Bring It On: The Musical Brings Together a Trio of Broadway Songwriters

By Adam Hetrick
06 Jul 2012

Tom Kitt
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
That determined spirit also fuels the writers, according to Kitt. "I would come in and hear a piece of music that Lin brought in and it would just blow me away," he says. "I would become inspired for the other moments in the show. It just felt like we would one-up each other, and not in the sense of improving or being competitive, but literally lifting each other up by our own participation in the process."

Green, who has provided lyrics for both composers, adds, "It's fun learning how themes from one of Lin's songs could work in a later moment in one of Tom's songs. It's become very interwoven. It's definitely up for grabs who writes for what character and what school."

Within seconds, Miranda and Kitt are taking turns at the piano, demonstrating how a hip-hop sequence (a Miranda signature) gives way to an introspective pop ballad by Kitt, featuring heartfelt lyrics by Green. The musical identities are unique, but the transition is seamless.

When asked if they were continuing to fine-tune Bring It On for Broadway, Green says with a hearty laugh, "Not since one o'clock last night!"

Adds Miranda, "It's never finished. There's always something that could be a little sharper, a little better."

Another driving force that keeps the show and the writers pumped is the cast of young theatre talent and competitive cheerleaders who bring serious pedigree to a production studded with aerial stunts. "We had to learn to stop screaming," Green says, recalling seeing the maneuvers for the first time. Blankenbuehler reminded the writers, "What have I been telling you? They can't be singing because they'll be going up in a basket toss!"

"I've never seen anyone be able to do the things these kids can do," says Miranda. Physical demands aside, the Bring It On company is definitely up to the challenge. "All of them are out of their comfort zone," Green says. "Now it's, 'Belt that high D, but belt it while you're standing on two hands!'"

(This feature appears in the July 2012 issue of Playbill magazine.)

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