Early version of School Of Rock musical for select group

- Give Up Coffee For Beautiful Breasts
- Welcome to your First Trimester
- Welcome to your Second Trimester
- Welcome to your Third Trimester
It has been a long time since he rock 'n' rolled, but Andrew Lloyd Webber has a new rock musical he is about to try out at a well-known Manhattan club and you will have to be on the right list if you want to get past the bouncers to see it.

Last Friday, he sent out an e-mail to a selected group of audience members, inviting them to the Gramercy Theatre to see an early version of School Of Rock, his new musical adapted from the 2003 Jack Black comedy.

"Someone up there in cyberspace has intimated that you might be interested in an invitation to a rather unusual theatre event," he writes. "The very first incarnation of School Of Rock will be a staged, actually highly staged concert at the Gramercy Theatre for just a few performances."

He is, of course, best known as the composer whose resume includes monolithic musicals such as Phantom Of The Opera, Cats and Evita. But he has never turned up his nose at an electric guitar, whether in works such as Jesus Christ Superstar, his prog-rock retelling of the final days of Jesus, or his concept album Variations, which put a rock 'n' roll spin on the classical composer Paganini.

He said these occasional performances of School Of Rock were a way to recapture some of the spontaneity that went into shows such as Superstar.

School Of Rock, which is directed by Laurence Connor (Les Miserables) and is expected to open at the Winter Garden Theatre in December, stars Alex Brightman as a substitute teacher who turns a class of prep-school students into his personal rock combo for an all-important battle of the bands.

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 Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Glenn Slater (Tangled, Sister Act).

Its book is by Julian Fellowes, creator and writer of Downton Abbey.

The cast, in both its concert and Broadway incarnations, will also feature rock bands consisting of school-age performers who were recruited at open casting calls earlier this year.

Among the child performers he has encountered in the United States, Lloyd Webber observed that "playing live is in the American DNA", whereas in his native Britain, he said "the kids who are into music are much more into the technology of it".

"I haven't come across, in Britain, a lot of kids playing 1970s and 1980s rock," he said. But in America, he added: "They're all into Led Zeppelin and Earth, Wind & Fire, all of that."

Asked how the audience members for these Gramercy Theatre performances were chosen, he said they had been selected from databases compiled by the Shubert Organization and the Nederlander Organization, the powerful theatre companies who each "assure me that their database is so brilliant", he said.

He concluded the e-mail to his invited guests with the phrase, "May the Spirit of Rock be with you".

But more important, he said: "I want a bit of feedback. We want to know whether it's actually any good. We may think it's great, fun and everything. And they might all sit there stony-faced and say, 'What's all this?'"

- Reviews for Aloha embargoed
- Writers protest Chinese lack of free speech
- Memphis turns blue for B.B. King
- Rhys Meyers admits to drinking relapse
- Comedienne used to disdain comedians
- French film, Hou triumph at Cannes
- Stars undress for success
- Iceland, Japan films win at Cannes
- Sweden wins Eurovision contest
- Gyllenhaal, 37, "too old to play lover of 55-year-old man"
Top Search
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- 9 Bad Habits That Can Cause Miscarriage
- Grape Is Pregnant Women’s Friend
- What Is Placenta Calcification
- 7 Kinds Of Fruit That Pregnant Women Shouldn’t Eat
- Do Not Miss Sugarcane Juice In Pregnancy
Top 10
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 3) - DHA supplements
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 2) - Docosahexaenoic acid
- Omega 3 fatty acids – what’s all the fuss about ? (part 1) - The science bit, Alpha linolenic acid
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 15) - When You’re Overdue
- Your Pregnancy After 35 : Labor and Delivery (part 14) - Baby’s Birth Presentation
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Sides (part 17) - Caramelized Baby Carrots, Roasted Garlic, Zucchini, and Onions
- Chocolate Covered Naartjies - Cauliflower Carpaccio With Watercress And Almond Dressing - Avocado Mousse Topped With Cauliflower And Bacon Crumbs (part 2)
- RECIPE Orange Cointreau jellies : Golden dessert to beat the glut
- BBQ Chicken Around The World (Part 2) - Beer can chicken
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Vegan Breakfasts (part 8) - Vegan Crepes, Tofu Florentine, Quick Hollandaise Sauc uick Hollandaise Sauce, Potato Poblano Breakfast Burritos
- Midweek Meals - These Dishes Promise Smooth Sailing (Part 2) - Lemon and thyme lamb with warm pumpkin salad
- Grill Happy Healthy Family Dinners (Part 5) - Pork and plum skewers
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Soups and Stews (part 4) - Ten-Minute Cheater’s Chili, Thai Tom Kha Coconut Soup , Cold Spanish Gazpacho with Avocado
- Winter Favourites New Ideas Cooking (Part 2) - Mac ’n’ cheese with pumpkin
- Celebrate Christmas Soon In July (part 2) - Roast pumpkin, fennel & brussels sprouts
- Healthy Recipes for a Vegan Pregnancy : Desserts (part 6) - Foolproof Vegan Fudge, Cocoa-Nut-Coconut No-Bake Cookies , Cheater’s Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes
- Budget Meal Planner For This Week (Part 1) - Monday - Spinach & Sausage Penne
- Budget Meal Planner For This Week (Part 5) - Friday - Rendang Beef Noodles
- Homegrown Treasures Time To Harvest (Part 2) - Beetroot & shallot tatins
- Get To Know Your Salad (part 2) - Greens & Berry Salad