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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

SCHOOL OF ROCK - THE MUSICAL: The Coolest Class On Broadway

Let me just get this out the way: I have never seen the 2003 film, School of Rock. I know, I know, for years everyone has been telling me to watch it because of my love of rock and roll, but my annoyance toward Jack Black just kept steering me away. So, I decided to see the Broadway show, School of Rock-The Musical instead. And my, is it great.

First of all, can I just say that my new favorite thing is watching overworked, misunderstood and awkward kids play the electric guitar while standing on top of a school desk singing at the top of their lungs "Stick it to the Man!"? OMG, I never felt so much joy and confusion (because "the man" I know of kinda looks like their white, beer-bellied substitute teacher, Dewey played by Alex Brightman. But, we don't have to talk about that). Check it:

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the movie, it follows a reject rock and roller (originally played by Jack Black) who, recently ousted from his own band, decides to pose as his buddy and former bandmate, Ned Schneebly (Mike White), to become a substitute teacher at a private school for some extra money. With his lack of any professional experience own unorthodox style of teaching, he turns his newfound minions into a makeshift rock band for a chance at redemption--and learns a little something about each student along the way.

As it turns out, all these kids needed was a little rock and roll in their hearts and an anthem to call their own to turn into bite-size rebels. Each of the young actors has a ton of energy and can rock out like the best of them, even while wearing their stuffy school uniforms. Under Laurence Connor's direction and with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, the wonderfully diverse cast (including black, white, and Asian children) confidently command the stage with Brightman, who also does a fantastic job getting the audience on their feet with his fist-pumping combination of comedy and musical showmanship.

School of Rock-The Musical highlights something that too many take for granted--the importance of music education. Not only is it a way for kids to express themselves, but it gives them something to be proud of. I say rock on. 

Here's another kickass musical number from the show, from earlier in the story when Dewey realizes that he's in the presence of budding musicians and decides to curate them for a new band:

School of Rock-The Musical is currently running on Broadway. 


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