BRING IT ON – THE MUSICAL Leaps from Broadway To the Gold Coast

Bring It On comes to the Gold Coast direct from its Australian Premiere in Sydney in July 2015 playing for a strictly limited two week season from 8 to 17 January 2016 in The Arts Theatre, The Arts Centre.

This high energy stage musical is brought to life by a talented cast of 27 who perform explosive dance and aerial stunts, elaborate tumbling and flipping routines that all culminate in heart-stopping towering formations of human pyramids.

Bring It On – The Musical tells the story of cheer-royalty Campbell (Alex Lewtas), captain of the Truman High School cheer squad, who is suddenly forced to spend her final year of high school at the neighbouring, hard knock Jackson High School. Despite having the deck stacked against her, Campbell befriends the dance crew girls and with their headstrong leader Danielle (Kat Hoyos), manages to form a powerhouse squad for the ultimate competition – the National Championships.

Natalie O’Driscoll spoke with Alex Lewtas about how she scored the lead role of Campbell and just how hard those crazy cheerleading stunts really are.

For the unitiated, can you tell us a bit about your character in BRING IT ON – THE MUSICAL?

I play the role of Campbell, a senior at Truman High School, who is made captain of the Cheerleading Squad. Campbell is optimistic, passionate, determined and ambitious, She strives for perfection in all she does. No matter what challenges she is faced with throughout the show, she constantly tries to find a positive outlook and chooses not to be defeated. I love her determination; she constantly is ready to fight to work towards her goal – doing whatever it takes!

Tell us a bit about the audition process to get the part. What was involved and how long did it take? What was your reaction when you found out you’d scored the role? 

Our initial audition process began in February, there was such a positive and exciting vibe surrounding the auditions, which was quite fitting considering the amount of ‘Cheer Spirit’ required for the show. We were thrown straight into the world of cheerleading at our first dance audition, quickly learning a few stunts and lifts– we immediately were introduced to what would be required of the cast to perform: strong energetic dance and clean, sharp strength in the cheer sections. After we danced, we were then required to sing. Callbacks were just as fun, I was originally called back to sing/read for the role of ‘Bridget’, However when I had finished my audition for the quirky character, the creative team asked if I could return an hour later and perform ‘Campbell’s solo ballad. So I grabbed the sheet music and my iPod and worked on the song in the car park outside until it was my turn to go back and audition again, this time for the lead role. I was SO excited to be cast as Campbell, I was quite surprised too – as I had been considered for another role, but I could not be happier to be leading this incredible cast!

Can you talk to us about any of your favourite scenes / characters or songs from the play?

My favourite character would have to be La Cienega – a sassy Transgender Teen from Jackson High School played by the wonderful Timothy Langan. I admire her confidence and strength in herself more than anything, and her heart is possibly one of the biggest of all in the show. She also always has the audience laughing with her smart comedy, and loud fashion – La Cienega radiates confidence and self-love, which I think is an important part of the show.

My favourite song to perform in the show is probably ‘Bring It On’ – the moment where my character, Campbell, makes the decision to assemble a competing squad at Jackson High School to get revenge on her rival, Eva at Nationals. The song is fuelled by her outrage of the challenges that have been thrown her way and her dreams being crushed by Eva, it is also one of the more challenging pieces in the show to perform, with quite a number of big stunts and tricks, and heavy dance combinations, all whilst singing such a powerful song!

Do you have to do crazy cheerleading stunts in the musical? What kind of preparation is required for those?

There are PLENTY of crazy stunts, lifts, flips and tumbling throughout the show – It wouldn’t be a true performance of Bring It On without it! We have spent many weeks in the lead up to the show training at Cheerforce Studios progressing from beginner to elite level cheerleaders. The show is very physically and vocally demanding – so our rehearsals have combined fitness and endurance training, as well as learning the choreography and music material. Putting all the elements together has been challenging, as show requires a lot of strength and fitness levels – but it could not be more exciting at the same time!

Bring it on – the musical runs from 8 – 17 January in The Arts Theatre. More at theartscentregc.com.au.

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