‘Bring It On!’ The Musical premiered at the ALLIANCE THEATRE, Atlanta, Georgia in January 2011. The cast included Amanda LaVergne as Campbell, Adrienne Warren as Danielle, Nick Blaemire as Randall and "award-winning competitive cheerleaders from across the country". In November 2011, a national tour of the musical started at the Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, through December 2011. The touring stage production began previews on Broadway in July 2012 at the St. James Theatre, before opening for a limited engagement on August 1, 2012 to December 30, 2012.
The project started early on in 2011 when the 1'st National Tour began-originally started out as a mini music video, as months went on the project became a short film in Winter 2012. For two long years Director and Producer/Orchestrator (Christopher D. Robinson) worked diligently to bring this mind blowing musical film to the fans along with outstanding Assistant Director/Vocal Director (Daniel Padillo) working by his side who also co-starred as ‘Twig’ in the project.
On the night of May 21, 2014 the Tribute cast and crew received some very unfortunate news from Universal NBC which was also the week of their First live Vocal performance that was just a few days away.
On the way home from rehearsalRobinson checked his e-mail and noticed a message from NBC with the subject stating “Bring It On: A Tribute to Broadway-Cease and Desist-Urgent”. This had become a very sad night for Robinson as he later that night related this e-mail to his Assistant Director Padillo. A Cast and Crew meeting had already been scheduled a few days before the live performance, originally for going over film scheduling and vocal recording sessions etc, but the depressing news from NBC was also added to the meeting discussions. Robinson respected his cast 110% and definitely felt the need to inform them of the letter as well. In most cases some Directors can be selfish and keep this kind of information from their cast and go on with the project revealing the secret bad news when the production is all complete but in this case Robinson did the honest deed.
Litigation Counsel for Universal Pictures pointed out that the project or “production” infringed the copyright of Universal’s Pictures and Musical which included six musical numbers and arrangements from the Broadway show with no changes including a Original New song/arrangement written by Robinson titled “Truman vs. Jackson”. The Tribute artwork/logo was also pointed out to be an infringement of Universal’s Intellectual property and is very similar to the Third Bring It On film (“All or Nothing”). The emblem was purposely recreated by Robinson to look similar to the 3’rd film due to the fact that the Musical Stage adaptation’s storyline is very close to the 3’rd film with some of the element’s and situations that are presented-adding that the overall tribute artwork/ website layout designed by Robinson was too professional looking as NBC did not want the Fan Made artwork to confuse audiences into thinking that this was something in relation to Universal, as this serves as a great compliment to Robinson. NBC also added“Although it states tribute, it does not sufficiently distinguish itself from Universal’s properties.”
Robinson had a personal phone conversation with the NBC representative. He stated,“The representative was very nice and somewhat understanding but not fully throughout the conversation. It seemed as though the research on our project was not thoroughly performed well by them.”It was then revealed that the rep’s “Client” was the individual who reported the Tribute project and wanted it to come to be shut down completely. The Original writers of ‘Bring It On’ The Musical were very excited for the Tribute project but during this time the show had already been sold to MTI (Music Theatre International), which resulted in none of them having any way of really stepping in. On the bright side the “Client” did agree to allow the Tribute cast to continue with the Live performance set for May 24, 2014 and they went out with a bang wowing the audience with their amazing vocal talent. Robinson took on the role of ‘Cameron’ due to the freshly new actor that came on board leaving shortly after hearing of the unfortunate news of the Cease and Desist during the production meeting.
Before contacting NBC, Robinson first spoke to one of the representatives of MTI about seeing if rights could be obtained to sill go forth with the project as this was a idea from one of the cast members. The representative went on to say that there are no film rights for ‘Bring It On’ the musical. One of the cast members also thought up of doing a parody version of the musical meaning: writing new songs similar to the show, new characters, slightly different storyline etc which also would have meant more scheduling for rehearsals and time needed for writing the new material in which time was not on the cast and crew’s side as some cast members were officially moving away for school or starting new jobs soon. The cast member then found an Adult Film parody of ‘Bring It On’ that was released July 9, 2011 by ‘Smash Pictures’. Although this film has nothing to do with any of the earlier Bring It On films or the Musical. Their logo as well was right on point being very similar to the Fifth Film (“Fight to the Finish”). The adult film had been making profits while the Tribute project was a non-profit fan made project representing Universal’s franchise in a positive way while ‘Smash Pictures’ misrepresents the franchise in a negative way. It’s quite a puzzling scenario. All of this madness did not come to be much of a surprise to Robinson as ‘Bring it On’ the musical was also targeted years ago during it’s planning for the 2011 Regional Premiere in Atlanta (Read Full Article on the Legal Dispute: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/16/entertainment/la-et-bring-it-on-flap-20110916 )
After the successful day of the Live performance Robinson and Padillo were worried that this was probably the last time the cast will be together but everyone decided to stay and finish what they had planned on continuing filming which was going to be the original arrangement “Truman vs. Jackson” along with interviews and Cover Recordings of some musical numbers. As time went by most of the Tribute cast began to loose their enthusiasm for the project especially after the dreadful news knowing that the movie that was suppose to happen wasn’t going to happen nor be able to be shared with the public.
As a reflection of the project’s timeline:
There were a lot of happy and not so happy moments with the Tribute project and great friends were made along the way along with the Original Broadway and Touring Cast/Writers. On April 2’nd, 2014, some of the Tribute cast took a 2 hour road trip to Sarasota, FL (Van Wezel Performing Arts Center) to see the 2’nd National Touring Production of Bring it On and met/chat with the cast after the show at the banquet.
The “Bring It On: A Tribute to Broadway” Film Project has Officially come to a close but you can get a listen of their outstanding Live Vocal Performance of the ever popular “It’s All Happening” here: https://soundcloud.com/chris-robinson-30/bring-it-on-tribute-cast-its