Tuesday November 21st 2017

“School of Rock”

Highly Recommended ***** Tonight, for the second night in a row, I went to see a musical that was based on a film. Those of  you who are regulars know that I am not crazy about conversion, either way, but adding music to a film that was about music makes far more sense. “School of Rock – the Musical” is based on the Jack Black film of 2003, and yes, the music from the film is used, but there is new music, and not just any music, but music by Andrew Lloyd Webber (adding to his original score- who could ask for anything more?). The film was written by Mike White and has developed a cult following by young audiences, which would explain the number of 10-14 years olds in tonight’s opening at the Cadillac Palace Theatre. The stage version has a book by Julian Fellowes and lyrics by Glenn Slater, and from what others told me follows the story pretty much from start to finish.

FYI- the play starts off with our hero Dewey (Rob Colletti is absolutely amazing!) being a Rock Star wannabe, and failing miserably. His group fires him and he goes back to the apartment of his old buddy, Ned ( Matt Bittner) and his girlfriend , Patty (Emily Borromeo) to hide from his failure. Dewey has been sponging off his friend for years and has failed to pay his rent. When a call comes for Ned to do some substitute teaching work at an uppity private school, Horace Green Academy, Dewey accepts the challenge and takes on his friend’s identity to earn some money. He is certainly everything that the school would never hire, but they are desperate and Ned’s credentials are pretty solid, so when the  principal, Stephanie ( the dynamic and very sexy Lexie Dorsett Sharp) takes him to his class, the instructions are very clear- follow the rules, or else!

Dewey, not being anything but a rock music buff cannot keep up with his students, who as it turns out, are smarter than him. His communication skills are nonexistant and these are all straight-A students. These kids, by the way, are the most energetic and talented I have seen assembled on one stage in a long time. Each and every one is a character that represents kids who are smart but unhappy with the lives they lead. Their parents (played by the ensemble member adults who also play a myriad of other roles, including their teachers) are all quite versatile: Tim Shea, Deidre Lang, Sinclair Mitchell, Jameson Moss, Patrick Clanton, Liam Fennecken, Elysia Jordan, Melanie Evans ,  John Campione, Christopher DeAngelis, Kara Haller  and  Hernando Umana. If I missed anyone, I apologize.

While they are all highly energetic, it is the kids that make this show a brilliant addition to the Broadway In Chicago season. Each and everyone is brilliant and they all play their own musical instruments. Yes, Dewey discovers that his brilliant class has musical talent and decides to make them a rock band that he will enter into the “Battle of The Bands” so he can beat his former band and show them that they made a huge error! The kids are: Ava Briglia, Olivia Bucknor, Bella Fraker, Chloe Anne Garcia,  Gianna Harris, Alex Louis, Theo Mitchell-Penner, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, John Michale Pitera, Tommy Ragen, Phoenix Schuman, Theodora Silverman, Gabriella Uhl and Aiden Niklas Villa. These kids are amazing! “Stick It To The Man!” and “School Of Rock” are the two songs that truly make a lasting impression ( I heard people humming and singing these as we left the Palace Theatre) and in the second act, a song titled “If Only You Would Listen” that is sung by 6 of the students and Dewey could easily bring a tear to your eye. These kids were nerdy and weird until Dewey and music entered their lives. They had very limited relationships with their families and many had no social skills at all. Dewey and the music brought the beast and the best in each and every one bringing us to a very happy ending! I loved it, and I plan on going back and bringing the grandkids ( who will love every second, I am sure)!

This is a touring company and is of the Broadway quality for sure. “School of Rock-the Musical” is only here thru November 19th, so you need to get your tickets ASAP- performances are as follows:

Tuesdays  7:30 p.m.

Wednesdays  2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Thursdays  7:30 p.m.

Fridays  7:30 p.m.

Saturdays  2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Sundays  2 p.m. (special evening performance on November 5th )

The Cadillac Palace Theatre is located at 151 West Randolph Street

Tickets range from $27- $98 and to be honest, worth every penny. You can purchase tickets at any of the Broadway In Chicago box offices, by calling the Broadway In Chicago Ticketline at 1-800-775-2000 or online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com

To follow the show and inform your friends of where they can catch it, visit www.ustour.SchoolOfRockTheMusical.com

To see what others are saying, visit , go to Review Round-Up and click at “School of Rock-The Musical”

 

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