Richard Linklater’s ‘School of Rock’ is Heading to Broadway
I think it was Jack Black (or maybe AC/DC) who once said it’s a long way to the top if you want to rock and roll. Black sang those rocktacular words in Richard Linklater’s ‘School of Rock,’ the 2003 comedy about a struggling musician who becomes a substitute teacher at a prep school, and then begins to lead his students as they form a band. The movie was a surprise hit in theaters, and it’s already in development as a Nickelodeon TV show. But its long way to the top will culminate late next year, when ‘School of Rock’ hits the Great White Way as a Broadway show.
Variety has the news. The ‘School of Rock’ musical’s songs will be written by the rockingest composer in Broadway history, a man whose name is synonymous with guitar shredding and sweet aggro riffs: Andrew Lloyd Webber. (Okay, so he did do the great rock opera ‘Jesus Christ Superstar.’ And who could forget ‘Starlight Express’? Besides, y’know, most people.) Webber will be joined on the project by book writer (and ‘Downton Abbey’ creator) Julian Fellowes, lyricist Glenn Slater, and director Laurence Connor.
The show is scheduled to debut on December 6, 2015 at the Winter Garden Theater, where Webber’s ‘Cats’ ran for almost two decades. The cast has yet to be announced, but if Webber’s music is good, ‘School of Rock’ should be a big hit. Musicals about children do very well on Broadway (see current smash ‘Matilda’), and tend to draw very well with family audiences. And Linklater’s film is perfectly structured to become a full-fledged musicals. Throw a few genuine child prodigies on stage and let them rock out, and it shouldn’t be a long way to the top of profitability for everyone involved.