School of Rock Heads to PPAC … and Warwick Mall

Multiple choice question of the day…

“School of Rock” is A) a 2003 comedy starring Jack Black, B) a Broadway musical coming to PPAC later this month, C) a chain of music schools; D) All of the Above.

If you guessed D, you’re correct.

SCHOOL OF ROCK is a major Broadway musical coming to the Providence Performing Arts Center beginning February 26th. It’s based on the 2003 film “School of Rock” staring Jack Black, Joan Cusack and Sarah Silverman. But first, a popular local music school, the School of Rock, will present a special performance at the Warwick Mall on Wednesday Feb. 20th. We got the scoop from Dave LaSalle, owner and General Manager of Schools of Rock in North Providence and Attleboro.

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“We’ll be at the Warwick Mall doing an instrument petting zoo. That is when we bring some gear, put it up on the stage, and give kids an opportunity to come up and play the instruments,” explained LaSalle. The program runs from Noon- 2PM and there will also be students from the school performing. (NOTE: the performers from School of Rock Attleboro are not from the National Tour cast of SCHOOL OF ROCK.)

Rock School

LaSalle told us that the School of Rock is a chain with over 200 franchises.

“The School of Rock is focused on music performance education. We’re kind of an alternative to typical music lessons. Kids come here to learn how to play in a show, which is a bit more comprehensive than just learning an instrument. We’re teaching them how to put together a professional show, a rock concert.”

“Each week they have one-on-one lessons with their individual teacher and then they come in for the full band rehearsal. It’s about a four-month process. At the end of our season we take the kids out to a major venue – either Fete Music Hall in Providence or The Met in Pawtucket. We recently had a show there where about 400 friends and family came out.”

School of Rock Students Performing

LaSalle explained how the popular movie “School of Rock” was actually inspired by the business.

“Paul Green was the founder of School of Rock 20 years ago in the Philadelphia area,” before the film was released. “Paramount Pictures got wind of what he was doing and came down and looked at the whole process and that’s where the movie came from. After that, because of the movie, the whole concept of School of Rock became more popular and the business turned into a franchise.”

“School of Rock now has about 200 locations in 9 countries with upwards of 30,000 kids enrolled. It’s been growing quite rapidly in the last 4-5 years. I opened the school in Attleboro about 3 years ago and then I opened my second location in North Providence about 10 months ago,” explained LaSalle.

Meanwhile, SCHOOL OF ROCK, the Musical, is coming to PPAC February 26 – March 3. Tickets are on sale now at the PPAC Box Office, online at www.ppacri.org and by phone at (401) 421-ARTS (2787). Click here for further details.


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