Performers from Belmont Theatre in York share their experiences as they prepare to perform the Broadway musical "School of Rock" for audiences September 23 through October 2. John Whitehead, for FlipSidePA
Local student musicians are the stars of this rock musical comedy at The Belmont Theatre.
You won’t have to travel to New York to see the Tony-nominated musical “School of Rock” this year.
Less than a year after opening on Broadway, the rock musical comedy is headed to The Belmont Theatre in York.
Typically, locals have to wait several years for Broadway musicals to be released to community theaters, Belmont director Rene Staub said. But "School of Rock" producer Andrew Lloyd Webber made an exception for this musical, allowing the youth production to be performed by actors 18 and under at community theaters across the country – even while it’s still running on Broadway.
“It’s extremely unusual,” Staub said. “I don’t know of any other show that has done that.”
You might recognize the show from the 2003 film of the same name, starring Jack Black. It follows Dewey Finn, a wannabe rock star who poses as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school to make some extra cash. But instead of focusing on academics, he turns the class into a rock band.
You’ll hear all of the original rock songs from the movie – including "In The End of Time" and "Stick It To The Man" – when the show opens at The Belmont Sept. 23, plus several new ones composed by Webber.
And, just like in the movie, the songs will be performed by student musicians.
The cast includes 35 local students ranging from fifth grade to seniors in high school, several of whom will play electric guitar, drums, bass and keyboard as part of Dewey Finn’s rock band live on stage.
“They’re triple threats," Staub said. "They can play, sing and act.”
Noah Schmitt – a senior at West York High School – will play the lead role of Dewey Finn, and Caroline Wolfe – a senior at Dallastown High School – will play Principal Rosalie Mullins.
If you go
What: “School of Rock”
When: Sept. 23-25 and 29-30 and Oct. 1-2. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays.
Where: The Belmont Theatre, 27 S. Belmont St., York
Tickets: $27 for adults, $25 for seniors and $15 for children
More info: Visit www.thebelmont.org or call 717-854-5715.