Sara Chase, Leslie Kritzer and Abby Mueller Join Alex Brightman for Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock Workshops: Here's What We Know!

News   Sara Chase, Leslie Kritzer and Abby Mueller Join Alex Brightman for Andrew Lloyd Webber's School of Rock Workshops: Here's What We Know!
School of Rock—The Musical, which will arrive on Broadway this fall, is currently enjoying a brief residency at the Gramercy Theatre in New York, to polish its script and score before the high-tech aspects of the show are added.

<i>School of Rock</i> star Alex Brightman
School of Rock star Alex Brightman

The theatregoing public was able to attend the June 9 performance of the musical. 

Here are some of the essential facts about the new musical from the composer of Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats and the longest-running show in Broadway history The Phantom of the Opera. Lyrics are by Glenn Slater, best known for working with Alan Menken on Sister Act, Leap of Faith and lyrics to new songs in the stage version of The Little Mermaid. The book was written by Julian Fellowes.

Based on the 2003 Jack Black film of the same title, written by Mike White, School of Rock — The Musical, according to producers, is about a "down-on-his-luck wannabe rock star Dewey Finn [who] 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."

As of the June 9 performance, the song list consisted of the following. All songs are by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater except those with an asterisk (*), which were used in the film:

Act I
"I'm Too Hot for You"
"When I Climb to the Top of Mt. Rock"
"Horace Green Alma Mater"
"Here At Horace Green"
"Give Up Your Dreams"
"Queen of the Night"*
"You're in the Band"
"You're in the Band" (Reprise)
"If Only You Would Listen"
"The Legend of the Rent"*
"The Faculty Lounge"
"The Legend of the Rent" (Band Practice)
"Stick It to the Man"
"The Legend of the Rent" (The Audition)
"Stick It to the Man" (Reprise)

Act II
"Time to Play"
"Amazing Grace"*
"The Math Song"*
"The Beat of My Heart"
"Teacher's Pet"* (Band Practice)
"If Only You Would Listen" (Reprise)
"Stick It to the Man" (Reprise)
"I'm Too Hot for You"
"Teacher's Pet"* (The Competition)
"Stick It to the Man"

The songs “The Legend of Rent,” “The Math Song” and “Teacher’s Pet” were written by the movie’s lead Jack Black and screenwriter Mike White in collaboration with others, and were included in the musical’s score.

The cast for the Gramercy production consists of Alex Brightman, Sara Chase, Andrew Durand, Leslie Kritzer, Taylor Caldwell, Evie Dolan, Aaron Fig, Carly Gendell, Shayan Hooshmand, Bobbi MacKenzie, Dante Melucci, Brandon Niederauer, Luca Padovan, Jared Parker, Isabella Russo, Malachi Samedy, Mikayla White, Corinne Wilson, Natalie Charle Ellis, Alan H. Green, Michael Hartney, John Hemphill, Merritt David Janes, Jaygee Macapugay, Abby Mueller, Tally Sessions, Mariand Torres, Jeremy Woodard, Lulu Lloyd and Jesse Swimm.

So far, only Brightman has been announced for the Broadway production.

Executive producers of the Gramercy showcase are Nina Lannan and Madeleine Lloyd Webber. The show is directed by Laurence Connor, conducted by Ethan Popp, and choreographed by Joann M. Hunter. Set and costume design: Anna Louizos. Sound design: Mick Potter. Lighting design: Jen Schriever.

A group of theatregoers — selected from databases of both the Shubert and Nederlander Organizations — previously received invitations to the June performances at the Gramercy via email, according to the New York Times.

In an 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 on Broadway.

The Broadway opening night is set for Dec. 6 at the Winter Garden Theatre, where Cats played its long run.

Laurence Connor, currently represented on Broadway with the re-imagined revival of Les Misérables, is also scheduled to direct the Broadway version of School of Rock—The Musical.

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