In a time when school districts are cutting arts programs from classrooms, School of Rock the Musical proves what music education can mean to a child.
The U.S. tour of the show, which is currently playing at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, is based on the 2003 Jack Black movie by the same name and features a new score by the iconic Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The reserved students of Horace Green Preparatory School open up under the musical direction of rock-n-roll wash up Dewey, played by Rob Colletti.
A student who has been too shy to speak in class blossoms into a lead/solo singer. Another with low self esteem is taught he can be a star behind a keyboard. A third, who is convinced he's not smart enough, is encouraged to be a song writer. Even the kids who are not musically gifted find a place in the band working behind the scene in lighting, costume design and management.
The fight to get to the Battle of the Bands offers lessons in math, computer science, negotiation skills, politics and music theory on top of learning how to play the musical instruments and use their vocal instruments.
The children are the real stars of the show. They play the instruments in the nearly three hour musical. By the end, the music director is leaning back in the orchestra pit cheering on the kids.
Phoenix Schuman, who plays Zack, joins the cast after picking up a guitar at eight. He now shreads it every night.
Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, who becomes Freddy, not only rocks the drums, but he also plays the piano, bass, xylophone and percussion.
School of Rock the Musical runs at the Broward Center through December 24th.