crew. Thomas McGuane’s Randall, another student at Jackson High, also provides the show with a great amount of heart and many witty lines.
The cast of this production should be applauded for their infectious energy, soaring vocals and commitment to perfecting some intricate cheering routines. This show is a stellar example of the future of the Australian music theatre industry, and I’m sure it will pave the way for a new batch of tumbling, krumping, step-ball-changing dynamos over the next few years. Bring it on!
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.