Theatre review by Steve Duffy –
School of Rock
Based on the 2003 hit film, SCHOOL OF ROCK –THE MUSICAL is a hilarious new musical that follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. While teaching these pintsized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s beautiful, but uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within.
The musical follows the same story as its source, the dialogue sticks fairly close to the screenplay, retaining some of funniest moments, while updating its references with smartphones and Taylor Swift.
As Dewey, Merrit David Janes, delivers a high-energy performance which is reminiscent of Jack Black’s movie character.
The best part of the show, off course, is the kids. They steal the show with their performance, but mostly for their instrument playing. Performance standouts are: Sami Bray as the bossy know-it-all band manager Summer, along with band members Katie (Leanne Parks on bass), Freddy (Cameron Trueblood on drums), Zack (Mystic Inscho on guitar) and singer Tamika (Grier Burke).
Unfortunately, the only memorable song is the class’ rebel anthem of “Stick it to the Man.” Other than that, you will not remember any other song.
You may not leave the theatre humming any songs, but you will be in awe at the amazing talent that is displayed on stage. With school vacation coming up, this is the perfect show to introduce your kids to musical theatre and also, they may want to learn how to play an instrument.
RUNNING TIME: 2 hours and 30 minutes, with 1 intermission
School of Rock is now playing through February 24th. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster or by calling 800-982-2787, and by visiting www.boston.broadway.com. Tickets will also be sold directly at the Boston Opera House Box Office, 539 Washington Street, Boston, MA