'School Of Rock The Musical' is as much a callback to the beloved film as it is a brand-new experience.
With a killer cast including Brent Hill as the sloppy yet loveable Dewey Finn, the incomparable Amy Lehpamer as Principal Mullins, John O'Hara as pushover (the actual) Ned Schneebly, and the terrifyingly sassy Nadia Komazec as Ned's partner Patty.
The show moves along at a great pace, and the music is catchy. Songs like 'I'm Too Hot For You' and Dewey's 'When I Climb To The Top Of Mount Rock' are theatrical enough for a musical but they're total rock jams, so they really work within the context of the show.
'Where Did The Rock Go' by Principal Mullins? A huge moment to look out for.
Scene changes are swift yet steady, and the musical numbers in the show are choreographed simply but effectively.
There are a number of things that make the show an enjoyable watch, but nothing is more entertaining (sorry adult actors) than these brilliant kids.
Every single one of them is a pleasure to watch, and the gold medal goes to Stephanie Kipnis as Summer. We all remember Miranda Cosgrove in this role in the film, and Stephanie gets her down to a T. She's a complete spoilt brat with attitude up to the eyeballs – it's perfect. The back-and-forth between her and Dewey – or, Mr Schneebly – works wonderfully.
There's Zane Blumeris as Zack, Ruby Moore as Sophie, Amon Prete as Billy, Chihana Perera (with her incredible rendition of 'Amazing Grace') as Tomika... This entire cast of young ones has a big future ahead of it.
The breaking of the fourth wall at the end of the show – where the parents stood with the actual audience to watch their children on stage at the 'Battle Of The Bands' – was a fabulous touch. It made me feel as though I was actually at a 'Battle Of The Bands' event. It was an immersive end to an energetic, fun performance.
'School Of Rock The Musical' is on at Queensland Performing Arts Centre until 18 August.