BWW Review: SCHOOL OF ROCK Brings Down The House at the Schuster Center

BWW Review: SCHOOL OF ROCK Brings Down The House at the Schuster Center

If you think you have seen musicals with talented kids in them before, you have not seen anything until you see the current National Tour of SCHOOL OF ROCK playing this week at the Schuster Center as the opener of the Victoria Theatre Association 2018-19 Premier Health Broadway Series.

SCHOOL OF ROCK began as a film in 2003 starring Jack Black. The musical grew out of that with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater and book by Julian Fellowes. While the plot of the whole thing is pretty predictable, the music is enjoyable and this group of kids really knows how to rock it. Even though you know the ride won't last forever, Dewey Finn and his band of misfit kids make you wish it did.

These kids are truly amazing. I was impressed by all of them especially Sami Bray (Summer) and Grier Burke (Tomika) along with the instrumentalists. Wow. Mystic Inscho (Zack) on guitar, Theo-Mitchell Penner (Lawrence) on keyboard, Cameron Trueblood (Freddy) on drums and most notably, Leanne Parks (Katie) the tiny dynamo on bass were phenomenal. It is worth seeing the show again just to see those performances. My hat is off to all of the young performers. Their group number, If Only You Would Listen was as beautiful as their Stick it to the Man was rocking.

Not to leave out the adults, it was nice to see Layne Roate (Ned) on his first national tour after several performances in recent years with Dayton's own Dare to Defy productions, including AMERICAN IDIOT and DOGFIGHT. Lexie Dorsett Sharp (Rosalie) showed off her powerful voice on Where Did the Rock Go?.

Merritt David Janes played an excellent Dewey, wannabe rock star and perpetual loser, as he not only learned more about himself but became the only adult to hear the true voices of the children. His character growth from beginning to end was fun to watch.

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 937-228-3630, or at the Victoria Theatre Association box office in the lobby of the Schuster Center. SCHOOL OF ROCK is such a great way to kick off the 2018-2019 Premier Health Broadway Series. Only six performances remain so be sure to see one of them.

Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy

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From This Author Jenni Cypher

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