“School of Rock — The Musical” cast members playing students of the Horace Green School look on skeptically as Dewey Finn, an out-of-work rock singer and guitarist who pretends to be a substitute teacher, begins to lead them in the song “Stick It To The Man” at Community Little Theatre in Auburn. From left, Paige Scala, Julia Pfohl, Maisy Seaver, Daphne Cifelli, Brendan Bouchard, Ellie Pfohl, Isana Bell and Lena LaRoche. Submitted photo

As August meanders into early fall, somewhere inside each of us memories of back-to-school days steal into our lives.

“School of Rock — The Musical,” now playing at the Lewiston-Auburn Community Little Theatre, gives us a raucous (rock-us) opportunity to revisit those halcyon days as students, parents and teachers. But the somewhat cloudy lens through which we will wildly view it all is through one outlandish individual: Dewey Finn, played by Brendon Bouchard.

Treat yourself to this powerhouse modern fable of music and theater principally inhabited by young, engaging and gifted actors.

Under the direction of Paul Caron, outstanding musical numbers by Andrew Lloyd Webber are performed live. A terrific, but unseen, house band and a highly talented cast of young actors bring the music to colorful life. It is for them this musical is written.

The secret truth in the unique plot is that creative expression, self-confidence and personal growth are nurtured through the arts.


Music is the vehicle in this case, but it could just as easily be painting, sculpting or writing. Each of these vehicles is sometimes driven by mentors, coaches or influential individuals who may not fit traditional molds or employ conventional methods. The extraordinarily large cast is proof of this.

A dejected Dewey Finn, played by Brendan Bouchard, lies on the couch as friends Patty (Adelyn Bell) and Ned (Justin Morin) express frustration for their less-than-welcome house guest. Submitted photo

Flipping through the playbill, you will notice that mothers, fathers and their daughters are among the many cast members. All pay tribute to the teachers and mentors who have inspired and encouraged them along the way.

In Act I, Dewey Finn, an unequivocal hot mess, is kicked out of his band, No Vacancy, for his over-the-top antics on-stage. Relegated to couch surfing at the home of his old friend and former bandmate Ned Schneebly (Justin Morin) and his all-business girlfriend Patty Di Marco (Adelyn Bell), Dewy is an insufferable jerk.

Patty wants the freeloader out, as his presence is anathema to her work ethic and values. Ned has come to the realization that he and Dewey will never be the rock stars they always dreamt they would be. Instead, Ned has found work as a substitute teacher but is finding it hard to tell Dewey to get out.

As the result of a coincidental phone call and in a cunning attempt to make some “easy money,” Dewey impersonates Ned to secure a substitute teaching position at the prestigious and expensive Horace Green School. This is where the hectic plot begins running, rocking and rolling.

In the role of Dewey, Brendon Bouchard is a manic, abrasive, loud, anti-establishment presence throughout the play. Leaping his way from scene to scene with boundless energy, he is the engine that drives the storyline from start to finish. His musicianship, vocal talent and physicality are commanding and terrific.


Ms. Rosalie Mullins (Mackenzie Richard), the staid, no-nonsense principal at Horace Green, is appalled by the faux “Ned Schneebly” and tries to impress upon him the decorum and discipline expected of a successful teacher. Her talents are showcased throughout the play but are especially highlighted in the “Horace Green Alma Mater” number and a stunning rendition of “Queen of the Night,” composed by none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Oblivious to educational norms, a hungover Dewy enters his classroom to greet his students — a group of freshly scrubbed, neatly uniformed children — who we soon learn have been enrolled at Horace Green to fulfill their parents’ desires to guide and control their children’s futures. Here, Dewy proclaims that there will be permanent recess and no homework. After a hilarious attempt to obtain food to cure his hangover, Dewy climbs on his desk demanding to be left alone while he sleeps it off.

Here’s where the show takes off and shines. Dewy learns that there is latent musical talent in his students. He concocts a scheme to transform the class into a group of rock musicians to compete in a battle of the bands, which just happens to offer a $20,000 prize he hopes to capture.

The cast of talented young students is outstanding, endearing, charming and captivating. Summer (Lena Laroche), a sassy and outspoken young lady, quickly asserts herself as a future leader as she scolds the reprobate substitute for his classroom behavior. Tomika (Meghan Rivard) plays the “new student” as a shy wallflower who, in Act II, blossoms into the lead singer for the newly formed band.

Freddie (Owen Hiltz), loud on the cymbals in the traditional music class, finds a home on the drums. Katie (Maisy Seaver) swaps her cello for the electric bass guitar. Lawrence (Zane Deletetsky) becomes the keyboardist, and Zack (Dashiell Legawiec) bonds with the electric guitar.

And just like that, the nascent band, the School of Rock, is formed.


A boisterous “You’re in the Band” number finds places for everyone in the class to participate. Shonelle and Marcy (Daphne Cifelle and Isana Bell) become backup singers, and two other girls, Madison (Evie True) and Sophie (Ellie Pfohl), are the roadies.

For the more technical jobs, Mason (Paige Scala) is put in charge of lights, Jamie (Violet McDonald) is made the security officer, and an ecstatic Billy (Julia Pfohl) is made the band’s stylist. Summer is angry that she hasn’t been given a job, so Dewey makes her the band’s manager. The only student left without a job is Tomika, the shy new girl, but her opportunity will come. Confident about their prospects, Dewey hands out iconic band CDs to the students to listen to as homework.

Rapid scene changes move the story along. From the Schneebly living room to the teachers’ lounge, in and out of the classroom to the hallway, quick vignettes introduce and further develop many of the characters. A spotlight series of parents interacting (or not) with their children highlights the disconnect between them and their expectations as the students lament in song, “If Only You Would Listen.”

Act II opens with band practice sessions, impending parents’ night complications and the warming of the relationship between Dewey and Ms. Mullins, which brings the Battle of the Bands closer to reality. But Ned and Patty discover Dewey’s deception and bring his impersonation scheme to the attention of Ms. Mullins and the band members’ parents.

As the plan to compete in the Battle of the Bands at the Palace Theater seems to unravel, Dewey and the students sneak away amid the confusion. Watch for a clever spotlight tableau of their escape, which is a nod to the cover of Paul McCartney’s “Band on the Run” album.

Needless to say, the band reaches the Palace Theater just in time to perform against the rebooted band, No Vacancy, which had kicked Dewey out. The parents arrive in time to see their children rockin’ the house and acknowledge how music has changed them all for the better.

This rousing rock musical will run Saturday, Aug 13, at 7:30 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 18, 19 and 20, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 21, at 2 p.m.

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