The 2012 smash hit Broadway musical Bring It On is set to take the Melbourne stage tonight in St. Kilda’s brand new Alex Theatre. This will be the first time the show has come to the Australian stage, so Theatre People had the chance to interview three of the shows leads; Jessica Monk, playing Campbell, Maddie Andreopoulos, playing Eva, and Jasmine Smith, playing Danielle, as well as first time director, Jensen Overend. Keep reading to see their thoughts on the Australian premiere of this fantastic and much anticipated show!
Q: How have you found the rehearsal process, and have you had any favourite moments/big challenges in staging such an ambitious show?
Jessica: Rehearsals are an absolute blast! They are honestly the highlights of my week. The hardest part is funny because, the fact that Campbell is such a big role means that I pretty much don’t get a break all day, but that’s also my favourite part of rehearsals – I love the business. I get to the end of the night/day and feel like I’ve only been there for an hour.
Jasmine: My favourite moments from Bring It On are the rehearsals itself. For me, it’s my ideal escape from the mad world. Rehearsals are what capture me in my element of doing what I love best, and that’s singing, dancing and acting.
Photo Credit: James Terry
Q: Much of your audience may be familiar with the original Bring It On film, but the musical is knew and lesser-know. Can you describe your characters for us? Do you feel like you share any similarities or large differences with your characters?
Jessica: She is one of my dream roles. She’s such a bubbly, happy and dorky character and I love that. I love playing a character with such clean intentions. I feel as though Campbell and I are really similar in our passionate nature. I’m easily able to tap into the determined, hard working attributes of Campbell’s personality as they are so similar to mine. I also really love that we can all relate to her troubles, and the way she handles these troubles is really what makes her an admirable character.
Maddie: Eva (my character) is the antagonist of Bring it On. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants without giving a thought to anyone else’s feelings. In regards it similarities, I think Eva and myself are both very determined and passionate but I would definitely not go to that extreme to make it to cheer captain!
Jasmine: Danielle is SASSSYYY, along with a powerful and independent personality, she shows leadership by being the captain of the crew. She also portrays herself as a demanding and a determined young woman. Danielle accepts and takes into consideration those who she believes are genuine people to those who she believes are ignorant and fake. She is smart with her works as well as with her decisions.
Q: As the Director of Bring It On, you are balancing relatively undiscovered material, a lot of stunt work, and generally quite a young cast. What has it been like to work with the cast, Jensen?
Jensen: It’s been a pleasure. I have been completely floored by the level of talent that our cast members possess. The ability to sing well, for example, is something that most of us spend countless years of dedicated focus and training trying to master; yet here we are surrounded by performers as young as 14 who possess a voice that would make Beyoncé quiver in her boots. It’s just raw, natural talent. It sends a shiver down your spine.
Photo Credit: James Terry
Q: Again, this material is new to Australian audiences – what is your favourite part of the show, and which numbers should we be looking out for?
Maddie: It’s hard to choose but my favourite part of the show for my own character is a song called ‘Killer Instinct’. I love this scene because it is when Eva finally admits to what she has been doing throughout the whole show and it is just a super fun song to sing.
Jasmine: My favourite part to play as Danielle in the show is entering in with choreography in “Do Your Own Thing”. I love the adrenaline that runs through me whilst making my first appearance in the show.
Q: Jensen, how does it feel to be one of the first people in the country to direct Bring It On?
Jensen: I feel quite privileged, actually! This is my first foray into the world of directing and I’ve completely relished the opportunity. As fate would have it, my professional experience in the theatre to date has been as a performer onstage, but I see this as a great thing. I can truly empathise with each and every one of our cast when I’m directing them, as I have been in their position myself, time and time again. Thorough preparation has been key to my role as director, and I’ve loved every moment. It’s just another way to be creatively expressive. This is the Australian premiere of Bring It On: The Musical, at The Alex Theatre, one of Melbourne’s newest theatre venues, supporting up-and-coming young talent that will most definitely be a force to be reckoned with down the track. It’s all win/win in my book!
Theatre People wish Stage Masters a fantastic season of Bring It On, and hope that Melbourne audiences don’t miss out – book your tickets at this link, and be quick about it! The season is nearly completely sold out.