Ateneo Blue Repertory’s 28th Season Newbie Production, Bring It On: The Musical, is full of spirit — or, as the school mascot chanted, S-P-I-R-T. The light-hearted musical is loosely based on the cult-classic film by Jessica Bendinger. Following former cheerleading captain Campbell (Giulia Martinez) learn the ropes of a new school to form a new squad, the play explores how competition evokes camaraderie, inspires powerful friendships, and pushes its characters to grow in self-esteem.
If you’ve listened to Hamilton or In the Heights, then you’d immediately pick up that the music and lyrics here are composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda. It was refreshing to see cheerleading stunts and chants infused with witty raps — who would’ve thought that you could incorporate all those flips and lifts into musical theater? Giulia’s performance as Campbell was stable and preppy all throughout, even in a memorable scene where she’s urged to dance in a Leprechaun mascot costume. Her chemistry with co-star Nikki Bengzon (who plays Danielle) showed that they were having genuine fun.