If you’re ready to rock, then you have come to the right review! School of Rock: The Musical! if you haven’t heard already, is Broadway’s newest smash hit! Here are the facts: Warner Brothers Records released the cast album on December 4, 2015,of the show, which is based on the 2003 hit movie of the same name. You know the music is going to be good, I’m sorry, GREAT, because the songs were written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Glenn Slater, plus, you’ll also get to hear a few numbers that you may remember from the film. The cast recording was produced by Grammy Award-winner, Rob Cavallo.
On to the fun stuff. Let me start off with two words, Alex Brightman. The recording features Brightman, who is the newly-slated Rock Star of Broadway. I had seen the show in previews, and saw Jonathan Wagner kill it as Dewey, but I am more than ecstatic to head back to School of Rock in the near future to watch Brightman shine. Just listening to the first track on the album made me place him at the top of Mount Rock...(already making inside jokes with whomever has heard the album, whoops!). Really though, he is definitely in a top spot on my Broadway favs list. You can feel Brightman’s energy in each track that he leads, just by putting in a pair of headphones. He’s just fantastic.
Speaking of Mount Rock, the opening track “When I Climb To The Top of Mount Rock,” already proves Brightman to be perfect for this role. To be honest, I haven’t seen the movie since it came out, so to me, listening to this album retold a story that I had a slight memory of, and Brightman has wonderfully reinvented Dewey Finn.
Of course, I can’t believe I have gotten this far into the review without mentioning Sierra Boggess, because COME ON, it’s Sierra Boggess. Lloyd Webber knows Boggess very well, and has worked with her before (Phantom of the Opera, Love Never Dies), so he knows how to showcase Boggess’ beautiful, classical, range. What is so great though, is that Boggess (who plays Principal Rosalie Mullins) has this magnificent ballad in Act 2, called “Where Did The Rock Go?” and this song demonstrates how Boggess can flawlessly master a pop/rock number. The song’s message came to me as “Don’t lose yourself, even if you happen to get off track, and never be afraid to let go every once in awhile.”
Mamie Parris (Patty) and Spencer Moss (Ned), as well as the adult ensemble, display a great deal of talent on the album. Let’s move on though, to the pint-sized stars of this show. THE KIDS.
There are earlier songs on the album where you say “hey, these kids are pretty good,” but once I heard “You’re In The Band” and “Stick It To The Man,” I had no doubt that these kids have starpower streaming through every bone in their bodies. If you’re looking for a song that tugs at your heartstrings, SoR has that too. “If Only You Would Listen,” makes me want to shed a tear every time I give it a listen (but I can’t, I’m in public). Once you hear it, you will remember that every single person has felt that way at some point in their life. Also it reminds me that these kids are more talented than I will ever be. Giving a quick shout-out to Bobbi Mackenzie, who can SANNNGGG.
One of the best things about this album, and the show overall is that it appeals to everyone. Lloyd Webber said he took on the project because he wanted to prove that music has an impact on kids. Yes, the show is a great one for kids to experience. Though the music is fun to listen to, be mindful that it also drops language that young ones may not be used to hearing everyday. This only makes it more hilarious for adults, because we are listening to Dewey fit his outgoing personality into an element that is completely out of his own. #IThoughtYouWereAllABunchOfLittleDouchbags
This album features dialogue/short scenes, which I think will paint a picture for those who may not have the opportunity to see the show on Broadway (until it comes around on tour and to the West End)!
In a wrap-up, it’s a Kick-Ass cast recording (I apologize for the language), and the cast will keep those songs running through your head for days. Here are my top 3 picks off the album: “When I Climb To The Top of Mount Rock,” “You’re In The Band,” “Where Did The Rock Go?” Let me know your favorite song off the album!
School of Rock: The Musical - Original Broadway Cast Recording is available on Itunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and probably a bunch of other places where you can buy rockin’ music. Go see the album performed LIVE at the Winter Garden Theatre! For more info, you can visit http://schoolofrockthemusical.com/.
Written by Laura Furlipa
A Look Back