Marquette Wire

Get schooled on ‘School of Rock’

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Photo by Matthew Murphy

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For most, fifth grade did not consist of enrolling in a battle of the bands competition with a music teacher who, well, wasn’t really a music teacher. But “School of Rock,” running at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts for the rest of the weekend, depicts just that.

The musical tells an extremely similar tale as the 2003 movie. Regardless, some things are  different once they hit the stage. Rob Colletti, who plays Dewey Finn, took some time between his performances to school us on “School of Rock.”

Prouty: What drew you to audition for the show?

Colletti: I’m a huge fan of the movie, obviously. I told my agents that I was interested … over the course of a long period of time I auditioned a bunch, and fortunately I eventually booked it.

Tell me a little bit about your character. 

I think he is a good hearted man, who wanted to do right in his life, and be bigger and better than he maybe thought he could actually become. In doing so, maybe got lost in the fray of trying too hard. He failed in areas he would have liked to have succeeded in, but even so he still has this good soul and this good spirit. He got to prove himself when he takes this opportunity that he kind of commits fraud to get into, but he actually ends up changing the lives of these children … and changing his own. Even though this person does something that’s kind of morally questionable, he actually in doing so, not only changes the lives of these kids for the better, but their parents and teachers at school and makes them recognize how important it is to be true to yourself.

Do you and Dewey have anything in common? 

For sure. He’s a fun loving guy. It’s definitely type casting. I don’t have to try very hard to be this guy. He’s just a good guy and he loves music and he loves to connect with people. I have that built into me as well.

What’s your favorite part of the show?

That’s hard to say. The whole show is really fun. I guess, without trying to give so much away, I really love performing the end. The end of the show is really moving and uplifting. That’s the moment I think people really resonate with.

What’s it been like working with the kids in the show and the cast in general? 

It’s amazing. The kids are incredible and they are such great musicians. They’re great people. They’re so excited to be here. Some of them never even dreamed this was a possibility and yet here they are, doing so well. They’re having the time of their lives and seeing them have that energy lifts me up every day.

What do you hope audiences take away from “School of Rock?”

It reminds people how important it is to follow what moves them internally. Follow the things that mean more to us than maybe we’d like to admit … there are things that feed our soul that we sometimes forget about. This show is a really strong reminder of the uplifting power of music. Anyone who enjoys music, which I think is probably the vast majority of the wold’s population, is going to leave tapping their toes and feeling uplifted, and at least wanting to listen to the music a little bit more if not going to a Guitar Center to pick up an instrument themselves. That’s one of the most rewarding parts of doing the show — is when we have kids at the stage door who say ‘I’m going to have my mom take me to the store tomorrow and get me a ukulele,’ or whatever it might be. They feel moved enough to try what we’ve been preaching about the entire show themselves.

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