Cuba-U.S. detente has nothing on the hotly competitive Shubert and Nederlander organizations. Broadway’s two biggest landlords are suddenly looking like BFF’s as co-producers on hoped-for blockbuster shows (not for the first time, it should be noted; in 1981 they famously co-produced The Life And Adventures Of Nicholas Nickleby, among others. But still…).
They’re teaming with Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group and the Warner Music Group for the world premier of a new musical based on the 2003 Jack Black career-making comedy from Paramount. Currently, Shubert and Nederlander are co-producing the SRO Bradley Cooper-starring revival of The Elephant Man (at the Shubert-owned Booth Theatre).
Plans call for School Of Rock to cold-open on Broadway — no out-of-town tryout – at the Shuberts’ Winter Garden Theatre (following the limited run of the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Wolf Hall, Parts 1 & 2, which begins a 15-week stand on March 20). Previews are to begin Monday, November 2, 2015, with opening set for December 6.
Laurence Connor, who staged the stripped-back revival of Les Miserables currently running at the Imperial, will direct, with choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter. Lloyd Webber and lyricist Glenn Slater (Disney’s Tangled, Broadway’s Sister Act and Little Mermaid) will provide additional songs to augment tunes from the film. Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park; Cameron Mackintosh & Disney’s Mary Poppins) is writing the book. Sets and costs will be by Anna Luizos, lighting by Natasha Katz and sound by Mick Potter. Nina Lannan will executive produce.