‘School of Rock’ invites select few to see early version of new musical

The score includes three songs from the original film (which was written by Mike White and directed by Richard Linklater) as well as about 12 new songs composed by Mr. Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Glenn Slater (“Tangled,” “Sister Act”). Its book is by Julian Fellowes, the creator and writer of “Downton Abbey.”
Scheduled to open in December 2015 at the Winter Garden Theatre, “School of Rock” has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater and a book by Julian Fellowes of “Downton Abbey” fame. (Bet you didn’t see that coming.)


So, did you get a coveted email invite yet from Andrew Lloyd Webber to a staged early performance of “School of Rock”  at the Gramercy Theater? Me neither.

“Someone up there in cyberspace has intimated that you might be interested in an invitation to a rather unusual theater event,” Lloyd Webber writes in the email, according to today’s New York Times.

Is this the social networking way of mounting future Broadway musicals? Instead of out-of-town tryouts we will have in-town invite-only stagings? The first of  “these occasional performances” are scheduled Wednesday through Saturday (June 3-6).

According to the Times, Lloyd Webber said the purpose of these  shows  was “seeing how it all lands. That’s the adventure, really, to discover.”

The show is based on the 2003 Jack Black movie about a substitute teacher who turns students into a rock combo for a battle of the bands. It’s directed by Laurence Connor (“Les Misérables”) and retains three songs from the film with about 12 new songs with music by Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Glenn Slater (“Tangled,” “Sister Act”). Believe it or not, the book is by Julian Fellowes, the creator of “Downton Abbey.”

The chosen few were selected from databases compiled by the Shubert Organization and the Nederlander Organization, long-time theater owners and producers.

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