Paul Wilson: ‘Bring It On” @ The Kauffman – The Review

Screen shot 2014-02-12 at 2.54.55 PMWhat a way to go…

Just about the last thing I’d do on a typical Tuesday evening is sit through two hours of Broadway musical cheerleading routines. Then again, it was a date night with my high school daughter and I had a show to review.

That said, it’s not in the job description that I have to like everything I see.

And frankly as I headed to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts I was prepared to tolerate this one. Fortunately, I lucked out.

Screen shot 2014-02-12 at 2.55.36 PMAdd to all that, my daughter’s theatre instructor, David Hastings, was going to be in attendance with select students from the Olathe South Theatre; the undisputed kings of high school drama in Johnson County.

On top of all that, KC Confidential columnist, Theater League prez and Major Dude Mark Edelman had arranged a backstage meet and greet for my daughter, Hastings and three or four students that – apologetically – grew to 15 after the word got out.

Mark came through, regardless. And for that, on behalf of all those kids who will never forget what he did for them, a warm thank-you.

At the same time, I want to apologize for laying all those kids on him at the complete last minute.

In any case, my thinking going in was the highlight of my night would likely be the special time with my daughter followed by a stop at my favorite Town Topic.

Little did I know how much I was about to thoroughly enjoy the show.

Screen shot 2014-02-12 at 2.52.59 PMThis musical was saved from certain failure (any of you see the movie?) by the supurb writing skills of Jeffy Whitty who took what I saw as a topic that didn’t deserve Broadwayification, and turned it into a thoroughly enjoyable, compelling musical life lesson from start to finsh.

The two hour show weaves every high school stereotype and melodrama imaginable into its story line; the nerd, the brain dead cheerleader and the girl willing to take out her own friend to get ahead – to name three.

Then there’s fat, quirky “mascot,” Bridgett,-  played by Maisie Salinger – who dreams of moving up the cheerleader ranks – but probably never will. She steps into her role of being part of the popular clique at a new school like she owns it.

When Campbell (Nadia Vynnytsky) is forced from Blue Valley High to the KCMO School District by her rival’s mom who sits on the school board, new challenges come to bear. Things like race, acceptance and blending in and establishing a new identity as she tries to talk Jackson High hip-hop hottie Danielle (Zuri Washington) into letting her join her group.

Screen shot 2014-02-12 at 2.53.38 PMLet’s cut to the chase; this is a show I’d happily go see again…

Everyone knows your well-coiffed Scribe loves the Kauffman, but the venue was custom made for this show; from the close proximity to the stage to the impeccable sound and lighting.

The choreography was spot on, the set changes, seamless. And where they found all the multi-disciplined talent to stage this show is beyond me.

Where do you find girls with killer voices who just happen to be gymnasts capable of flying 20 feet in the air?

I ‘m almost embarrassed to admit how much I truly enjoyed this show for fear that Harley will demand my Man Card back…but I did enjoy it…thoroughly.

The bottom line: People, get out and see this show.

Just ask yourself the one question that should lead all your major life decisions; WWPD? What Would Paul Do?

I’d go again tonight and you should too!

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32 Responses to Paul Wilson: ‘Bring It On” @ The Kauffman – The Review

  1. Stomper says:

    Better than a WWE show???

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Oh, Stomper, I’ve had such high hopes for our impending friendship. Now, I feel like I’m going to have to meet you at a monster truck run for any meaningful conversation….

      • Stomper says:

        I’m sorry, I just couldn’t resist. I’m still laughing.

        Great piece. Good luck with the OS/SME fight you started. Probably will be as brutal as the exchange that Dwight had with his piece on Seeger.

        • paulwilsonkc says:

          Stomper, my advice to Mike T, would be to see if Hearne couldn’t recruit a dad from SME…. until then, I have the pen, the voice and the o pen yun.

  2. mike t. says:

    Olathe South? Undisputed kings? hmm… SME kids might have something to say about that.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Mike, you may be correct, but I’m never short an opinion. The SME theatre program is great, I’ll grant you that. I may have some bias, but hey, I didnt compare them to WWE “wrastlers,” even though that would have pleased The Stomper… they are pretty good actors too.

      • mike t. says:

        you know, just school rivalries and all that… all in fun. stomper, not trying to start a war.

        i actually thought i remembered SME’s theater dept getting an award or major recognition recently, but couldn’t find the link.

        • Stomper says:

          I know, humor doesn’t play well here without the 🙂

          • mike t. says:

            i hadn’t read that post on seeger yet, so by your reference to it went back and read it and all the comments. whoa. my brain feels bigger already, but i hope OS vs SME reference doesn’t bring THAT kind of argument on!

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Just to clarrify :), :), 🙂 all in fun here too. SME is pretty big time, and youre right, have won more than their fair share of awards. I was just gloating, and well, bottom line, being ME. Both of you guys are on my good guy list…

        • mike t. says:

          my eldest brother would chime in here, being a SME grad, that he and TOM HANKS shared the same drama coach. guess he taught at SME at some point. my brother even caught hanks at the back door of a theater in new york last year. he was holding up a sign of the name of the teacher and got a thumbs up from hanks. my brother was thrilled. my brother is a geek.

          and thanks… nice to be on someone’s good list….

  3. Undisputed inside critic says:

    This is royally bosh from a wanna-be…. On every level from writing to calling her your “daughter” to your usual desperate desire to ride in the coat tails of ANYONE POPULAR, someWHAT known and feign closeness to people who barely know you. A two bit show, with a two bit “writer’s” review that repeatedly compliments none other than said two bit writer is just more of what THIS critic knows to be typical Paul D Wilson’s praise of himself. Vomitus, never-ending, pompous and sad diatribe. And you really think YOU are a writer. Sad.

    • Theatre lover says:

      When my two teenage daughters came to me with the request to take them to the musical version of ‘Bring It On’, I have to admit that I, too, cringed at the thought. After seeing the show, I wholeheartedly agree with the writer, Paul Wilson, and his accurate description of this production.
      As for the obvious personal attack from the “inside critic” above, these comments have nothing to do with the review and seems to reek of someone who is jealous of another persons success.
      Write on Paul….you have many fans who enjoy your perceptions. ….even if I don’t agree at times, you are always a great read.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Thank you, Theatre Lover. I owe the readers an apology, as luck would have it, the “hater” is my own brother. Which reminds me of a favorite Bible verse, “Yea, verily I say, I hath given thee friends, as an apology for F’ing up your family…..”
        Thanks for reading, and, let me add, if you agree with me all the time, youre not real bright and Im not doing my job!
        Appreciate you and all the other regulars. Even…. Harley.

    • Stomper says:

      Undisputed. Now that we know your identity, I can’t resist jumping in. 99% of us over here think the world of your brother so I’m real curious what your issue is. I know I have no business getting in the middle of this and I’m sure there is a lot I don’t know about your family and growing up in it but that hasn’t stopped me in the past. I grew up with siblings as well and, like all families with kids, from time to time one will fight with, and even hate for a period of time, a fellow sibling. I had knock down fist fights with my older brother on many occasions but always recall the scoldings of my parents. They would always repeat the same mantra. ” You don’t have to like him but you do have to love him. If the day ever comes when there is a problem on the outside of this family, he’ll have your back and you damn well better have his !!!”

      Again, I’ll admit I’m out of line saying this right now ( and apologies in advance to you Paul if you think I’m out of line) but I have to believe your recently departed mother, may she rest in peace, would not be pleased.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Stomper, you are a man among men. This almost makes me forgive your life long affinity for Hearne, but not quite enough to get me over the WWE hump!
        Undisputed Inside Critic knows so little about his own brother to even under stand what my schtick or persona is here! He reads my drivel as me praising me instead of seeing the self deprecating humor and the INTENTION positions I put myself in, making a story out of a non event.
        When Steve from the Pitch and I had coffee a couple weeks back, Mayor James came in. He knew Steve well, had met me but forgot it was me who did the positive story on his role in inner city crime. James asked I call his guy and set up a meeting. I intentionally fluff that stuff up as humor, 80% of my readers KNOW where my head is when I say, “WWPD? What would Paul do?”
        To be an undisputed insider, he’s neither!
        Thanks, Stomper…..yer a good egg.

    • Orphan of the Road says:

      Yeah, what’s with Wilson? I’m sure you use all those words, albeit not in that order.

      “In neither taste nor precision is any man’s practice a court of last appeal, for writers all, both great and small, are habitual sinners against the light; and their accuser is cheerfully aware that his own work will supply … many ‘awful examples’…”
      ― Ambrose Bierce

  4. Hot Carl says:

    Are those fat chicks in the second actually part of this production?

  5. balbonis moleskine says:

    Juggalo fest cancelled, dammit

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Balbonis, look above at “Undisputed Inside Critic”, AKA my hateful, small minded brother. As hurtful as it is to read words that foul, knowing they came from someone in your own gene pool….reading YOUR words about the Juggalo cancellation is even more disappointing.
      I’d already bought our tent, 5 cases for Faygo, for trading material, and now I’m just lost. I counted on co reporting from this event with you.
      Happy F’in Valentines!

      • balbonis moleskine says:

        That’s alright there will be others this summer. It would make an interesting story. KCC road trip…

        I still have my portable grilled cheese/quesadilla grill so we can always count on gas money, lol.

        (This started out as a joke but it would be a pretty funny story, we just have to find the right festival. Maybe wakarusa)

        As for the write-up, enjoyable as usual Paul. Keep it up.

    • the dude says:


  6. paulwilsonkc says:

    Balbo, I’m totally down with the clown! But I’ll take a rain check for something equally interesting. We can provide on scene team coverage, like KCTV5 does for the white fluffy death that falls from the sky.
    We go dressed alike, two tee shirts, “STUPID” and “IM WITH STUPID;” I don’t care who wears which one.
    Don’t forget to read “Undisputed Inside Critic” to see what a brother can say about his brother when he’s eaten up with the bad nastys! Stomper took a shot at him, well worth the read….

  7. CraigieB says:

    Shot an interview with two of the stars…they’re really great kids:

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      CraigieB, you are so right. All the leads came out, backstage, talked to my daughter and her theatre friends like they had a true interest in them! They all walked out at the same time, hung out in the parking lot and all started tweeting each other. Just seemed like a really cool group of kids and made these high schoolers feel really special.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Nice interview; sent you a tweet, lets grab a cup of coffee sometime. May be an interesting story in here somewhere.

  8. hot harley says:

    hey Wilson…
    didn’t read this story til I happened to read your email.
    Is the undisputed inside critic really your brother?
    don’t understand your email but whoever wrote that kind of
    crap about a stage show with kids has some serious problems.
    No…don’t need your man card…I’ve spent many hours watching high
    school plays. Saw everyone from paul rudd to hank stram jr. in plays
    over the years. some of the really talented kids in high school went thru
    those drama/forensic/debate classes and are now very very successful
    I even was an award winning debator in high school having finished
    first in the junction city debates/Topeka invitationals/and doing
    extemporaneous forensic competition in high school.
    And nothing to be ashamed about going with your daughter. That’s your
    blood….that’s your future…..she probably thinks you’re the coolest guy
    in olathe district with getting her backstage. But the edelmans are good
    people….my family was very very close to Fran .
    If thatwas really your brother…how unusual to have him do this in a
    public place……..
    but you must retract a statement….olathe does not rule over the Shawnee mission
    district in drama or any of those areas.
    and never apologize for being with family….as Harley says “they’re all ya got!”
    your friend

  9. paulwilsonkc says:

    Harley, the “man card” was just me having fun with you. Yes, truly IS my brother; he’s just a small minded, jealous little man.
    His first bashing was for me referring to her as “my daughter” when she’s my “step” daughter, but you know as well as I do, when you take that task on, it’s gotta be treated LIKE blood.
    And you’re right, it was a great moment for her, her team mates and her drama coach getting to meet the cast.
    He’s so eaten up with envy, he developed a fake name, but forgot to change his email, so there it was, staring me right in the face!
    No big surprise, that IS my brother, through and through….
    Your friend,

  10. hot harley says:

    don’t have any brothers but I do know they have rivalries that can get pretty
    got sisters…and they are enough….but mine are the best in the world.
    as far as the show….if the kaufman center presented it we can all beassured
    its a quality show.
    kaufman isn’t brining in no shlock!!!!!!
    as far as step daughter/daughter your brother needs a good ass kicking.
    I’m not a big theatre fan….saw all the big shows (cats/jersey boys/phantom/
    le mis etc.) but having grown up with 2 cheerleaders in hghg school and college and
    having atteneded more cheerleading clinics and competitions with my
    girlfriends daughter I can tell you its quite an event.
    tell your brother…Harley said ‘stfu’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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