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Broadway show ‘School of Rock: The Musical’ really rocks

Kidsday reporters Gianna Verdi, left, Ariana Antonacci, Madison

Kidsday reporters Gianna Verdi, left, Ariana Antonacci, Madison Beehner and Gianna Antonacci at the Winter Garden Theatre before seeing "School of Rock: The Musical." Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

We went to see the new Broadway show “School of Rock: The Musical” at the Winter Garden Theatre.

This musical is based on the popular movie “School of Rock.” We follow Dewey Finn (played by Alex Brightman), an obsessed rock lover who gets kicked out of his own band for being too energetic on stage. He snags a role as a substitute teacher, pretending to be his friend Ned Schneebly. He teaches at the Horace Green Prep School, and teaches the kids there how to rock and to “Stick it to the Man!” He brings the kids to the local battle of the bands with hopes of winning.

We think this musical was way better than the movie. All of the kids actually played their instruments live on stage. The instruments included bass, vocals, guitar and drums. This musical is less focused on Dewey and more focused on the kids, and the pressure they are put under by their parents. There is a scene of their parents wanting them to be something they are not.

There were many differences between the movie and the musical. For example, Rosalie (Sierra Boggess) was more of a love interest to Dewey in the musical. They even kissed! Ned, Billy, Summer, Patty and Ms. Mullins had larger parts in the musical, while Freddy, Dewey and Zack had larger parts in the movie. In the musical, Tomika’s character was scared to make new friends, but in the movie she was insecure about her appearance. Some things stayed the same, like Patty being insanely overcontrolling, and the kids lying about having “Stickittodamaneosis,” a fake disease, so they could be in the battle of the bands.

Some of our favorite songs included: “If Only You Would Listen,” “Stick It to the Man,” “You’re in the Band,” “In the End of Time” and “Teacher’s Pet,” written by Zack Mooneyham (played by Brandon Niederauer). Our favorite kid actors were: Katie (bassist, Evie Dolan), Billy (stylist, Luca Padovan), Freddy (percussionist, Dante Melucci), Lawrence (keyboardist, Jared Parker) and Summer (band manager, Isabella Russo). One of the best scenes in the musical was “If Only You Would Listen,” where the kids sing about their parents putting a lot of pressure on them to be something that they’re not. We also liked the scene where the kids came to get Dewey to persuade him to compete in the battle of the bands, by telling him that they have truly been touched by him.

In another scene, Dewey Finn took Ms. Mullins (Sierra Boggess) out on a date. In this scene, Ms. Mullins finally decides to let the kids go on a field trip because Dewey reminds her of her love of music. The “You’re in the Band” scene was cool, too. This show is best for all age groups, and everyone should go see it. And, remember kids, STICK IT TO THE MAN!

It’s playing now at the Winter Garden Theatre. For tickets:

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