School of Rock Makes Arkansas Debut

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, September 26, 2018School of Rock, the hilarious new musical featuring high-octane songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber, will make its Arkansas debut at Walton Arts Center in an eight-show engagement Oct. 23-28.

Tickets start at $38 plus applicable fees. Patrons can also purchase reserved parking in the Spring Street parking deck for $7. Tickets and parking can be purchased in-person at the Walton Arts Center Box Office, by calling 479.443.5600 or by visiting waltonartscenter.org.

Show Times:  

  • Tuesday, Oct. 23 and Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 7 pm
  • Thursday, Oct. 25 at 1:30 and 7 pm
  • Friday, Oct. 26 and Sunday, Oct. 27 at 8 pm
  • Saturday, Oct. 27 at 2 and 8 pm

Onstage, the adaptation features a not-so-secret sauce, the kids in the rock band actually play their musical instruments - very well. The young actors’ musical skills are showcased several times in exuberant rock numbers like “You’re in the Band,” “Stick It to the Man” and one song retained from the movie, “Teacher’s Pet.”

“You wouldn't really think that it’s 10 and 11 year-olds!” Lloyd Webber said. “I mean, it's extraordinary for their age, just how great they are, and how together they play.”

Lloyd Webber says he discovered his love of music and theater at about the same age as the kids in the show. And, he adds, School of Rock represents a coming home, of sorts. His first big hit was the rock opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, which he wrote when he was just 22.

“When we recorded Superstar, Led Zeppelin was next door in the studio making an album,” Lloyd Webber said.  “And the lead singer of Deep Purple was our Jesus on the original Jesus Christ Superstar album. So, coming back to doing this wasn't a huge leap for me.”

Lloyd Webber, along with book writer Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey), lyricist Glenn Slater and director Laurence Connor, have taken Richard Linklater’s 2003 film – which made Jack Black a star – and given it new life onstage.

It’s the story of an outrageous rock star wannabe, Dewey Finn, who works his way into a substitute teaching job at a private school. Dewey puts together a rock band with his students to compete against adults in a Battle of the Bands contest – and changes everyone’s lives, as a result.

Lloyd Webber, composer of such megahits as Phantom of the Opera and Cats, wants audiences to have a “really good time” at his newest show, an unabashed musical comedy.

School of Rock is fun. Hopefully, I've fleshed it out with a few catchy songs and kept the spirit of the original movie,” but he adds, there’s more to School of Rock than that. “Hopefully you will also take out of it the central message of the story – which is about the empowering force of music.”

Visit waltonartscenter.org for more information about School of Rock.

Walton Arts Center is Arkansas’ largest and busiest performing arts presenter. Each year more than 195,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend more than 400 events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, weddings and more. Approximately 45,000 students and teachers participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and almost 200 volunteers donate 21,000 hours of time each year to its operations. Walton Arts Center presents entertainers and artists from around the world including Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, international artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more. As a non-profit organization, Walton Arts Center enjoys the generous support of public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and private donors who help bring world-class arts experiences to Northwest Arkansas. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit www.waltonartscenter.org.

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