The musical recently celebrated six successful months on Broadway, and is based on the hit movie of the same name starring Jack Black.
So what happens when a wannabe rockstar (Alex Brightman as Dewey Finn)—who poses as a substitute teacher at a prep school—meets a bunch of musically inclined yet rigidly studious kids? They rehearse to compete in the Battle of the Bands, of course.
Before the curtain rises, a voice announces throughout the theater that the music, and the kids playing the music is in fact, real. The show, which is directed by Laurence Connor, written by Julian Fellowes and features music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Glenn Slater, is fun for all ages.
It is apparent that Brightman was inspired by Black, but brings the character to life in his own unique way, and his chemistry with the kids is spot on, being both endearing and relatable. As for the kids, these little professionals could be Juilliard’s future students. It is not easy to practice an instrument, memorize lines, rehearse and study for school at such a young age, yet these kids are pros. Sierra Boggess, who plays administrator Rosalie Mullins, has an operatic voice and is quite comical.
The show also highlights the importance of the presence of music and art in school, especially in a time where those subjects are the first to get cut from the budget.
Songs like “You’re in the Band,” “Stick it to the Man” and “If Only You Would Listen” connect with both children and adults in so many ways. This insanely funny, laugh out loud show will make you want to jump on stage and rock out with the cast.
It’s always heart-warming when students and teachers switch roles. Dewey teaches the kids about the importance of having fun and how music can be an escape, while the kids teach Dewey that he is worth so much more than he gives himself credit for.
It’s a message for kids and parents that there is a way to find a healthy balance between fun and studying.
To purchase tickets, visit www.schoolofrockthemusical.com.