Sticking It To the Man at 30

My parents wanted to do something other than just take me out for brunch for my birthday this year (because I’m turning 30) and I suggested we go see School of Rock. I’ve been slow on my show-seeing this season and my mom agreed that it was a good idea. We sat in the second row on the left side last Saturday and I was looking forward to it. The movie was meant to be turned into a musical and Andrew Lloyd Webber knows how to write a good score. At the very least, it was bound to be good.

I was disappointed that Alex Brightman (Dewey) was out but seeing how his standby Jonathan Wagner looked exactly like him, I knew I probably wasn’t going to mind (after all, I had nothing to compare him to). Sierra Boggess was in though, so there was that.

The pre-show announcement is made by Webber himself and states that yes, all the kids are playing their own instruments. Good to know because I found myself wondering that as they shredded through the score! Holy shit, those kids are talented. 

The score is great and it follows the movie almost to a T. Everyone in the cast is very talented and I walked away humming the score (which usually never happens). The staging and sets were great and the choreography was effective. Jonathan Wagner also didn’t disappoint. My 30-year-old ass definitely walked away singing “Stick It To The Man.” 

If you like the source material (ie. the movie) and musical theatre, get yourself over to the Winter Garden Theatre immediately. School of Rock won’t let you down if you’re looking for a good time. 

I was invited recently to a preview of It Shoulda Been You, the new musical by Brian Hargrove and Barbara Anselmi. It was starring the enormously talented Sierra Boggess, Tyne Daly, Lisa Howard, and Harriet Harris so I thought we were in for a treat. 

It was the timeless story of wedding day antics and jitters for bride-to-be Rebecca (Boggess) and her groom Brian (David Burtka), with the support her crazy Jewish mother (played by Daly) and father (the wonderful Chip Zien), her always overlooked sister (Howard), and her ex-boyfriend (Josh Grisseti). Wedding day jitters are the usual (am I really for this?!) and in the last couple of scenes there’s a huge, couldn’t-have-seen-that-coming plot twist that turns the entire show on it’s head.

It’s lovely and hysterical, and the score is cute and fun. The cast is entirely too talented and a blast to watch onstage. It Shoulda Been You isn’t a mind-blowing piece of theatre but it’s a great time at the theatre. 

For more information check out their website here

To say that I had mixed feelings about seeing The Phantom of the Opera again last Wednesday night would be an understatement. When I received the invite, I RSVP’ed only because I wanted to see Norm Lewis and Sierra Boggess together.

Our seats were lovely, Row N in the orchestra. I could see the Phantom wherever he happened to pop up without craning my neck.

And do you know what else was lovely? The show. I really enjoyed it. Having not seen it in a good 8 years combined with having been in the middle of reading 50 Shades of Grey made it a whole new experience for me. When I was younger I never quite caught on to the explosive sexuality if the show, but since I was expecting to be bored, this was a refreshing surprise.

Lewis and Boggess were jaw-droppingly amazing. Their chemistry was fantastic and their voices were flawless. My two reasons to revisit the show after so many years were well worth the trip. The rest of the cast was great too, but Boggess and Lewis stole the show (as they should).

If you’re thinking that you want to see these two in their roles but are dreading sitting through this tourist favorite again, fear not! Just go. It’ll be worth it.

Tickets were provided by the production.