London; You’re In The Band! After a successful return to Broadway with his latest musical, Andrew Lloyd Webber is now preparing to bring it home to London. Based off of the 2003 movie of the same title, School Of Rock has dazzled audiences on Broadway this past season with a production not only true to the movie but exceeding their expectations. London will now get its chance to make music with kids at Horace Green just in time for their fall semester. Today, Luner on Theatre brings you the exciting news that Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award nominated School Of Rock – The Musical is officially headed to London’s West End!
School Of Rock – The Musical will stick it to the man later this year as the production officially sets up shop in London’s West End. Producers announced the show would begin previews October 24th before an official opening November 14th, 2016 at the New London Theatre. The musical will be Lloyd Webber’s first original musical since the short-lived Stephen Ward in 2013 and is only his second production ever to open on Broadway before beginning in London. School of Rock began previews on Broadway November 9th before officially opening December 6th, 2016 at the Winter Garden Theatre. The production received critical praise, even earning a New York Times Critic Pick. The show was nominated for four Tony Awards this season including Best Actor In A Musical (Alex Brightman), Best Original Score, Best Book Of A Musical and Best Musical.
No casting for the London production has been announced at this time. However, the Broadway productions features 13 school children who are taught on stage by their teacher. The Broadway production has one full set of 13 school kids with swings and standbys filling in when needed. The West End production will require three full sets of 13 school children due to the number of hours children can work. A nationwide search is underway to cast the production. Lloyd Webber made the choice specifically to launch School Of Rock – The Musical on Broadway first as child labor laws are more relaxed in the United States and on Broadway than they are in London’s West End.
The original Broadway creative team that helped mount School Of Rock will head to London to repeat their work later this year. The production is helmed by Laurence Connor as director, JoAnn M. Hunter as choreographer and John Rigby providing musical supervision. The rest of the creative team includes Anna Louizos scenic and costume designer, Natasha Katz as lighting designer and Mick Potter as sound designer. The Really Useful Group and Warner Music Group & Access Industries are producing the West End run.
Luner Lowdown: I have no doubt West End audiences will take to School Of Rock the way Broadway did. This fantastic new production not only delivers what one would expect from a movie to stage adaptation but goes beyond. Lloyd Webber’s score is filled with tunes you wish had been in the movie and Fellowes delivers a book true to the films while expanding overall plot themes and storylines in all the right places. The children who perform each night in the show without a doubt are stars supported by an excellent cast of adults including Alex Brightman, Mamie Parris, Sierra Boggess and Spencer Moses. Playing musical instruments live on stage, they win over the audience night after night and rightly so. They are beyond talented and manage to steal the spotlight just about any time they are on stage playing. “You’re In The Band” is without a doubt one of the best musical numbers of the 2015-16 Broadway season.
Luner on Theatre will keep you updated as London prepares to climb to the top of mount rock later this year as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School Of Rock – The Musical lands in the West End!
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