BWW Review: SCHOOL OF ROCK Heats Things Up for Broadway Across America
It was freezing outside, but School of Rock was heating up Clowes Memorial Hall last night. The Broadway Across America production is based on the 2003 movie of the same name. The musical stays close to that version, but comes alive in a different way. The plot focuses on Dewey, who is a bit of an immature loser. He thinks his band will make it big any day now, but doesn't really have a backup plan. When he finds himself substitute teaching a group of precocious kids he's surprised to find a new passion. The show doesn't really get moving until he meets the kids and discovers they love music as well.
Merritt David Janes takes on the role of Dewey, originally played by Jack Black. He actually does a better job in the scenes where he's not mimicking Black's mannerisms. His heartfelt moments are frequent, but they work well. Lexie Dorsett Sharp is Rosalie, the strict principal of Horace Green prep school. Her big number, "Where Did the Rock Go?", is a blast and gives the audience a chance to connect with her.
The true star of the show isn't the lead or the sets or even the music. The star is the amazingly talented cast of kids. The sing, they dance, and most incredibly, they can shred a guitar or dominate the drums. The energy they bring to the show is infectious. Songs like "If Only You Would Listen" balances heart and vocals, showcasing their talent.
Though there's a big group of kids, the musical does a great one giving them distinct personalities. Tomika is shy, Katie is a bass player with attitude, Lawrence is a dork who finds his cool, etc. The trickiest part of the show is determining the target audience. Even though it stars a slew of kids, there is some adult language and themes. Regardless, it provides a pop of fun in the midst of a dreary winter week.
Don't Miss the Show
The show runs until Sunday, Feb. 3 at the Old National Centre (Murat Theatre) so hurry to get tickets. Tickets can be purchased at Clowes Memorial Hall, The Murat Theatre, by calling (800)-982-2787 or online here. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Photos courtesy of Broadway Across America