Can someone tell me when cheerleading became so cool? When I was in high school in the (ahem) 80's, we used to make fun of the cheerleaders. We called them "rah-rahs" and made fun of them when they wore their uniforms to school.
Times have certainly changed.
Bring it On, now playing at the St. James Theatre, not only makes Cheerleading cool, it brings Broadway along for the ride. The show fills in a huge gap where children's theatre leaves off and Broadway for adults begins. In the space that was briefly occupied by Jason Robert Brown's 13, Bring it On will find fans (it already has).
So let me set the scene: My daughter is almost nine. She's noticed over the past year that there is a dearth of shows for more "grown up" kids and has been wondering what lies beyond Newsies and Spiderman. Still reeling from this summer's fab five display of Olympic gymnastic awesomeness and looking forward to starting gymnastics class in the fall, my daughter had fallen into a deep "Dance Moms" addiction. The theatre Gods could not have chosen a better moment to bring on Bring it On.
The show never stopped captivating her attention. There were no "down" periods. Every song, every scene and every flip incited laughter, awe and theatrical stardust. While some of the adults in the audience might admittedly be waiting for the next big cheerleading routine, my daughter and the other kids and teens in the audience were devoutly ensconced in the story line, sympathizing with the lead character's journey to find her place in a new world. (Or the high school on the other side of town).
It's a formula that has paid off for young audiences ever since Grease. Kids my age found it in Heathers and Breakfast Club. Kids today find it in Glee. A group of charismatic teens searching to find the perfect, self-defining label try for acceptance in a world that seems determined to never quite understand the depths of their adolescent strife. In this case, it works well. Combined with some athletic dynamo and music that crosses over from Broadway to pop in a very 2012 way, Bring it On is a great choice for parents and older kids.
Cheerleading seems to have come a long way since I stood in a hacky sack circle, making fun of the rah-rahs with my friends. I have a feeling these rah-rahs would tell me exactly where to put my hacky sack if I ever dissed this ultimate musical pep rally.
GET TO THE POIT, MOM!
- A spectacular, fun show featuring crazy gymnastics and cheerleading that will entertain parents as well as their kids.
- Great for kids ages eight and up.
- For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the show's website.
- Don't call them rah-rahs.