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BWW Review: Hale Centre Theatre's SCHOOL OF ROCK is Electrifying

SCHOOL OF ROCK plays through May 28, 2022.

BWW Review: Hale Centre Theatre's SCHOOL OF ROCK is Electrifying

SCHOOL OF ROCK on Hale Centre Theatre's Centre Stage in Sandy is an electrifying display of bravado, heart, musical prowess and slick spectacle.

SCHOOL OF ROCK (book by Julian Fellowes, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater) is based on the 2003 film starring Jack Black and comes from the unlikely team of the creators of DOWNTON ABBEY, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, and THE LITTLE MERMAID. When slacker Dewey Finn is kicked out of the rock band he founded, he is left without a group to take to the local Battle of the Bands competition. When he realizes that the classroom of preparatory school students he is substitute teaching is full of talented musicians, he hatches a plan to form them into a new band.

The live music is rousingly performed by an onstage band and the talented actors themselves. SCHOOL OF ROCK is an extremely difficult show to perform on all levels, and Hale Centre Theatre has managed to find a local cast that's able to pull it off, completely winning over the audience.

These include adults such as Bryan Hague as Dewey (double cast with James Densley), Rachel Ryan Nicholes as Rosalie (double cast with Bailee Morris), Will Ingram as Ned (double cast with Jordan Nichole), and Riley Squire as Patty (double cast with Mckenzie Belnap), as well as kids such as Cameron Dietlein as Zack (double cast with Steele Stark), Miles Jeppson as Lawrence (double cast with Kenny Matthews), Katherine Clark as Summer (double cast with Emme Chaffin), and Nat Paxman as Freddy (double cast with Noah Ward). Not to mention a slew of other performers of all ages who leave everything on the stage.

The dazzling lighting and projection design by Jaron Hermansen are eye-popping with shapes, colors, and placement that amplify the show in all the best ways. "If Only You Would Listen" is a high point, enhancing the heartfelt staging and performances.

The bold set by Kacey Udey is creative and well thought out, with a good mix of realism and abstract design. The costumes by Peggy Willis and hair/makeup by Trisha Ison are fun and character-driven.

Director David Paul Smith has guided and mentored the production team and cast to really shine.

SCHOOL OF ROCK plays through May 28, 2022. For tickets, call the box office at 801-984-9000 or visit

Photo Credit: Hale Centre Theatre.

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