School of Rock–Surprisingly Listenable and Watchable

curtainLots of talent here: Downton’s scribe, Julian Fellowes, did the book which is very funny, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songs and Glenn Slater’s lyrics were tuneful and clever and the choreography took off the roof. I’m happy to say that the music almost never stopped.

It’s the old story of a strict school run by the tough schoolmarm while joyless children compete for entrance to Harvard.schoolmam(

Along comes Dewey, a totally unqualified teacher substitute, (you’ve had them but maybe not quite like this) who teaches these upper class kids how to rock. The singing/playing/sort of dancing Alex Brightman is great; you’re with him all the way–down with those pointless academics.he rocks(

The kids don’t know what to make of him but he knows what to make of them–a band! vogue( These kids learn very fast that the great thing is to get into the band and I hope I don’t shock you by saying that everyone does. Turns out the shy intellectual can riff on the keyboard, the two quiet girls can instantly perform expert back-up and the bossy girl gets to be manager. We even get a composer whose songs Dewie knows should be orchestrated and performed; this is a teacher! When he announces, “She’s in the band,” we are thrilled. she's in the band(

And in a message we loved, when a kid says he only plays classical, Dewey propounds the theme of the show–“it’s all music.”  We agree.The only drama is that they may not win the competition and of course that their parents will find out. I’m not going to spoil this for you except to tell you that I like happy endings, so figure it out for yourself.

I had been told it was loud so I brought ear plugs but after the first song, didn’t wear them; after all, it’s no worse than car radios blaring on West End Avenue. This is rock, I guess, but pretty soft rock as we both liked and enjoyed it. And the kids. Well, they were amazing performers. My favorite dance step is when they jump up and down about 25 times in joy. Remember when we did that?nytimes( We couldn’t stop laughing.

It’s a good show and you might be able to get discounted seats from TodayTix as we did; it doesn’t matter where you sit–you can see from the balcony in the Winter Garden and there’s no problem hearing. We have come full circle on Sir Andrew and now enjoy his shows; you will too. Don’t forget to rent the film “School of Rock” with the hilarious Jack Black.





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