Review by Tony Bohn:
Based on the 2003 bestselling movie by the same name, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock” opened last night as a part of the KeyBank Broadway season at The Paramount in downtown Seattle. Nominated for four 2016 Tony awards including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, and Best Leading Actor, “School of Rock” follows the story of a wannabe rock star named Dewey Finn. In desperate need of money to pay rent to his best friend who he lives with, he conspires to earn the money by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. Woefully unprepared and unqualified to teach normal school subjects, he proceeds to transform his class of high achievers into a mind-blowing full-on rock band while turning on the charms and falling for the school’s headmistress.
Filled with catchy original rock musical tunes by Webber, and a hilarious script, this show will keep you entertained and rocking in your seat for the duration. Merritt David Janes as Dewey Finn does a spot-on imitation of Jack Black from the original movie, while also bringing his own sense of flair and updates to the role. The best part of the show has got to be the remarkably talented and adorable kids that make up the rock band. They will blow your mind as they sing, dance, and jam on stage with guitars, keyboards, drums, and bass, and I couldn’t get enough of them!
In a time when so many arts programs get cut in education, School of Rock is a family-friendly affair that shows us why music can still be a crucial tool in driving a child’s creativity and why letting kids be kids and have fun playing, can result in more well-rounded and happy children. School of Rock plays at the Paramount now through Sunday May 19, 2019. More information and tickets can be found here.
Photo by Evan Zimmerman