Broadway version of popular cheerleading saga comes to Strathmore -- Gazette.Net







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“Bring It On,” a film starring Kirsten Dunst, Eliza Dushku and Gabrielle Union, hit box office gold in 2000. It shouldn’t have been a surprise then when the studio decided to pump out four direct-to-video sequels — “Bring It On Again,” “Bring it On: All or Nothing,” “Bring It On: In It to Win It,” and “Bring It On: Fight to the Finish.”

Although the sequels didn’t garner the fame, recognition or money of the original film, the Broadway version of “Bring It On” lived up to the hype.

Bring It On: The Musical

When: 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday

Where: The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda

Tickets: $39-$81

For information: 301-581-5100;

The National Tour of “Bring It On: The Musical” is set to somersault into the Music Center at Strathmore for two shows on Saturday .

According to Zuri Washington, who plays Danielle in the show, fans expecting to see a musical based on the first movie will be a little surprised.

“It’s actually based more on the third ‘Bring It On,’ movie, which most people may not have seen,” Washington said. “It has a very similar plot in terms of kind of an urban, ethnic team versus a waspy, Beverly Hills kind of 90210 team.”

The story starts off with Campbell Davis, who is totally excited about being the cheer captain her senior year. She gets the job, only to find out that, because of redistricting, she has to go to another school — and the school doesn’t even have a cheer squad!

Campbell talks Danielle into helping her create a group of cheerleaders so they can compete at Nationals. Zaniness — and heartfelt friendship — ensues.

Eean Cochran is one of the production’s swing actors — meaning on any given night, he could be playing different characters based on what’s required. If an actor needs a night off, Cochran can fill in, along with the other swing actors.

“It’s kind of fun, but it’s a little stressful as well,” Cochran said. “... Some of the swings get to watch the show, and you kind of find the details of the show you know or that you never saw before so you can find things you can do different than the person you’re covering. It’s a lot of fun once you get on stage.”

Most of the actors in the show participated in a cheerleading “camp” before the run of the show to get their bearings and to learn some of the proper techniques.

“The cheer camp was kind of another audition process,” Cochran said. “We just worked on small cheer stunts. I guess just going back to the basics for people who had never cheered before. … Then we moved on to the more advanced stunts to see who could do [tosses].”

Washington, whose character utilizes more of a dance style, did not participate in the camp, but still spent the majority of her time working on choreography.

“I’m not being tossed, nor am I tossing people in the air,” Washington said. “We had a very short period of rehearsal time for this show. So it was really hard to get everyone to do everything. … It was, like, three weeks to learn everything — choreography, music, stunts and cheerleading. It was really overwhelming to do all of that in a short period of time.”

Washington and Cochran agree the hard work has paid off. Packed houses are getting to see the amount of time and energy put into this show and are entertained at the same time. They both, however, hope audiences take a little something with them when they go.

“I think people will take away a sense of pride in being who they are no matter who or what people perceive them as,” Washington said.

“I think it definitely has a message of friendship and relationships,” Cochran added. “When people watch the show, they get amused by the cheerleading and the fun dances and stuff, but I think it’s very important to understand the relationships [Campbell] is building and finds and the people she surrounds herself with.”