Pelican Productions
Norwood Concert Hall
Until 21 May 2017

Review by Talia Gaertner-Jones

Director Adam Goodburn and Pelican Productions bring you the South Australian premiere of “Bring It On The Musical” to the Norwood Concert Hall and #OMG, it’s like totally amazing!!

For those who are fans of the Kirsten Dunst film of the same name, be aware that although this musical does follow two groups of cheerleaders from Regionals to Nationals, that’s where the similarities end. But in saying that, the musical does have the humour, music and cheerleading tricks to keep the audience entertained the whole time.

Scarlett Anthony stars as the blonde, perfect, cheer captain of Truman High School, Campbell, who is suspiciously outed and redistricted to a new school where she ends up one step below square one. Anthony carries the role confidently and moves between song and dialogue effortlessly and sings a beautiful “One Perfect Moment” and the uplifting power song “What I Was Born To Do”. Her cheer sidekick, Skyler, played by Sophie Morris is ditsy, confident and plays the part with the perfect amount of comedy and self-confidence. Eve Green, at 13 years old, is devilish Eva who can belt out her own “Killer Instinct” in a hilarious, but evil, song finishing on a “Wicked” note.

On the flip side of the Truman cheerleaders are the Jackson High School Crew consisting of their leader, Danielle played by Stephanie Antonopoulos who brings out the soul in “We Ain’t No Cheerleaders” along with La Cienega (Sean Jackson) and Nautica (Tayla Prime). Of the three, it is Jackson who steals the spotlight throughout his scenes, strutting with attitude, dancing with sass and speaking with boldness. Josh Angeles plays the love interest of Campbell and between them “Enjoy The Trip” is a beautiful moment.

Now, you can’t have a teen musical without at least one character transferring from nerdy to cool, and for this, it’s Georgia Cosercas as Bridget. Cosercas brings humour and growth to her role as a nerdy mascot for the Truman Cheerleaders, to the hip hop dancing member of the Jackson Crew and one of Campbell’s closest friends, and her trio with Jackson and Prime with “It Ain’t No Thing” truly let’s her shine!

Along with the lead characters the ensemble is outstanding. The characters ‘moving’ from pristine cheerleaders and students of Truman to the set change/costumes/vocals/choreography of Jackson in “Welcome To Jackson” deliver a smooth yet fierce performance! Goodburn’s director’s note mentions that many of the cast have not had any prior cheerleading experience or training, therefore what they have achieved is incredible as a cast. Flips, jumps, stunts are all included in this production and executed well, with performers continuing to sing throughout!

The production team of Goodburn, Rosanne Hosking (Musical Director Vocal) and Carla Papa have coached these performers well and the volume, enthusiasm and excitement is captured throughout the entire performance. Craig Williams on Set/Video Design has created a set that transitions seamlessly between moving images and still objects, with the use of projection and video. The lighting for the show works perfectly and the beginning moment of the performance with the flash of lights and curtain drop had audience members around me saying ‘Wow!’. For sound design, Glenn Hill and Jamie Mensforth created the perfect balance between vocals and music throughout the whole performance.

This is an incredible production and all involved should be extremely proud of what they have achieved. My advice? Go and watch these ‘superhuman’ kids “doing what they’re born to do!”.