When word came out that the Mike White project that put his friend Jack Black over was being turned into a musical, it made sense. School Of Rock, the movie plays out like a theatre piece already and the transition should have been an easy one. Once Andrew Lloyd Webber became attached to the project, it did however raise one’s eyebrows.
Would this clash between the inclusive and earthy power of rock and the frivolous glitz of Broadway type theatre work? Would the fourteen new Lloyd Webber songs rock or talk? The songs actually end up being quite a mixed bag. Many of the ALW songs drag a bit are they are generally too long and don’t fit comfortably with a rock ethos. The songs from the movie are a different thing altogether and they really save the day. They help to elevate the proceedings substantially and the audience responding in kind.
The dialogue in the play is actually quite a bit more cheeky than the flick and there are ample moments where this comes into comic play. Lead actor Brent Hill successfully fills some big shoes as Dewey Finn and captures the cheekiness just right. Once you recalibrate your expectations from the movie and put yourself in Broadway Musical mode, the end results are quite infectious.
What really helped make the night successful was the sheer verve and talent of the young members of the cast. They are a mega talented group and the members that made up the onstage band were quite adapt in their musicianship as well. It’s a big, loud and raucous production and its entertaining enough to easily overlook its shortcomings.
School Of Rock is currently playing at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC, Brisbane until August 17, 2019 – click here for more information and to purchase tickets.