Young stars are born in the 'School of Rock'
In the heart of Times Square is “School of Rock – The Musical” held at Winter Garden Theatre.
“School of Rock – The Musical” is about rock-n-roll fanatic, Dewey Finn, who lives rent-free in the house of his best friend Ned Schneebly who works as a substitute teacher. Dewey is played by actor Justin Collette, who was able to expertly capture the essence of his character, from the way he walked to how he talked, throughout the entirety of his performance.
When Dewey first takes the stage, the audience is led to believe that he is not what most people would consider to be a mature adult. While Collette’s portrayal of Dewey was incredible, the character itself lacked the depth that would have had the audience create a strong emotional bond with him.
Ned’s girlfriend, Patty Di Marco, does not like having Dewey in their house without paying any rent. While Ned is out of the house one day, the phone rings and Dewey answers. It is a request to work as a substitute teacher in a prep school for wealthy children to prepare them for Ivy league schools they plan on attending. This call was meant for Ned, but Dewey heard that he would be paid $800 a week and enthusiastically accepted the offer for himself.
Dewey is a typical rock-n-roll character who does not appreciate learning or homework and has no passion for teaching. Dewey introduces himself to the kids and assumes that he will be able to get on their good side by telling them that they could have recess all day, but the students are very studious and do not appreciate his directions.
In the musical, the kids play all of their own instruments in addition to both acting and singing.
In the class at Horace Green Prep School, a little girl named Tomika, played by Philadelphia native Gabrielle Greene, had such powerful vocals that had the entire audience on the edge of their seats waiting to hear the melodic notes coming out of her mouth throughout the play.
Summer, who is portrayed by actress Olivia Chun, had the audience bursting out into laughter over her snarky comments to Mr. Finn about his teaching style, music choices and his unkempt clothing.
While Mr. Finn is eventually caught for being an imposter, the students have developed a strong camaraderie with him and end the show with a breathtaking performance alongside Mr. Finn at the Battle of the Bands.
Although the children do not win in the play, the applause from the crowd justifies the astonishing performance that the cast had put on. The talented children of the cast continuously put on an excellent show filled with energy, enthusiasm and fashionable outfit choices that brought the audience directly into the action.
If you are in Manhattan for the day or need something to do, I highly recommend taking a pitstop to see “School of Rock – The Musical.” After seeing this musical, you may consider picking up an instrument and possibly even starting a band on your own.