A group of theatregoers — selected from databases of both the Shubert and Nederlander Organizations — received invitations to these performances via email, according to the New York Times.
In his email, composer Lloyd Webber wrote, "The very first incarnation of School of Rock will be a staged, actually highly staged concert at the Gramercy Theater for just a few performances." Lloyd Webber told the Times that the upcoming performances will help the creative team to determine what is or isn't working with the show before any high-tech aspects of the production have been implemented.
"Automation takes a great deal of time, and it's very difficult to change it," Lloyd Webber explained, adding, "If you've got a load of kids pushing boxes around — which is what we've got — you can say, 'Push those boxes somewhere else tomorrow morning because the scene doesn't work.'"
Alex Brightman, seen on Broadway in Glory Days, Wicked, Matilda and Big Fish, will star as the teacher at the center of Broadway's School of Rock — The Musical, which will begin Nov. 2 at the Winter Garden Theatre.
The Really Useful Group, Warner Music Group and Access Industries, The Shubert Organization and The Nederlander Organization will present the musical, featuring music from the movie as well as new music written by Lloyd Webber and lyricist Glenn Slater. The book is by Julian Fellowes. Opening night is set for Dec. 6.
Laurence Connor, currently represented on Broadway with the re-imagined revival of Les Misérables, will direct.
In School of Rock — The Musical, according to producers, "down-on-his-luck wannabe rock star Dewey Finn poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school to make ends meet. When he discovers his students' musical talents, he enlists his fifth-graders to form a rock group and conquer the Battle of the Bands."