Friday, March 11, 2005
In today's Philadelphia Inquirer:
FROM SCHOOL OF ROCK, A VINTAGE ROCK MUSICAL
Published: Friday, March 11, 2005
A would-be rock star finds fulfillment and success teaching kids how to jam like the pros. Sounds like the plot of the 2003 film comedy School of Rock, right? It's also the story of the Paul Green School of Rock, the Center City institution that has been molding teenagers into seasoned players since 1998.
"When that movie came out, we considered legal action, but I prefer to take all the good press," Green says. "It's allowed us to say, 'Remember that Jack Black movie? Well, we're the real thing.' " (Rock School, a documentary about Green that was in the works long before School of Rock, recently received rave reviews at the Sundance Film Festival.)
Instead of the traditional scales-and-recitals method of instruction, Green pushes his students to form bands and perform live. The school stages regular showcases devoted to individual artists or genres (Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, and "Big Bad Corporate Rock" have all been hits). The kids have toured the country, and have even performed in Germany, but Philly will always be home base.
Saturday (Mar. 12), the School of Rock will stage its version of the rock musical Jesus Christ Superstar.
"It's pretty theatrical," Green says. "We have a cross, we have a crown of thorns, Jesus is in a loincloth, and everyone's wearing a brown tunic. It ended up somewhere in between a musical reading and a Broadway play."
Just don't expect an amateurish, high-school-level performance.
"You have my personal guarantee that this is pretty much the best show we've ever done," Green vows.
And yes, my son Eric will be on drums and yeah, yeah, I'll be there assuming this family is rid of the strep throat from hell. (Hence the lapse in posting and oh my god, what a winter. We're never sick and it's been like every other week here -- I think it's a direct result of Bush getting re-elected in November. We're so mentally disturbed by it all that our resistance has been lowered significantly so we keep getting physically ill. That's my theory and I'm sticking with it!)