BWW Review: Students Steal the Show in School of Rock At DCPA
Over time, we have come to a point where the musical theater genre is as identifiable as any other genre. In today's age, we have come full circle in that the line between musical theater and other genres is thinner than ever. Lin Manuel's Hamilton is a perfect example of the next generation of musical theater, as is DCPA's latest touring production, School of Rock
Based on the Paramount movie written by Mike White, School of Rock follows the story of a down-on-his-luck rock musician who tends not to make the greatest decisions to complement. As he springs on the opportunity to make some cash, he finds himself teaching elementary school to, unbeknownst to him, some of the most talented musicians. As he creates a rock band out of the students, he must also work to keep everything seeming as it should at the prestigious Horace Green.
The show itself has what I am calling a "cold open." It just sort of starts with no real introduction or set up for what comes next. Of course, more details are given as we move from scene to scene, but I wasn't a fan of how long it took to settle in to the performance. Production components of the show, including scenic and costume design by Anna Louis, lighting design by Natasha Katz, and music direction by Martyn Axe were all top notch and are what we have come to expect of professional level art.
In the leading role of Dewey, Rob Colletti does a fine job of portraying the rather tumultuous character. I always love when off-putting characters at the top of the show find a way to make you love them by curtain call. As the no nonsense principal, Rosalie, Lexie Dorsett Sharp is comfortable and relaxed. Her comedic timing, and soulful-rock voice, were a perfect fit.
The most exciting performances of the night however, must be given to the children of the cast. These are some of the most talented kids I have ever seen. With many of them playing instruments live and in living color, it made for an incredible experience. Stand out performances include real life 6th grader Vincent Molden in the role of Zack (Guitar), Iara Nemirovsky as Summer (Band Manager), Theodora Silverman (Bass), Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as Freddy (Drums), and Theo Mitchell-Penner as Lawrence (Piano).
School of Rock is sure to leave you wanting an encore, just like any other rock concert. Be sure not to miss the hottest ticket in town at DCPA! School of Rock plays at The Buell Theatre May 29, 2018 - June 10, 2018. For tickets, call the DCPA box office at 800-641-1222 or visit www.denvercenter.org.
Photo courtesy of Matthew Murphy