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"'School of Rock' doesn’t strain to mix whimsy with grandeur...For its first half, at least, it charmingly walks the line between the cute and the precious…In the more lazily formulaic second act, you can taste glucose in the air. But mostly, 'Rock' is surprisingly easy to swallow, in large part because everyone involved seems to be having such a fine time...Family audiences should be grateful for a Lloyd Webber show that only wants to have fun and hopes that you do, too." Full Review
"'School of Rock' is cute and occasionally funny, but not any more than its source material, making its onstage existence something of an extravagant 'meh'… Songs resemble a cell phone ringtone...Still, they're often catchy and hard to forget…Glenn Slater's lyrics are adequate yet unremarkable…'School of Rock' has a supercharged cast to transform this leaden material into musical-comedy gold…An undeniably fun musical that is nevertheless not particularly special." Full Review
"It worked for the movie, and wow, does it work on Broadway, a double jolt of adrenaline and sugar to inspire the most helicoptered of tots to play hooky and go shred an ax…This is one tight, well-built show: underscoring the emotional arcs, and knowing when to get out of the way and let the kids jam. 'School of Rock' has absorbed the diverse lessons of 'Rent,' 'Spring Awakening' and 'Matilda' and passes them on to a new generation." Full Review
"An exuberant feel-good musical…A cast of super-talented kids who rock out on the kind of songs you always wished had been in the movie…Webber has the ideal sensibility to relate to children whose freakish talents might make them seem a little bit…peculiar…Thankfully, nothing savage has been done to the original film story…The creatives have given the children a sensitive backstory about their parents and home lives that’s missing from the movie." Full Review
"'School of Rock,' the perfectly pleasant, perfectly innocuous new musical is strictly adult contemporary…The early musical numbers are unhappily anodyne...But things perk up when the younger cast members finally get a chance to sing and play. The children are universally adorable and several of them are staggeringly accomplished musicians. It is an absolute treat to hear them…It wants to please and please it does. But rock it doesn’t." Full Review
"Andrew Lloyd Webber has chosen to adapt a movie with a plot that could hardly be sillier, and supplies a new score that could hardly be more addictive. 'School of Rock' is full of both hard-charging rock n roll and supremely catchy melodies…The kids don’t just sing exquisitely and dance with infectious abandon, they also reportedly play the musical instruments themselves – astonishing if true…There is plenty of hard-driving music here, including several from the movie." Full Review
"A fast, funny, adrenaline-laced entertainment...Fellowes' book cruises through the exposition smoothly, but one wishes he had done a little bit more to make the film's shaky premise plausible...Director Laurence Connor's confident handling of a big, fast-moving production and a cast heavily populated by the under-12 set goes a long way toward obtaining our emotional engagement in what amounts to a heavy-metal update of 'The Music Man.'" Full Review
"s it time we let Generation Z take over Broadway? Judging from the junior phenoms who shine in 'School of Rock,' it might not be a bad move. Not only are these kids already proven prodigies, they seem totally at home on stage. Exhibiting not a whiff of showbiz-kid cutesiness, they’re just there to act, and play, and give the rest of us a good time." Full Review
"Webber still knows how to craft and orchestrate a rock melody, his tunes at once ultra-cool and searing hot....There's no reason that this musical has to be dressed up in such brain-dead stereotypes and dramatic one-dimensionality...The commitment that Brightman and the children display only causes the other deficiencies stand out more...Seeing them unleash all they have and then some is one of the most scintillating joys of this Broadway season, and worth the price of admission." Full Review
"With such a powerful creative team, a show with sky-high name recognition, a company of insanely talented boys and girls, and a promising new star, its success is practically guaranteed, no matter what its flaws. “School of Rock” teaches us that it’s sometimes okay to break the rules and stick it to the man, but also that Broadway has a bottomless pit of extraordinarily talented kids who can do practically anything the stage requires, including making a B-minus show into an A-minus one." Full Review
"'If you have a great finish, you don't have to worry about anything else' comes close to working for 'School of Rock'…And like just about every other of the not abundant high points in 'School of Rock,' it involves the terrific young actors working like cheerful demons...The bigger names above and below the title hit wonky notes…I can only imagine that something crucial was lost in the transition from screen to stage…All the numbers swiftly begin to sound alike." Full Review
"Turning 'School of Rock' into a musical isn’t the worst idea in the world, and if you need a safe, undemanding show to take your baby-boom parents to see over the holidays, it’ll do perfectly fine—but if that sounds like lukewarm praise, it is...I’ve seen worse and so have you...Just be forewarned: This is the kind of musical that sends you home wanting to rent the movie. I don’t know about you, but that’s not why I go to the theater." Full Review
"A highly enjoyable and heartwarming adaptation…Although occasionally serviceable and sappy, 'School of Rock' contains his best music in a very long time, bursting with excitement more often than not…The children are wildly talented and absolutely adorable. I dare you not to smile as they stomp around and chant that they will 'stick it to the man.' 'School of Rock' may not be a game-changer, but it is a solid, well-structured musical comedy, and you can never have enough of those." Full Review
"It might sound lame to suggest that 'School of Rock' works in large part because of the charms of a bunch of adorable kids. But their infectious delight as they etch their distinct personalities and seize both their individual and collective right to be heard is irresistible…Some of Lloyd Webber's more traditional numbers feel like filler…The direction of Connor is not always the most elegant…But the minute they launch into ecstatic head-banging, pogoing release, all is forgiven." Full Review
"'School of Rock' has a fair amount to offer...The kids are terrific: They sing very well and play their own instruments…Webber grabs whatever tropes seem handy, from power to glitter to punk, garbling our understanding of Dewey’s inner soundscape...Anyway, Lloyd Webber isn’t the problem.The problem is what the point is, and that falls on Fellowes, who has not resolved, but rather exposed, the confusions latent in the material." Full Review
"The impressively pedigreed creative team of this wildly energetic but uneven show hews close to the source…Most of the new songs tend to be just okay at best. Kids singing about parents who ignore them for them feels generic. And at many points during Act I, the music is just too loud for its own good, suppressing what may be decent lyrics under amplified purple haze…The show wants to rock your socks off, but it just moves in fits and starts and feels labored." Full Review
"Exuberantly loud, high-spirited and upbeat...While none of the songs is equal to Webber’s best they’re more than good enough...The show mirrors a little too baldly the 'Kinky Boots' thing of having a nasty bitch of a fiancée drive the plot, and the stereotyping of the boy-who-would-be costume designer is de trop. These are not small issues, but they’re subsumed by the fact that this is a fable…You may have forgotten all of it before you leave, but you will be leaving with a big smile." Full Review
"It will have plenty of adults tapping into their inner rocker along with kids of all ages...Weber proves that he hasn't forgotten how to write catchy rock tunes…There are plenty of bouncy numbers for the kids...Forget about looking for any especially deep or controversial themes…The overall improbability of everything keeps 'School of Rock' strictly what it is — a not to be taken seriously hard rocking, feel good romp." Full Review
"A high-energy, enjoyable, unrelentingly eager-to-please…The first thing to know is that the kids are genuine children who play their own instruments, and they’re all terrific…The production is as slick and sure of itself as if it had been running at the Winter Garden Theatre since 'Cats' closed 15 years ago…The book by Julian Fellowes moves amiably along with less of the film’s history of rock and more family back story for the kids, which works fine." Full Review
"Webber has pushed to the fore a group of rockin'-out U.S. youngsters so capable, charming, vulnerable and aspirational, their open hearts surely will fell any and all resistance...'School of Rock' offers the audience a chance to be kids again, only with more talent than we ever had...Connor made one great decision above all others, which was to ensure that the kids stay serious and vulnerable. Crucially, this gives the show weight and enough gravitas." Full Review
"Watching these characters as they confront and grapple with their fears reveals a transcendent level of success uncommon to the Broadway stage...The cast is uniformly excellent, each member giving thoroughly honest and authentic performances. It is so easy to connect to each of these well-defined characters and the particular conflicts that drive the musical’s energetic plot." Full Review
"Directed by Laurence Connor at a rapid pace, with a strong, if simple, story, apt songs, lively performances, and all-around theater know-how, the show is a tribute to professionalism...The musical gets off to a shaky start because it's hard to make oafishness appealing, and the lazy, sloppy, crude Dewey, played by Alex Brightman, is a complete lout. As the evening goes on, the short, stocky actor grows on you, and becomes tolerable, sometimes even edging into likable." Full Review
"Other actors and another director might have made this 'School' better. But then there’s the material itself. 'School of Rock' is no movie classic. What the musical most needs is a complete overhaul for the stage; instead it gets Julian Fellowes‘ faithful-to-a-fault adaptation…After a few musical flops, Andrew Lloyd Webber goes back to his mild rock roots...Again, he’s adequate at writing generic rock." Full Review
"It may be simplistic, manipulative and slick, but this musical version of the popular 2003 film is a fast-paced family-friendly entertainment that is hard to resist...Alex Brightman is a veritable powerhouse as Dewey Finn...Best of all are the appealing child actors who have prodigious musical talents...The choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter is lively and the direction by Laurence Connor is seamless and assured. The show is far from subtle, but resistance is futile." Full Review
"A dozen pint-sized and pitch-perfect performers bring heart to 'School of Rock…' An otherwise workaday screen-to-stage adaptation…The student characters sometimes verge on stock depictions, but the parents fully cross the line…I don’t imagine most of the big numbers here will enjoy an afterlife...The story doesn’t particularly resonate for me, but I won’t soon forget the feel-good vibe radiating off the talented young performers after their turns in the final competition." Full Review
See it if you like big disney-type musicals, rock and rolls scores, big kid-driven musical numbers.
Don't see it if your characters need substance or an arc. Too much is going on for character stuff here.
See it if you're looking for a family show which is a little more mature than Aladdin/Lion King, you enjoy light humor and a charming cast
Don't see it if you don't want to go to a show with many young children in the audience, you did not like the movie or a cute but somewhat cheesy plot
See it if you want to see a great cast & enjoyed the movie. It's great energy throughout & the kids are impressive without being cloying.
Don't see it if You don't enjoy rock style music or want something challenging. I also felt it was uneven with the adults/non-rock music moments.
See it if You liked the movie and want to see a fun take on it live. The kids are amazing and the story translated well.
Don't see it if You don't like loud rock music, or did not like the humor style of the movie because it is pretty similar.
See it if Wee will rock you. And they do. The hard rocking kids are crowd-pleasers in this genial but conventional musical comedy.
Don't see it if You expect a laugh-riot. It's broadly comic and obvious with a tuneful pounding score (screamed by all who dare to rock...large and small).
See it if You like rock 'n' roll. You're a teacher or a musician. You like to see fun, light shows with a group of friends. You enjoyed the movie.
Don't see it if You don't want to be in the audience with a bunch of families. You're hard of hearing (some of the song lyrics are not understandable).
See it if you want a fun, joyful night at the theater. The book by Julian Fellowes was surprisingly funny, smart and kept things moving. Great kids.
Don't see it if you hate shows with child actors (I normally do but this was a lovely exception) - the kids aren't "cute." Not your typical ALW music.
See it if you liked the movie or stories of a teacher motivating children to learn. The kids play all their own instruments flawlessly. So fun!
Don't see it if you really disliked the movie or dislike kids and seeing them sharing their talent.
See it if you enjoyed the movie - it's definitely its own show, but keeps the same vibe & energy. And the energy of the cast is really great!
Don't see it if you can't handle kid performers, ALW musicals really grate you (there is a moderately annoying overuse of Der Hölle Rache), but it is fun.
See it if you want to see the most amazing and cute cast of kid performers who make up for the banal music in the fun story much like the movie.
Don't see it if you want to hear better music than the "rock" ALW thinks "rock" is. Slightly misogynistic jokes and attitudes is worrisome. If u want depth.
See it if Totally entertaining adaptation of hit movie. Super-nova performance by Brightman (& kids) always compensates for average music/lyrics
Don't see it if Expecting top-notch ALW or a better version of Jack Black; loud rock music or happy endings are not your thing