Based on the movie by Mike White
Book by Julian Fellowes
Lyrics by Glenn Slater
New music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
Directed by Laurence Connor
Cast: Alex Brightman, Sierra Boggess, Spencer Moses, Mamie Parris, Paul Luke Bonenfant, Steven Booth, Emily Cramer, Ava Della Pietra, Evie Dolan, Will Blum, Natalie Charle Ellis, Carly Gendell, Alan H. Green, John Arthur Greene, Gabby Gutierrez, Gianna Harris, Michael Hartney, John Hemphill, Merritt David Janes, Ethan Khusidman, Gavin Kim, Jason Kisare, Lulu Lloyd, Diego Lucano, Jaygee Macapugay, Bobbi Mackenzie, Raghav Mehrotra, Brandon Niederauer, Cassie Okenka, Patrick O’Neill, Luca Padovan, Sofia Roma Rubino, Isabella Russo, Jersey Sullivan, Jesse Swimm, Shahadi Wright Joseph
First Performance November 9, 2015
Opening December 6, 2015
Submit a review for School of Rock
School of Rock is hitting the Broadway stage! This irresistibly fun musical follows Dewey, a down-on-his-luck wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. Completely disinterested in reading, writing and arithmetic, Dewey decides to create his own curriculum, turning his class into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mic-dropping rock band.
Featuring the original songs from the film, with additional music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, a book by Julian Fellowes, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and direction by Laurence Connor, this hotly anticipated new musical is about learning what it means to truly rock. See it once, and you’ll be a groupie for life!
Ben Brantley – New York Times
Andrew Lloyd Webber has entered his second childhood, and it turns out to be a good career move. For his latest offering, “School of Rock the Musical,” which opened with a deafening electric twang at the Winter Garden Theater on Sunday night, this lordly British composer has been hanging out with fifth graders. Youth, it would seem, is rejuvenating.
Marilyn Stasio – Variety
Andrew Lloyd Webber unleashed his inner child to write the period rock for “School of Rock,” an exuberant feel-good musical based on the beloved 2003 movie starring Jack Black as a wannabe rock musician who puts together a kick-ass band composed of school children. While paying his respects to that manic role model, Alex Brightman maintains his own appealing brand of scruffy charm as Dewey Finn, amiably ceding the spotlight to a cast of super-talented kids who rock out on the kind of songs you always wished had been in the movie.
Chris Jones – Chicago Tribune
But for his much-anticipated return to Broadway, and the very theater where his ubiquitous kitties pawed and warbled their way through a different era, the ever-savvy Andrew Lloyd Webber has kept himself and his ditties more in the background. He has pushed to the fore a group of rockin’-out U.S. youngsters so capable, charming, vulnerable and aspirational, their open hearts surely will fell any and all resistance.
Robert Hofler – The Wrap
Other actors and another director might have made this “School” better. But then there’s the material itself. “School of Rock” is no movie classic, but worth watching because of Black. What the musical most needs is a complete overhaul for the stage; instead it gets Julian Fellowes‘ faithful-to-a-fault adaptation.
Charles McNulty – Los Angeles Times
Between the cacophonous score and over-obvious book, I was ready to pronounce “School of Rock” a miserable failure before the first act was even halfway through, but something happens once Dewey decides to turn his classroom into an incubator for the next Mick Jagger and Janis Joplin. The connection between Brightman and the young cast begins to glisten, and I found myself smiling delightedly during the jaunty “You’re in the Band” number, in which Dewey infuses his 10-year-old students with the belief that they can strut and growl and vent their spleens to electric guitar accompaniment.
Alexis Soloski – The Guardian
Lloyd Webber knows how to do this. Or he used to. Jesus Christ Superstar, for all its 70s noodling, remains a quintessential rock musical. Here any hard electric edges have been sanded away. Slater’s lyrics are serviceable as is Fellowes’s book, though it would be helped by more of his cutting wit. School of Rock lacks for some of the mayhem of Matilda, the dash of Spring Awakening, the pathos of Billy Elliot.
Linda Winer – Newsday
The production, directed by Laurence Connor (the current “Les Miserables”), is as slick and sure of itself as if it had been running at the Winter Garden Theatre since Lloyd Webber’s “Cats” closed 15 years ago. Three of the songs, including the title number and Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen,” come from the movie, though you wouldn’t know Lloyd Webber didn’t write them all unless you read the very small print in the back of the program. Also, oddly enough, the school principal (a game Sierra Boggess) gets valiantly through the ultra-daunting “Queen of the Night” aria from Mozart’s “Magic Flute.”
Jesse Oxfeld – Entertainment Weekly
And yet, without a doubt and by a long shot, the best things on the stage of the Winter Garden Theatre are the dozen or so unknown kids who steal the show, many of them making their Broadway debuts. They bring to what might otherwise be a dutiful screen-to-stage retread an inspiring jolt of energy, joy, whimsy, and — do the kids still say this? — mad skillz.
David Rooney – The Hollywood Reporter
In terms of screen-to-stage remakes, this is neither the most imaginative nor the most pedestrian of them, falling somewhere in the respectable midrange. But any nitpicking about the craft of book writer Julian Fellowes (a long way from Downton Abbey), composer-producer Andrew Lloyd Webber (back in the same Broadway theater where his Cats purred for 18 years) and lyricist Glenn Slater has to be allayed by the acknowledgment that they celebrate the strengths of the source material.