Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical “School of Rock” will premiere on Broadway next year, with the adaptation of Richard Linklater’s 2003 Paramount film opening in December at the Winter Garden Theater.
The new show, which gets Lloyd Webber back to the rock ‘n’ roll roots he showcased in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” comes from a formidable team that also includes book writer Julian Fellowes, the writer-creator of “Downtown Abbey,” and lyricist Glenn Slater (“Love Never Dies,” “Leap of Faith,” “Tangled”). Record producer Rob Cavallo, who’s worked with acts from Green Day to Phil Collins, also is on board, and Laurence Connor, who co-directed the current revival of “Les Miserables,” helms.
Lloyd Webber knows the Winter Garden pretty well: “Cats,” the now-and-forever tuner that became one the world’s first global megamusicals, ran there for 18 years. His enduring juggernaut “The Phantom of the Opera” has been playing at Broadway’s Majestic Theater for 26 years.
“School of Rock” follows a wannabe rock star who uses a stint as a substitute teacher to recruit a band of talented kids to take on the Battle of the Bands.
Although Lloyd Webber is a musical-theater powerhouse with a string of successes on his resume — “Cats,” “Phantom,” “Superstar,” “Evita,” “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” — his more recent efforts, including “The Woman in White” and “Phantom” sequel “Love Never Dies,” have had rockier fates. Theater types will be watching “School of Rock” closely to see if it can hit the commercial heights of the composer’s previous megamusicals.
“School of Rock” is produced by Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, Warner Music Group & Access Industries, the Shubert Organization and the Nederlander Organization. The production begins previews Nov. 2 ahead of a Dec. 6 opening.