School of Rock BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Matthew Murphy
  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • VARIETY

  • DEADLINE

  • HR

Opening Night:
December 6, 2015
Closing:
Open Ended

Theater: Winter Garden Theatre / 1634 Broadway, New York, NY,

Synopsis: 

Based on the film of the same name, "School of Rock—The Musical" tells the story of wannabe rock star Dewey Finn, who poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. When he discovers his students’ musical talents, he enlists his fifth-graders to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF School of Rock

    ‘School of Rock’ Teaches the ABCs of Power Chords

    Ben Brantley

    December 6, 2015: 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. Adapted from the popular 2003 Richard Linklater movie, “School of Rock” is unlikely to restore Mr. Lloyd Webber to the throne from which he ruled Broadway four decades ago, when he led the conquering forces of the British poperetta with works like “Evita” and the unkillable “Phantom of the Opera.” But this show, starring a bouncing Super Ball of energy named Alex Brightman, is his friskiest in decades. O.K., so frisky is perhaps not a word you want to see anywhere near Mr. Lloyd Webber’s name, especially if you’re among those who were allergic to the felines who purred T. S. Eliot verses to swoony tunes in “Cats,” which occupied the Winter Garden for nearly 18 years. But unlike that megahit, “School of Rock” doesn’t strain to mix whimsy with grandeur.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF School of Rock

    School of Rock Theater review

    David Cote

    December 6, 2015: Ever see the pitch-perfect 2003 Jack Black comedy "School of Rock"? Then you know what to expect from the musical version: fake substitute teacher Dewey Finn frenetically inspiring his charges to release their inner Jimi Hendrix; uptight preppy tweens learning classic riffs; and the band’s pivotal, make-or-break gig, with their overbearing parents watching in horror. We expect cute kids in uniform, a spastic Dewey and face-melting riffs—along with heart-tugging family stuff. It worked for the movie, and wow, does it work on Broadway, a double jolt of adrenaline and sugar to inspire the most helicoptered of tots to play hooky and go shred an ax. For those about to love "School of Rock": We salute you.

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  • VARIETY REVIEW OF School of Rock

    School of Rock, The Musical

    Marilyn Stasio

    December 6, 2015: 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. The creative team for this endeavor are clearly child-friendly. Having written songs for alley cats and toy trains, Webber has the ideal sensibility to relate to children whose freakish talents might make them seem a little bit … peculiar, in a world of average Joes. Julian Fellowes may be best known for writing “Downton Abbey” and “Gosford Park,” but he’s also penned kiddie fare like “Mary Poppins” and “Little Lord Fauntleroy.” Lyricist Glenn Slater is a Disney man from ‘way back. And helmer Laurence Connor, who has directed a number of shows by Webber, can probably read the man’s antic-child mind by now.

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  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF School of Rock

    In Exuberantly Goopy ‘School of Rock’, Andrew Lloyd Webber & Julian Fellowes Get Cute As Cats

    Jeremy Gerard

    December 6, 2015: Andrew Lloyd Webber has returned to the magnificent Winter Garden Theatre, for nearly 18 years (1992-2000) home to his now-and-forever musical "Cats." "School of Rock" won’t be leaving any time soon, of that I’m pretty certain. Exuberantly loud, high-spirited and upbeat, it’s a feel-good show for Boomers and, god-help-us, our grandchildren. While none of the songs (with lyrics by Glenn Slater) is equal to Lord Lloyd Webber’s best (“Memory,” from Cats, say, or “As If We Never Said Goodbye,” from Sunset Boulevard), they’re more than good enough and several add depth to the admittedly shallow pool that was Richard Linklater’s 2003 Paramount film starring Jack Black. For that, credit also must go to the genius of "Downton Abbey," Julian Fellowes, who wrote the book for the show.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF School of Rock

    School of Rock Review

    David Rooney

    December 6, 2015: It's funny, but you don't realize just how badly you needed to see a 12-year-old boy powering through a face-melting guitar solo, or his pint-size female counterpart on bass, pouting like the coolest of rocker chicks, until you witness them onstage in the disarming musical adaptation of "School of Rock." Led by the hilarious Alex Brightman in a star-making performance that genuflects to Jack Black in the movie while putting his own anarchic stamp on the role of Dewey Finn, the show knows full well that its prime asset is the cast of ridiculously talented kids, ranging in age from nine to 13. They supply a joyous blast of defiant analog vitality in a manufactured digital world. 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.

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