Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical School of Rock, with book by Julian Fellowes, based on the 2003 Jack Black movie, has broken the house record at Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre, grossing more than US$1.5 million dollars, in a standing room only sell out during Christmas week. This smashes the previous record of US$1.36 million held by Mamma Mia.
This is the first time that a British composer and producer has opened a new musical on Broadway. The show has received rave reviews from the US critics and is set to break a further record when it plays nine performances this week.
The sell out audience over the festive period coincides with the beginning of a nationwide search in the UK for highly talented children required for the musical’s West End debut at the London Palladium.
Andrew Lloyd Webber said: “I had forgotten what it was to have this kind of hit. It is particularly great as we have no star names and we are witnessing personal triumphs for our brilliant kids and for Alex Brightman as Dewey, the role made famous by Jack Black.
“Now our team will begin searching across the UK for talented children to star in the West End transfer.”
The thirteen child roles in School of Rock involve the kids playing their own instruments live on stage, as well as singing and dancing.
Because of the UK performance regulations on child actors, School of Rock will need at least three separate casts – more than 39 talented children in total.
The nationwide search for the UK cast will begin in the new year. The show will open at the London Palladium in the spring of 2017.
The musical is an adaptation of the 2003 hit film comedy which starred Jack Black as the failed rock star, Dewey Finn, who becomes a teacher and forms a band with his pupils. Lloyd Webber has composed an original score for his stage adaptation, with lyrics written by Glenn Slater, and a book written by Julian Fellowes.
School of Rock – The Musical is produced on Broadway by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group, Warner Music Group & Access Industries, The Shubert Organization, and The Nederlander Organization. Nina Lannan and Madeleine Lloyd Webber serve as Executive Producers.