Class is in session and you’re going to be fully immersed in Rock & Roll history and theory so you too can stick to the man!
School of Rock comes to us from its blow-out Broadway performance with a cast of talent kids who all play their instruments live – this point is more impressive than it sounds when you see them live on stage. There were many moments where you’d want to jump up and start an ovation. The musical is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s first show to launch on Broadway since 1971 and proved and instant success. This takes Webber into a new era of Musicals moving beyond the classical compositions of Phantom or Joseph. The songs are a combination from the movie as well as some new compositions that flow smoothly. Tony nominee Glenn Slater wrote the lyrics, with the book coming from Downtown Abbey writer and Oscar winner Julian Fellowes.
The movie that stared Jack Black is now celebrating 15 years with its messaging of never letting the music die still resonating today, if not stronger with all the new pressures. Sometimes, you just need to rock out. Our teacher and emotional guide is Guitarist Dewey Finn (Merritt David Janes) a cast-away from his band No Vacancy, just prior to the Battle of the Bands. Out of work and crashing on his substitute teacher friend’s, Ned Schneebly (Layne Roate), couch, a case of mistaken identity gives Dewey a chance to redeem himself, enter the Battle of the Bands and provide an outlet for the smothered children of Horace Green prep school. From here the musical does a good job to move through the key moments without feeling rushed – it is a 2hour performance. There are some additional fun elements I won’t give away but will keep you engaged.
Filled with emotional lows and highs, the performance reaches all ages. Adults, parents especially, will connect with the underlying story for childhood pressures and trying to connect with your kids. Children will like the music and appreciate the challenges adults have to balance their lives while trying to keep their dreams alive. And if you fall in-between these two groups, you’ll be exposed to everything all at once.
The voices of the cast were on point with ranges that pushed the envelope and provided some extraordinary moments. Again, the talents of the children were really incredible and worked in harmony with the adult performers. My only regret is that there wasn’t a closing dance party in the seats with the “School Of Rock” performing some rock classics.