'School of Rock -The Musical:' Fun for the Entire Family

Photo by Evan Zimmerman- MurphyMade
Cameron Trueblood
Cameron Trueblood

School of Rock -The Musical, book by Julien Fellowes with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Glenn Slater is now at the National Theatre and it is a fun night for the entire family.

The story is simple. Dewey played to perfection by the very talented Merritt David Janes is a wannabee rock star. He is broke and gets tossed out of the band he started and wants to win the Battle of the Bands a rock music competition. At the moment he is living with and mooching off his best friend Ned (Layne Roate) and Ned’s girlfriend Patty (Madison Micucci). Ned is also a wannabee rocker who has given it up to become a teacher and when a school calls to offer him a substitute job Dewey is the one who answers the phone and figures it’s a way to make some money and tells them he is Ned and agrees to take the job. So Dewey goes to the Horace Green, a private very chi-chi elementary school where parents spend $50,000 a year to send their spoiled kids and introduces himself as Ned to the Principal, Rosalie, played by the incredibly talented Lexie Dorsett Sharp. The rest of the story is about how Dewey gets the kids to be his rock band so they can enter the Battle of the Bands.

Mystic Inscho (Photo by: Evan Zimmerman-MurphyMade) Mystic Inscho

But the story is not what you are going to this show to see. What you are going to see and what will blow you away are the kids with their amazing talent. When the show opens there is taped announcement from Andrew Lloyd Weber who says, “If you are wondering if the kids in the show will be playing their own instruments the answer is YES!” It’s a good thing he says it because if he hadn’t you wouldn’t believe it. They are all so talented. Dewey works with his class and each student gets a designated role in the band including;  costume designer, back-up singer, bass guitarist, keyboard player, drummer, lead singer, and a band manager. Summer (Sami Bray) who Dewey gives the job of band manager to as she wants to be teacher’s pet and at first isn’t into the music quickly makes it clear to the audience she has great acting chops. 

There are so many other incredibly talented kids in the show I can’t mention them all but some who just stand out along with Sami are Cameron Trueblood an incredible drummer, Mystic Inscho a lead guitarist extraordinaire,  Grier Burke whose beautiful voice is perfect as the lead singer, and Theo Mitchell-Penner who is just amazing on keyboard. Remember all the kids appear to range in age from eight to twelve. What would be fun is to follow some of their careers, the ones who want to stay in the business, and see where they are ten years from now. Surely many of these kids are the stars of the future.

 Merritt David Janes, Lexie Dorsett Sharp (Photo by: Matt Murphy) Merritt David Janes, Lexie Dorsett Sharp

The play is directed by Laurence Connor who directed Les Misérables on Broadway and in the UK and choreographed by Joann M. Hunter. The music director, and this is all about the kids and the music, is the talented Martyn Axe.

So for a fun night in the theater great for all ages I would recommend getting a ticket to School of Rock -The Musical while it’s at the National through January 27th. 

2 Comments For This Article

Peter H.

James Fallows is a writer with the Atlantic and author of numerous books. This play was written by Julien Fellowes.

Peter daniel rosenstein

Thank you so much for correcting this I really appreciate it