Thursday, April 13, 2017

review - SCHOOL OF ROCK - Spotlight Youth Theatre

Devon Policci and Cast
Photo by Joanne Wastchak
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through April 23rd.

"...School of Rock, based on the 2003 film that starred Jack Black...is actually very suited to be musicalized. It's also a show that fits perfectly in the youth theatre realm since it focuses on a group of musically gifted elementary school kids. Spotlight Youth Theatre's production is well cast and efficiently directed and results in a rip roaring good time....Dewey Finn who, after being kicked out of his band and told he needs to move out by his roommate's girlfriend since he is so far behind in his rent, pretends to be his roommate in order to secure a substitute teaching job to make some quick cash. ...When he discovers that the kids in his class have some keen musical abilities, he latches onto the idea to enter them in an upcoming battle of the bands competition. In doing so, he makes the kids and their parents realize that, when dealing with the pressures and responsibilities of school, a face-melting guitar riff and a head-banging tune can make everything seem just fine....You can see how it will end a mile away, but with hints of The Music Man and some introspective moments added to the feelings and frustrations of the young classmates, this is a crowd pleasing show full of humor and heart....Devon Policci makes a sympathetic and appealing Dewey. His performance is full of outrageous gestures and wacky line deliveries...but he is also charming, sincere, and quite endearing ....Addison Bowman is appropriately authoritative and strong as Rosalie...Bowman's strong singing voice excels on her songs. Several of the kids playing the students in Dewey's classroom are talented musicians and seeing them play live and rocking out on stage adds a sense of joy to the production. ...
Director Kenny Grossman does impressive work, especially with such a large cast and a show that has dozens of scenes set in multiple locations. He gets layered performances from his cast and skillfully uses the imaginative and impressive set design by Bobby Sample, Mike Armstrong, and Clancy DeGroodt to quickly move the show along...Lynzee 4Man's choreography is fun and varied, while Mark 4Man's music direction nicely balances the vocals of the cast with the prerecorded tracks and live on-stage playing by the talented cast members....While School of Rock may not be all that original and the ending isn't hard to figure out, Spotlight Youth Theatre's production is funny, engaging, and a true crowd pleasing show." -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

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