ghoti_mhic_uait: (Happiness isn't happiness without a viol)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
When I was a teenager, I got kind of into musicals. I'd been in performances of Joseph and Oliver and Salad days, seen Les Mis and Cats, and played various bits of various other musicals. I listened to the casette if I could get hold of it, and I played around with the scores to learn about others. Maybe even watched the film, if there was one.

I haven't so much in recent years, I haven't made time for theatre in any of its guises, beyond singing the children to sleep with a song from Porgy and Bess, but you can imagine my delight when I finally realised that it was not a new biography of Lewis Hamilton that my friends were raving about, but rather a musical about Alexander Hamilton.

It is, in my mind, the best kind of musical - the kind where you understand everything by reading the score or listening to the recording. I don't so much like the kind with lots of talking because back when I didn't have any money or a TV, that meant I missed everything. I'm not happy with how Hamilton's bisexuality is glossed over, but the rest!
I love how Benedict could walk through and pick out the hip hop references I missed. I love how it feels so much like the musicals of my youth, there's a clear family resemblance between all of the genre, despite the difference in actually musical texture.

So, when [personal profile] rmc28 said, there's an amdram performance of one of Miranda's other musicals nearby, I jumped at the chance to go. The musical was Bring It On, a story of cheerleaders and athletic competition and making it through the school years.



First thought was that it sounds more like an 80s musical. The libretto is different, much more modern, but I definitely would have heard a random song and thought 'oh, that's a musical I don't know'. Actually, it's noticable that the music changes based on who's singing - the African American kids rap and sing hip hop. In the amdram version, it was an all white cast.

It also has a lot of plot in the talking, which teenage me reading the score would not like. That said, the music is amazing, and Miranda's speciality is integrating clever wordplay into a good tune, he's the spiritual descendent of Gilbert & Sullivan. Even the treatment of Bridget - an outcast who moves into a new situation and is suddenly super popular - reminds me of Trial by Jury 'Put your briefs upon the shelf, I shall marry her myself'. There probably isn't much of a comparison there, but it's where my head went.
Bridget, btw, is adorable, and I love the transformation story - not about changing Bridget but about making the people around her change to appreciate her.

That's what makes this musical special, to my mind - there are tropes, and they are subverted just the right amount, so while it's a story of two teams competing in national championships, and one of them is clearly the team we're rooting for, it's not clear which team will win until the announcement is made. It's about teenagers tearing each other down, like they do on TV (and in real life), but it's also about teenagers building each other up, showing each other how to be better people, like they do in real life (but rarely in media).

Also, it's utterly female driven - even to the point of including the line 'sisters from another mother' rather than the more common 'mister' - the boys are there to support the lifts, and for eye candy, it's a female driven sport and the story bears that out.
Also also, the first trans* character on Broadway.


The amateur cast did a really good job, but the professional team use pro cheerleaders for the dancers, it was obvious to me that some of the people were chosen for their singing and some for their dancing, I'd really like to see a pro performance at some point.

ETA: and I think Cross The Line has jumped straight into my 'favourite song from a musical' slot.

Date: 2017-04-22 12:56 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
Bridget has some of my favourite wordplay, in "Do Your Own Thing"

Step one to become invisible:
Books up, de-accentuate the physical.
Head down, use only your peripherals.
Stick with me, we'll be indivisible.

Date: 2017-04-23 01:06 pm (UTC)
juliet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] juliet
Oh I listened to this on Spotify recently and really enjoyed it! I'd love to see an actual performance of it.

Date: 2017-04-25 03:17 pm (UTC)
juliet: (Default)
From: [personal profile] juliet
looks like you can get tickets here?

http://www.atgtickets.com/shows/bring-it-on/

I haven't got as far as actual putting in basket but the little coloured dots for available seats are showing up.

(and thank you! It's showing in Wimbledon which probably makes more sense for me though I was briefly tempted there by the idea of a Manchester trip to see my friend :) )

Date: 2017-05-04 12:05 pm (UTC)
rmc28: Rachel smiling against background of trees, with newly-cut short hair (Default)
From: [personal profile] rmc28
I am considering seeing it in Wimbledon, as I could do the Saturday matinee as a day trip from Cambridge.

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