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  • Writer's pictureBill Hernandez


Motion Picture turned Broadway Musical rocks the Kravis Center For The Performing Arts.


School of Rock is a 2003 comedy film directed by Richard Linklater, produced by Scott Rudin, and written by Mike White. The film stars Jack Black, Joan Cusack, White, and Sarah Silverman. Black plays struggling rock guitarist Dewey Finn, who is kicked out of his band and subsequently disguises himself as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. After witnessing the musical talent of his students, Dewey forms a band of fourth-graders to attempt to win the upcoming Battle of the Bands and pay off his rent.

With the success of the hit motion picture, it is easy to see that School of Rock would naturally find it’s way to the Broadway stage. With an original music score that rocks, child actors that actually really play all of the instruments live, and stunning stage sets, there can be nothing but as great time to be had by all who attend.

Last night, the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts launched opening night to a sold-out crowd on this Wednesday night. With Spring break in full-effect this week, we were pleased to see a mix of adults and children in attendance and excited to see the stage version.

A stellar cast takes the stage tonight with sensational actor/singer/musician Merritt David Janes as the lead, and dysfunctional character Dewey Finn. With so much talent gracing the stage, this would be the longest musical review in history if I were to list the entire cast. Just for this one, here are a few standouts that left a lasting impression tonight…

Rosalie – Lexie Dorsett Sharp Tomika – Camille De La Cruz

Ned – Layne Roate Freddy – Cameron Trueblood

Shonell – Arianna Pereira Billy – Sammy Dell – Mystic Inscho

Katie – Leanne Parks Lawrence – Julian Brescia

Marcy – Alyssa Emily Marvin Sophie – Gabriella Uh

Mason – Dylan Trueblood Summer - Sami Bray

This musical production is a must-see! Amazing talent, great music, and seamless stage transitions make this a good time for all, young and old. This run will be at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts until March 31, 2019. Great tickets are still available but I would get them asap as they sell quickly.

Here is a timeline of the School of Rock stage play…

Act 1

DEWEY FINN, a guitarist for the band No Vacancy is all rock and roll, except for a couple of key ingredients: fame and glory. In fact, he’s a mess! As the band plays a set at the Olympic Powerhouse, Dewey gets carried away with an improvised solo ("I’m Too Hot for You"). The next day as Dewey lies asleep, PATTY pressures NED, her boyfriend and Dewey’s former rocker friend, to demand the rent from their roommate and encourage Dewey to get a real adult job. Dewey claims he’s going to pay up by winning Battle of the Bands ("When I Climb to the Top of Mount Rock"). Dewey heads to rehearsal only to find he’s been replaced. He heads to work at a record store but is promptly fired for being late. Dewey, beaten down, answers a phone call from ROSALIE MULLINS, principal of the most esteemed Horace Green Prep School. She is calling to offer Ned a substitute teaching position. There’s only one reasonable solution for Dewey—pose as Ned, accept the job, and make a little change.

It’s Dewey’s first day at school… and he’s late. Rosalie welcomes Dewey to campus after the school sings the "Horace Green Alma Mater," and she informs him of their elite expectations ("Here at Horace Green"). Dewey meets his pupils who have a lot of questions for their curious new teacher. Unfortunately, Dewey has only one item on his curriculum—recess. Dewey returns home to find Ned discreetly playing Guitar Hero, and while they play, Dewey tries to convince Ned to join Battle of Bands with him just like the good old days ("Children of Rock"). Their daydream is abruptly ruined by Patty returning home from shopping. She then gives Dewey a reality check. Dewey has thirty days to pay his rent, or he has to leave ("Mount Rock – Reprise").

Dewey returns to school the next day (after missing first period), and he overhears Rosalie and his students singing "Queen of the Night." Dewey suddenly understands he must start a band with the students to win Battle of the Bands. He begins to assign instruments and roles to each of the students ("You’re in the Band"). He puts ZACK on electric guitar, KATIE on bass, LAWRENCE on the keyboard, FREDDIE on drums, MARCY and SHONELLE on backup vocals, SOPHIE and MADISON as roadies, MASON on tech, JAMES on security, BILLY on style, and SUMMER as manager ("You’re in the Band – Reprise"). The band is complete… almost. TOMIKA still hasn’t peeped a word, and Lawrence is certain he’s not cool enough to be in the band. Each student has his or her own set of problems to reckon with at home ("If Only You Would Listen"), but like they say, there’s no crying in rock and roll.

The next day, Dewey shares with the students a song he wrote ("In the End of Time") while the teachers, including GABE BROWN, begin to speculate about the new music teacher (Faculty Quadrille). Dewey asks permission from Rosalie to take the students on a field trip, but the prospects look grim. He returns to practice ("In the End of Time - Band Practice") and encourages the band ("Stick It to the Man"), which is interrupted by Rosalie returning to the classroom to confirm that the school administration denied permission for the field trip. Dewey shows the kids how to truly stick it to the man, and the band leaves for the first round of competition. The kids arrive onsite, and play their first public performance. Cue drumroll! The kids rock it out and qualify for Battle of the Bands ("In the End of Time – The Audition/Stick It to the Man – Reprise").

Act 2

The band is in full rehearsal mode ("Time to Play"), but there’s one problem: parents’ meetings fall right before the competition. In a moment of inspiration, Tomika rallies enough courage and surprises everyone with a soulful rendition of "Amazing Grace." The band has a new front woman! Unexpectedly, Rosalie pops into the classroom to observe their work, and Dewey pretends to use his so-called 'sing-song' method with the students ("Math Is a Wonderful Thing"). The pressure’s on.

Dewey asks Rosalie on a date to the Roadhouse where Rosalie reveals that despite her conservative presence, she loves to rock out to Stevie Nicks ("Where Did the Rock Go?"). She then opens up about wanting to be free in spite of her position. She finally comes around and permits the field trip, and Dewey seals it with a kiss. The next day at breakfast, Patty excitedly relays a letter to Ned from Horace Greene and quickly leaves for work. Ned discovers it’s a payment from the school and is just about to call the school to clear up the mistake when Dewey realizes it’s time to face the music.

Parents meetings are about to begin while the band learns a new song Zack has been playing around with ("School of Rock – Band Practice"). Their parents stumble upon them just as the kids find their groove, and are shocked that their kids have traded in their books for music. Dewey reminds the parents how incredible their kids actually are. At that very moment, Patty (who learned about Dewey’s substitute teaching from Ned) breaks through the door to reveal Dewey’s true identity. The parents confront Dewey ("Dewey’s Confession"), but the kids won’t be stopped—they secretly head over to compete at Battle of the Bands. Mason informs Rosalie that the kids don’t care about Dewey’s real identity. All they care about is that he taught them that rock could set them free. Meanwhile, a bus-full of kids arrive at the apartment to convince Dewey that he’s changed their lives ("If Only You Would Listen – Reprise"). Dewey knows he has to follow through and leaves to watch the kids rock it out with Ned.

The school band arrives late ("I’m Too Hot for You – Reprise"), and Dewey decides that they should play the song that Zack wrote, even though the band virtually hasn’t practiced it. Dewey reminds them performing’s not about playing perfectly, it’s about rocking out with all your heart. The parents arrive and watch the concert from the back of the venue ("School of Rock"). The stage is set, the volume is cranked up high, and the kids are ready. With every bit of heart and soul, the School of Rock delivers a performance that wins over the crowd. And the winner of Battle of the Bands is… No Vacancy. A rowdy crowd erupts in support of the kids, calling them back to the stage for one last encore ("Stick It to the Man – Encore"). The School of Rock passes with flying colors. Class dismissed


Sami Bray

For more information about School of Rock The Musical, log on to the Kravis Center website at


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