Today's Video Link
For the last few years, my ability to travel — or even plan things locally — was diminished by my need to be available to an ailing mother and also a lot of killer deadlines. I've not made it to an awful lot of events I would have liked to attend and shows I would have liked to have seen, including two musicals by an actor-songwriter named Lin-Manuel Miranda. I didn't see his Tony award-winning musical In the Heights when it played Los Angeles, I missed his follow-up — Bring It On: The Musical — when it played L.A. and I've now missed it in New York since it closes tonight. I've missed many others but those two I wanted to see because I've become a distant fan of this man.
I became aware of him when he was responsible for the greatest wedding party video ever and if that's all he'd ever made, fine. I'd still think highly of him. But he's gone on to write and/or perform a lot of things that…well, I guess I should just say I've liked what I've seen and hope I'll see more.
Several folks told me Bring It On: The Musical was terrific and I hope/trust it'll come this way again. I have a special interest in it because a few years ago, a very real producer of very real shows asked me to write the book for a musical about the world of competitive cheerleading. Oddly enough, in another of the endless string of coincidences that I call my life, the call came to me when I was a guest at a Mid-Ohio Con in Columbus, Ohio — and Mid-Ohio Con was sharing the convention center back there with a cheerleading competition. As I sat in the lobby there getting the offer on my cellphone, I was literally surrounded by teenagers rehearsing what the show would be about.
So I snuck into their hall to do a little research and spent some time thinking about stories and themes and such. I also wound up lunching at a food court there with three 14-year-old girls in cheerleader outfits, asking them questions about their world and getting some odd looks from Mid-Ohio Con attendees passing by.
Soon after, the producer heard about Bring It On: The Musical and called to say, "We're too late." Which we were…so that was that.
(By the way: You'd be amazed how often this has happened to me…and I'm not talking about offers from folks who are kidding themselves to believe they can get a show produced on Broadway. I'm talking about producers who've either actually done it or done similar, successful things. I've had about a dozen of these proposed…and then after a few meetings or sometimes even before any, they fall apart for reasons that have nothing to do with me, often problems with the rights to underlying material. Fortunately, I have long since learned not to count on things until they're a lot farther along than any of these ever were so I've avoided disappointment. In fact, these days when I get offered something of the sort, my attitude is kind of like, "Great! I can't wait to see why this one won't happen!")
Anyway, that's one reason I'm curious to see Bring It On: The Musical. Two more are the general excellence of Mr. Miranda's work and clips like this one. This is from this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which means it's the cast shivering in the cold and lip-syncing just for the TV cameras, not the parade-goers, but I still like it. See if you do, too…