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Will ‘Bring It On: The Musical’ be something to cheer about?

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The Tony-winning talent behind ‘In the Heights,’ ‘Next to Normal’ and ‘Avenue Q,’ among other recent musical hits, is converging at the Ahmanson Theatre, where ‘Bring It On: The Musical’ begins a national tour this week that no one says is headed to Broadway -- but do they have to?

That’s not to say that co-composer and lyricist Lin-Manuel Miranda, director-choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler, co-composer Tom Kitt and book writer Jeff Whitty don’t face challenges in reinventing the 2000 movie as a musical comedy.

“We have these world-class cheerleaders who’ve never danced like this before, and dancers who’ve never cheered before, so we have to throw them both in the caldron,” Blankenbuehler says.

He also hopes audiences will recognize it as a sports story at heart.

“None of us wanted to make a girlie musical about cheerleaders,” Blankenbuehler says. “Our target audience is not just a girl who’s a cheerleader, but the 16-year-old guy who may be hot for a cheerleader and who has a sporting mentality.”

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For a look at ‘Bring It On’ as it prepares for opening night, read Rob Weinert-Kendt’s story in Sunday’s Arts and Books section.

--Kelly Scott


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