By: Jubilee DelGado/Staff Artist
I, Jubilee, being the huge nerd that I am, have always had an obsession with the Jack Black movie, School of Rock. I am also a huge theatre nerd and have spent the last five and a half years of my life working on all of the Blue Ridge Middle and High school productions (on the costume team, the stage crew, and in the cast). Considering this, you could imagine I had very high expectations when I went to see School of Rock: The Musical on Broadway in New York City, and all of them were exceeded.
As a child, School of Rock was my absolute favorite movie. I even bought it on VHS when those were still relevant. Practically every line and every note to every song is embedded into my soul. I was absolutely amazed when I went to see the musical on Broadway and it blew the movie right out of the water. All of the actors were so true to the original characters, that you’d never believe they were just acting, you’d think they were really them. This is especially true of the lead role, the hilarious, lazy rocker, Dewey Finn, played by Justin Collette. He had me cracking up throughout the whole show. With Collette as the star, there was never a dull moment on the stage.
And now, to look at it from a behind-the-scenes aspect. As I previously stated, I do a lot of work for a theatrical costume team and stage crew. Because of this, when it comes to the small details that many others may be totally oblivious to, I notice everything. Even considering this, I was not disappointed. Every little detail was perfect. The school uniforms, the laid-back look of Dewey, the rocker look for those in Maggot Death and No Vacancy, all of the costumes were spot on and true to how those characters would have dressed.
As for the sets and set changes, I was honestly in love. I am not exaggerating when I say that it is extremely difficult to do a major set change without fail or at least some sort of slight mishap. Despite this, even with such huge sets, all of the changes were perfectly smooth.
I have never personally worked in the sound and lighting booth for our productions, but I have friends who have, and I have learned from them that it is very important to pay attention to all of the lighting and sound cues, when to turn on what mic, etc., and this crew did just that. They must’ve paid very great attention, because not a single cue was missed, both the lighting and the sound was amazing and perfectly timed.
School of Rock was the first ever Broadway production that I was blessed to have seen. It was beyond spectacular. Every single one of my expectations were blown out of the water. Everything from the sound, lighting, costumes, acting, set changes, and the music was absolutely amazing. To put it simply, it was beautiful.