Personnel: Rob Cavallo (guitar, keyboards, percussion); Chris Bruce, Jeffrey Lee Campbell, Tim Pierce, Brian Koonin, Tim Quick (guitar); Deron Johnson, Jamie Muhoberac (piano, organ, keyboards); Zach Dietz, Brandon Ethridge (keyboards); Tom Rasulo (drums, percussion); Gary Seligson, Victor Indrizzo, Dorian Crozier (drums); Doug McKean (programming).
Audio Mixer: Doug McKean.
Recording information: Avatar Studios, NYC; Capitol Studios, Hollywood, CA; East West Studios, Hollywood, CA; United Recording, Hollywood, CA.
Photographers: Brett Sullivan; Kate Egan.
Based on director Richard Linklater's 2003 hit comedy film of the same name, School of Rock: The Musical follows the misadventures of washed-up rock singer/guitarist and reluctant substitute teacher Dewey Finn (originally played by Jack Black) as he attempts to transform his uptight fifth-grade class into a lean, mean rock & roll machine. Directed by Laurence Connor (Les Misérables), produced by Grammy Award winner Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Phil Collins, Paramore), and featuring a book by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey, Mary Poppins), 12 original songs by Tony Award magnets Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Glenn Slater (lyrics), and three tunes from the original film, the Original Broadway Cast recording stars Alex Brightman, Spencer Moses, Sierra Boggess, and Mamie Parris in the lead roles. Brightman, who takes on the role of Finn, does a nice job in channeling Black's manic energy and bigger-than-life persona, especially on wannabe stadium rockers like "When I Climb to the Top of Mount Rock" and "Stick It to the Man," and the kids manage to bend some of the more treacly numbers like "If Only You Would Listen" to their collective wills via sheer youthful enthusiasm -- fans will delight in hearing the rousing theatrical version of the "For Those About to Rock (We Salute You)"-inspired title track that closes the show. Overall it's a fun and lighthearted rendering of the source material. That said, it's a bit hard to reckon with the eradication of any of the classic rock hits that featured so prominently in Linklater's film, as without them to serve as the foundation, the School of Rock, in theory, would most certainly crumble. ~ James Christopher Monger
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