School of Rock the Musical - A Rockin' Great Time!

This was a grandma-granddaughter weekend, and it was filled with an anime convention (she loved – I knew nothing about it), and this, the ultimate Broadway event – School of Rock.

The 2003 Jack Black comedy has not only come to life at the Winter Garden Theater, but it’s larger than life in every possible way.  YOU GO, Andrew Lloyd Weber giving us a slam-dunk production that is totally flawless.  In fact, this Broadway production of School of Rock, not only gives us great music, but a story that would touch every families’ heart.  Parents and children alike will identify with at least one of these characters.  The theater had more booster seats than in a Muppets movie.  Kids, adults, grandchildren and grandparents of all ages come to see this phenomenal production.

Alex Brightman and the kid band from School of Rock - The Musical Photo by Matthew Murphy

Enter Dewey Finn, (Alex Brightman), an out-of-work, down in the dumps, ex-rock band singer, with more energy than one person should be allowed to have.   He is freeloading with his ex-bandmate Ned (Spencer Moses), and Ned’s drill –sergeant- of- a- fiancée, Patty (Mamie Parris).  Patty has somehow managed to strip Ned of all his rock star swag until he’s become nothing more than a nerdy pushover. He now is a teacher with a credible resume.  On behalf of my granddaughter, Jillian, her favorite character is Ned because she related to him as fellow nerd.  Yet, my 15-year old ‘nerd’ granddaughter has won art awards at school, is a varsity tennis player, a straight A student, and, yes, one last and wonderful thing, she recently played her oboe in the New York Youth Orchestra at Lincoln Center.  If she calls herself a nerd, I’m surely proud of her!

Alex Brightman and the adult ensemble of School of Rock - The Musical Photo by Matthew Murphy

I could say I’d ruin the plot, but most people I talk with either have seen the movie, the show or are as familiar with the story as they were with Ferris Beuller’s Day Off.  Even I saw that.

Dewey is the antithesis of any teacher is history.  Well, to be honest, he is a genius in rock history.  And there the story goes.  Throw out math, English, social studies and get those kids instruments. 

Sierra Bogges and the kids ensemble of School of Rock - The Musical Photo by Matthew Murphy

These kids are multi-talented and play all the instruments live at every show, giving the pit orchestra a run for their money.  Each 5th grade child is gifted in each role they play.  The kids deserve every standing ovation they received.  You are already superstars!

How does Finn manage to get the kids involved in the Battle of the Bands and sneak them out of school to do so?  How does a closeted proper Horace Green teacher, who loves Stevie Nicks break out of her ‘shell’? Finally, what happens when the parents who pay $50,000 a year find out their kids are not becoming what the parents dreamed they would become but what they were meant to become?

Evie Dolan, Alex Brightman, and Brandon Niederauer in School of Rock - The Musical Photo by Matthew Murphy

Finn is on stage every minute of this production, and he’s always either dancing, singing or jumping, the

entire time.  He sweats, he doesn’t take a breath and he is FABULOUS!!!    Every school needs a Dewey Finn and many parents can learn from Dewey.  Thank Goodness Dewey answered the phone.

Hats off to Andrew Lloyd Weber, the genius of Broadway – may he forever keep giving us the thrill of the theater.  Alex Brightman, you are one-of-a-kind.  I don’t know how many bottles of water you drink to do your part, but you are hard to beat.


Alex Brightman and the kids of School of Rock - The Musical Photo by Matthew Murphy


 Spencer Moses, we dig your ‘transformation’ back to who you really wanted to be when you grew up. 

Kuddos to Anna Louizos who created brilliant scenes and costumes for everyone.  Natasha Katz, ‘you go’ with the fabulous lighting especially during every rock scene.   To Darren Ledbetter and MickPotter and the music crew, the music is beautiful and we could understand every word.  JoAnn M.Hunter, the choreography was spectacular.  Here’s to a great book by Julian Fellowes.   Glenn Slater you certainly can ‘write those words.’  Mr. Lloyd Weber, we bow to your contribution to education and entertainment throughout the universe.


Alex Brightman, Dante Melucci, and Evie Dolan in School of Rock - The Musical Photo by Matthew Murphy


It’s not a matter of ‘if’ you are taking the family to see School of Rock, it’s a matter of ‘when.’

School of Rock is currently on an open ended run at:

The Winter Garden Theater is at 1634 Broadway (50th Street) in New York City

Visit their website at

For those traveling to London, School of Rock is on its way!

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