By Lia Chang
AsAmNews Arts and Entertainment Reporter
Congratulations to Jaygee Macapugay who is making her Broadway debut in the world premiere of School of Rock-The Musical, which begins previews on November 9th with the opening night set for December 6.
Her debut will be in the same theater (the legendary Winter Garden Theatre), with the same composer (Andrew Lloyd Webber), when she saw her first musical on Broadway. Only this time, instead of Cats, it’s School of Rock-The Musical.
Based on the smash hit 2003 film of the same title, School of Rock-The Musical will feature music from the movie, as well as an original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Glenn Slater, with a book by Julian Fellowes and direction by Laurence Connor.
Produced by Paramount Pictures, the 2003 film was directed by Richard Linklater and starred Jack Black in a career-defining performance. The film received universal critical acclaim and was hailed by The New York Times as an “irresistible comic postscript to the rock revolution.” The film went on to gross more than $130 million worldwide.
School of Rock – The Musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. Completely disinterested in academic work, Dewey decides to create his own curriculum, turning his class into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band.
Warner Bros. Records will release the Original Broadway Cast Recording for School of Rock – The Musical on Friday, December 4, 2015, on the eve of opening night. The new album will feature a new score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyricist Glenn Slater, along with three songs from the immensely popular 2003 film. Three-time Grammy Award-winner Rob Cavallo, who has worked with Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Paramore, Goo Goo Dolls, Phil Collins, and Gary Clark Jr., produced the album along with Lloyd Webber.
School of Rock-The Musical is produced on Broadway by Andrew Lloyd Webber for The Really Useful Group, Warner Music Group & Access Industries, The Shubert Organization, and The Nederlander Organization. Nina Lannan and Madeleine Lloyd Webber serve as executive producers.
Joining the previously announced Alex Brightman as “Dewey Finn” and Sierra Boggess as “Rosalie Mullins,” will be Spencer Moses as “Ned,” Mamie Parris as “Patty,”Evie Dolan as “Katie,” Carly Gendell as “Marcy,” Ethan Khusidman as “Mason,” Bobbi MacKenzie as “Tomika,” Dante Melucci as “Freddy,” Brandon Niederauer as “Zack,” Luca Padovan as “Billy,” Jared Parker as “Lawrence,” and Isabella Russo as “Summer.” The adult ensemble includes Natalie Charle Ellis, Emily Cramer, Alan H. Green, Michael Hartney, John Hemphill, Merritt David Janes, Lulu Lloyd, Jaygee Macapugay, Cassie Okenka, Patrick O’Neill, Tally Sessions, Jesse Swimm, Jonathan Wagner, and Jeremy Woodard. The children’s ensemble includes Taylor Caldwell, Ava Della Pietra, Jeffrey Samuel Kishinevskiy, Sofia Roma Rubino, Jersey Sullivan, Hayden Wall, Corinne Wilson, and Shahadi Wright-Joseph.
School of Rock will feature choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter, scenic and costume design by Anna Louizos, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Mick Potter, comedy direction by Cal McCrystal, and music supervision by Ethan Popp.
Tickets for School of Rock – The Musical are on sale to the public via Telecharge.com or by calling 800-447-7400. The Winter Garden Box Office will open on Monday, September 28, 2015.
Jaygee Macapugay was last seen in the Off-Broadway production of School of Rock-The Musical at The Gramercy Theatre. Before that, Macapugay was at The Public Theater in her critically acclaimed performance as Imelda Marcos in the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim collaboration Here Lies Love. According to Ben Brantley of The New York Times, her “devastating” performance made her Imelda “a red-hot chiller.”
Other favorite NYC credits include: Irene Molloy in Hello, Dolly! with Baayork Lee’s National Asian Artists Project; originating roles in two Pete Mills musicals with Prospect Theatre Company (Honor, The Rockae); workshopping Off-Broadway’s musical comedy Disenchanted! (Mulan, Pocahontas); and featured soloist for the concert, Suites by Sondheim at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
Regionally, Macapugay has been privileged to perform at the 5th Avenue Theatre, the MUNY, Casa Manana, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, KC Starlight, North Carolina Theatre, to name a few. The productions have been as varied as the locations- Brenda in Smokey Joe’s Cafe, Kim in Miss Saigon, Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar, and The King & I with Lou Diamond Phillips.
Whenever possible, Macapugay loves to combine performance with community engagement. As a former USO singer, she proudly performed for our troops as a member of the Andrews sisters inspired trio, “The Liberty Belles,” and also performed for President Bush Sr and former first lady Barbara Bush, NYC Mayor Bloomberg, and live on national television for New Year’s Eve with Carson Daly. Macapugay is also a proud member of Broadway Barkada, a collective of Filipino American professional performing artists.
Lia Chang is an award-winning filmmaker, a Best Actress nominee, a photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in FebOne1960.com Blog, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.