|CAROLINE BASU (Swing) Caroline Basu is thrilled to be making her Broadway debut with this awesome cast and production! Caroline plays piano, bass guitar, ukulele, and recorder and loves riding horses. Regional (TUTS): The Secret Garden, Into the Woods, Oliver!. Thanks to Mom, Dad & sister Mia, Rebecca O’Sullivan, Mike Frost, Kally Duling, Tara Rubin Casting, SOR Creative, her amazing teachers back in Houston, her HSMT “family,” and most importantly, her dog, Hermes.|
|AVA BRIGLIA (Summer) Broadway: Matilda the Musical (Matilda). First National Tour: School of Rock (Summer). Regional: Gypsy (Baby June). GRATITUDE & LOVE: SOR Tour Company, Crew, Cast, SOR Creative, Ellyn Marsh, Julia Mendelsohn, BBDA, Media Theatre, Nancy Carson, Merri Sugarman – Tara Rubin Casting, Friends, Family, Pumpkin Hill, Mama, Daddio, Daniel & Beada! Instagram: @ava.briglia.|
|LEVI BUKSBAZEN (Freddy) Levi is from Charlotte, NC and honored to debut on Broadway! He began drumming at 5 and loves jamming to Rush. He would like to thank his mom, dad (aka music teacher), his 4 siblings, and bff Olivia. Instagram: @levibclt|
|LAYLA CAPERS (Tomika) Layla Capers is honored to be making her Broadway debut! Performance credits include The Wizard of Oz (Dorothy), Uptown Story, Annie, various national anthem and vocal performances. Special thanks to her family, Conrad Robinson, G.I.F.T.E.D., Rising Stars, Random Farms and Mara Entertainment. Insta: layla_capers|
|JORDAN COLE (Lawrence) Jordan Cole is excited to be making his Broadway debut in School of Rock! National Tours: Les Miserables (Gavroche), Finding Neverland (Michael). Special thanks to Tara Rubin Casting, the SOR creative team, Barry Kolker and Karina (his piano teacher since age 5). Love to my Mom, Dad, Alexa, grandparents, family & friends! Insta: @JordanColeOfficial.
|DUKE CUTLER (Swing, u/s Zack, Billy, Mason, Freddy) Duke Cutler is thrilled to make his Broadway debut in School of Rock. He saw it in 2015 with his brothers, Ace and Lane, and pledged to make his way up on the stage one day! He would like to thank his brother Lane for introducing him to the guitar before he could even walk, his Poppy for the gift of song, and his sister Phoenix for an endless supply of hugs and smiles.|
|DARROW GOLUB (James, u/s Zack) Darrow Golub makes his Broadway debut in School of Rock. He’s an avid guitar player who plays tennis and hockey when he’s not rocking out on stage.|
|KATIE GREENDORFER (Madison) Katie is thrilled to make her Broadway debut! She has been singing and dancing since age 4 and loves gymnastics and aerial silks. Many thanks to Tara Rubin Casting, Natasha and Eddie, everyone at SOR, and her friends and family (especially her sister who is her biggest supporter!).|
|MATTHEW JOST (Zack) Matthew is thrilled to make his Broadway debut with the cast of School of Rock. Born an NYC rocker, he enjoys jamming with his band, most recently rockin’ out at the Make Music NY festival. Many thanks to his parents, sister, grandparents, family, friends, Tim, Kenny, VJ, NYC Public School teachers, Merri/Tara Rubin Casting, and Jen/Subrina at the NYC Guitar School for making his dream come true! www.matthewjost.com|
Madison Elizabeth Lagares
|MADISON ELIZABETH LAGARES (Shonelle, u/s Tomika) Madison is excited to return to Broadway and to be a part of this amazing company. Broadway: On Your Feet (Little Gloria); Film: A Walk Among the Tombstones, Manhattan Night; TV: Blindspot, Search Party. Thank you to Eddie, Natasha and the Take 3 team, my manager, Sherry Kayne and voice coach Amelia DeMayo for believing in me. Thanks to Mom, Dad and Isabella for your amazing love and support. Instagram: madisonlagaresofficial Facebook: madisonelizabethlagares|
|MONTGOMERY LAMB (Katie) Montgomery is thrilled to make her Broadway debut and join the amazing SOR cast! Huge thank you to Jason Bercy (Bercy Talent), Tara Rubin Casting, A. Isbrandtsen, R. Sturm, E. Palermo, Doc Slot and A. Llewellen. Thanks to past Katies. Much love and gratitude to Mom, Dad, A & K, and the Campbell crew. Instagram: @official.montgomery.lamb|
|HUDSON LOVERRO (Billy) Hudson Loverro was last seen in A Bronx Tale on Broadway (Young C, original), Kinky Boots tour (Young Charlie), Assassins (NYCC, Billy), A Christmas Story (Papermill Playhouse, Randy), TV: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, “Superwings” (Jett), “Bug Diaries” (Cockroach). Thanks to Lisa Calli, Barry Kolker, Merri Sugarman, SOR team, Chris York, Janine Molinari, Mom, Dad, Audrey, Chloe. Instagram: @hudson_loverro|
Madalen Yarbrough Mills
|MADALEN YARBROUGH MILLS (Sophie, u/s Tomika) “Madz” loves to dance, read (Harry Potter fanatic!) and study mathematics. She is PUMPED to be making her Broadway debut with her new School of Rock family! Previously: 2017 National Tour of Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas: The Musical (Annie Who). So grateful to family, Abrams, and T-Town/RTR supporters. @madzz_dalen|
|NIRVAAN PAL (Mason, u/s Lawrence) Nirvaan Pal has been acting, singing, playing piano & guitar from a very young age. Nirvaan is thrilled to make his Broadway debut in School of Rock. Love and thanks to SOR creative team and cast, Jackie, Neal, Michi, Brian, Garden Street, Hoboken Catholic Academy, HCT, ATNY, NCC & family.|
|THEODORA SILVERMAN (Swing, u/s Summer, Katie, Shonelle, Marcy) “Theo” is thrilled to be making her Broadway debut and privileged to continue with the incredible School of Rock company! 1st National Tour: School of Rock (Katie), Once National Tour, ABC’s “What Would You Do?” Thanks & Love to Mom, Dad, Hazie, Lisa Calli, Barry Kolker, Merri Sugarman/Tara Rubin Casting, Ellyn Marsh, SOR Creative! @theosilverman|
|MIKEY SOHN (Swing) Mikey is a Broadway newcomer from the DC metro area. This 5th grader enjoys math, science, and rocking out on drums, piano, and harmonica, and is a “beast” on the basketball courts and soccer and football fields. Proud to join the cast of School of Rock. Thankful to his sister, Sivan, for moving with him to NYC for this incredible experience.|
|SARAH WALSH (Marcy) Sarah is delighted to be making her Broadway debut in School of Rock. It is a dream come true! Thanks to Mom, Dad, and her entire wonderful family for their support. Special thanks to her sister Kasey for always singing and performing with her, and to her best friend Blythe for coming to see all of her shows. Much gratitude to Karen Cantor (Elefante Music), and to Tara Rubin Casting for this amazing opportunity.|
“The only other woman to rival [Boggess] onstage is the pig-tailed bass player Evie Dolan, a funky burst of sunlight who is about 10. Other kid standouts are Brandon Niederauer, who melts faces off with his axe, and Bobbi MacKenzie does it with her lungs.”
“The dozen or so children are wildly talented and absolutely adorable. I dare you not to smile as they stomp around and chant that they will “stick it to the man.””
“But back to those kids! Sure, we’ve seen children sing. We’ve seen them dance. We’ve seen them act, and we’ve seen them play instruments. But this cast is doing it all with more intensity than you’d expect. A recorded announcement at the top of the show informs us that, yes, they are in fact playing their own instruments. What is so impressive and commendable is the inspiration this will yield for young theatergoers.”
“The most sensational ensemble of kid actors to hit Broadway since ANNIE’s original gang of orphans is headed by scruffily charismatic lead guitarist Brandon Niederauer. Bass guitarist Evie Dolan masters the job’s traditional deadpan grimace and Jared Parker doesn’t hide his wild enthusiasm whipping out keyboard licks. Dante Melucci gets the audience going with his slamming drumming but the jaw-dropping moment comes when Bobbi Mackenzie, as the shy Tomika, lets out a mature and sensitively textured vocal of “Amazing Grace.”
On the acting side, Isabella Russo shows great comic chops and a fine musical theatre voice as Summer, the smart kid with leadership qualities that excels at being the band’s manager.”
“If you look hard enough, work with kids long enough and build a structure that carefully protects them, you can find pre-adolescents who can dance, play or sing on a seemingly adult level.
They sure did all of the above with this show — finding a young guitar whiz named Brandon Niederauer, a killer drummer named Dante Melucci, a keyboard prodigy named Jared Parker and a pre-teen bassist named Evie Dolan, all of whom play live all night long, eight shows a week, no double-casting, no siree.”
DC Theatre Scene
“Particularly memorable in Dewey’s School of Rock band are Brandon Niederauer as the guitarist, a mean man with a riff, Evie Dolan as Katie the bass player, and Jared Parker as keyboardist Lawrence, who initially doesn’t want to join because he doesn’t think he’s cool enough.
…the wonderfully precocious Isabella Russo…the most gorgeous songs in the show, “If Only You Would Listen,” which, when reprised, is led gloriously by 11-year-old Bobbi McKenzie as Tomika.”
“Lloyd Webber himself is heard on tape at the top of the show, assuring the customers that the tykes in the band — cute as a Benneton poster — are indeed playing their instruments (just like in a John Doyle production of Sondheim!), and they are indeed amazing…Brightman appears to be a pretty cool guitarist but what a protege Dewey gets in the Zack of Brandon Niederauer, a prodigy who’s already sat in with house bands around TV land. Mention also must be made of Evie Dolan, Carly Gendell, Ethan Khusidman, Dante Melucci, Luca Padovan, Jared Parker and Isabella Russo as the various students who serve as instrumentalists, back-up singers, manager, costume designer and other band-type functions. And special mention also must be made of Bobbi MacKenzie, a Broadway belter in the making.”
“…the best things on the stage of the Winter Garden Theatre are the dozen or so unknown kids who steal the show, many of them making their Broadway debuts…when those kids — Dewey’s 10-year-old students — take the stage, School of Rock is a delight….Tameka, played by Bobbi Mackenzie, has helicoptering gay dads and is too intimidated to speak; she finally opens her mouth and turns out to have the pipes of a diva…if the children are in fact our future, School of Rock suggests we’re in pretty good hands.”
“The children are universally adorable and several of them are staggeringly accomplished musicians. It is an absolute treat to hear them.”
“It’s funny, but you don’t realize just how badly you needed to see a 12-year-old boy powering through a face-melting guitar solo, or his pint-size female counterpart on bass, pouting like the coolest of rocker chicks, until you witness them onstage in the disarming musical adaptation of School of Rock….the show knows full well that its prime asset is the cast of ridiculously talented kids, ranging in age from nine to 13. They supply a joyous blast of defiant analog vitality in a manufactured digital world.
It might sound lame to suggest that School of Rock works in large part because of the charms of a bunch of adorable kids. But their infectious delight as they etch their distinct personalities and seize both their individual and collective right to be heard is irresistible. And at a time when attention is being paid to diversity in entertainment, the mix of children from different racial backgrounds adds another refreshing layer to the experience.
…Isabella Russo, priceless in the slightly demonic mold of a baby Christina Ricci…Luca Padovan, a treasure…
This is also the first time we get to see the junior dynamos in action, with Zach (Brandon Niederauer) on guitar; Katie (Evie Dolan) on bass; Lawrence (Jared Parker) on keyboard; and Freddy (Dante Melucci) punishing the drum kit. The fact that all four, alongside Brightman on guitar, are actually playing their own instruments elevates the songs in terms of excitement. Ditto the divine backup vocalists (Carly Gendell and Taylor Caldwell, later joined by dynamite soloist Bobbi MacKenzie), with their gorgeous “doo do-doos” and sublime dance moves. The kids get the show’s most poignant moments in affecting songs like “If Only You Would Listen,” directed at their oblivious parents, and reprised later in the “To Sir With Love” vein, as a tender tribute to what Dewey has done for them.”
“MacKenzie as the shy and for quite a while silent Tomika provides for another of the production’s crowd-pleasing moments, although how and why won’t be revealed here….Oh, yes, musical comedy aficionados, it’s the non-voting-age players, including the adorably proficient Isabella Russo as the band manager, who steal this undertaking…”
Los Angeles Times
“The kids are all right. Actually, they’re better than all right. They’re downright charming…
The show, however, belongs to the children…each and every young actor in the cast deserves to be on Broadway’s honor role.”
NBC New York
“Among the young performers, Brandon Niederauer is awesome on electric guitar. Dante Mellucci brings adult-like attitude to his drumming. Evie Dolan, as a pig-tailed bassist, could step into a Go-Go’s cover band tomorrow. Vocalist Bobbi Mackenzie sings a regal “Amazing Grace.””
New York Times
“All the children are defined as distinct individuals but without excessive shtick. My personal favorite: the petite, poker-faced Evie Dolan as Katie the bass guitarist.”
“The first thing to know is that the kids, cast through a high-profile talent search, are genuine children who play their own instruments, and they’re all terrific.”
“But the real stars of this show are the thirteen children who play the members of Dewey’s class, pint-sized forces of nature who sing, dance and play instruments, all without any noticeable flagging of energy. In quick, affecting strokes, these actors establish the emotional stakes of their characters (particular props to Bobbi MacKenzie, as the cowed-into-silence Tomika, and Luca Padovan, as fashion designer-in-the-making Billy).
And in the musical’s two best numbers — the audition sequence “You’re in the Band,” and the anthemic “Stick it to the Man” — the youngsters really do give us a sense of the liberating, formative power of rock music on the pre-adolescent brain.”
“…Summer, played by the small, scene-swiping Isabella Russo…”
Peconic Public Broadcasting
“…this band of newly aspiring actors, actresses and musicians are really quite good. 4 or 5 of them including the drummer, a keyboard player and a guitar player are way better than you could possibly expect from 9 – 11 year olds and, as we are told at the outset, they are actually playing the instruments and not just pretending while another band backstage is actually doing the work.”
“You can feel the tremors of excitement ripple throughout the house when Brandon Niederauer plows through his electric guitar solos with the razor-edged precision and cocky confidence of someone twice his age. Jared Parker’s slamming piano playing is always accompanied by a sly, angled grin suggesting (probably accurately) that you couldn’t do as well yourself. Although she’s preternaturally laid-back as the bass player, Evie Dolan has the knack to craft a killer line that makes her projected diffidence work like comic gangbusters. Good luck forgetting how show-stoppingly fierce Dante Melucci is on the drums. And when the tiny Bobbi Mackenzie opens her mouth to sing, you’ll swear the polished, soulful sound that comes out is the product of a gospel singer with decades of experience.
What’s more impressive still is that none of these youngsters gets off one-and-done easy. They play multiple numbers in many scenes across both acts of this full-length (two-and-a-half-hour) musical, and are required by the story to keep upping the game as things progress. And at no point do they ever let you down, reaching beyond their grasp and proving they are just ordinary children. No, they convince you not just that they deserve to be there, but that they are already headliners of blinding brightness who deserve every shred of the immense career potential they would seem to have before them.”
“Happily, these talented young professionals are as adorable and negative-review-proof as their colleagues…Bobbie Mackenzie astounds us as the big-voiced Tomika. Isabella Russo is like General Patton in Mary Janes as band manager Summer. The standout musician of the group is Brandon Niederauer, who plays lead guitarist Zack. He’s so good you might be tempted to think he was miming the work of an adult guitarist hiding in the pit if Lloyd Webber did not emphatically insist in a preshow announcement that the kids are all actually playing.”
“How could you possibly resist them, these fresh, sunny faces and sweet pre-pubescent voices that dominate the cast of School of Rock — The Musical? Did I mention that some of the kids also play musical instruments, live?
But it’s the younger cast members who engage us most. There’s Isabella Russo, pert and adorable as the hyper-driven Summer, who manages the band; and Jared Parker’s heart-tugging evolution, as Lawrence, from a sad nerd into a monster keyboardist. Brandon Niederauer’s Zack plays his guitar with irresistible gusto, and Evie Dolan’s Katie is a model of deadpan cool pounding her bass.”
“…cast of super-talented kids…the adorable Isabella Russo…One by one, the sensational young superstars step forward: Zach (Brandon Niederauer), the amazing lead guitarist; Katie (Evie Dolan), the little darling rocking that big, bad, black bass; Freddy (Dante Melucci), the kid tearing up the drum set; and Lawrence (Jared Parker), the shy lad who comes alive at the keyboard…Tiny Tomika (Bobbi MacKenzie), a baby doll with a gigantic voice (“Amazing Grace”), leads the backup singers…”
“The kids are terrific: They sing very well, are not overly adorable, and (as a pre-show announcement makes sure to clarify, because it isn’t always clear in the din) play their own instruments. ”