Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is responsible for some of the best musicals in theater history! His latest, School Of Rock, is not one of them.
The choice material is not what one would expect of him, which we appreciate. He's trying something new! However, the bar is too high for himself and the genre of kids on Broadway, and this show is not up to par.
Alex Brightman is very charismatic as the inept substitute teacher, but he is living under the shadow of Jack Black as his performance veers too much towards imitation. Instead, a fresh take on this role would have been inspired - like Disney did with the Genie in their new Aladdin musical.
There are a couple of good and very memorable songs in School Of Rock, but the show would have benefitted far more from being a jukebox musical. Having a Stevie Nicks song be such a standout moment doesn't bode too well for your show of original music.
The kids in this production are all very solid. But, just down the street at Matilda, the child performers there are on a whole other level. It definitely helps that they have better material and direction.
Laurence Connor, who directed School Of Rock, did a fine-enough job. But a visionary director, like Alex Timbers, could have made this production so much more compelling!
But, at the end of the day, our opinion is irrelevant. As we were leaving the theater, we overhead this kid telling his mom that School Of Rockwas the best show he'd ever seen. And THAT was awesome!