The forthcoming stage musical adaptation of the 2003 comedy School of Rock has cast its bandleader.
Alex Brightman—whose Broadway credits include Wicked, Matilda, and Big Fish—will play the role of Dewey Finn, the substitute teacher who transforms a group of prep-school tweens into the talented rock band he never had. The part was created onscreen by Jack Black, who actually earned a Golden Globe nomination (and won an MTV Movie Award!) his portrayal.
Much of School of Rock’s biggest buzz, though, comes from its creative team. The project is an unexpected entry from Andrew Lloyd Webber, the visionary composer who rocked the ‘70s and ‘80s with Jesus Christ Superstar, Cats, and The Phantom of the Opera. Webber’s writing the score with lyricist Glenn Slater (Tangled, Sister Act) while Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes is penning the book. Laurence Connor, who made his Broadway debut helming last year’s revival of Les Miserables, directs.
“I’ve come to consider the casting of an actor named ‘Brightman’ in a starring role something of a good luck charm for a long, healthy run on Broadway,” Lloyd Webber said in a statement. “Alex, lucky for us, also happens to be a remarkable Dewey Finn. The wonderful thing about seeing him play this role is that you get the sense that he’s having every bit as much fun performing as we are watching, and the result is positively infectious.”
School of Rock – The Musical begins previews on Nov. 9 at Broadway’s massive Winter Garden Theatre, in anticipation of an opening night on Dec. 6.