Sunday, May 14th, 2017 was my final day at School of Rock, and like most of the original cast-members before me, I have finally graduated from "Horace Green Prep". I've had the most amazing time being a part of Broadway's School of Rock and I'm grateful to everyone that helped me along the way. From rehearsals at New 42 to meeting Andrew Lloyd Webber, Laurence Connor, JoAnn Hunter, Ethan Popp and Glenn Slater -- to the Tony Awards, Good Morning America, the Thanksgiving Day parade, Stevie Nicks, Barbra Streisand and much more, it has been an incredible dream I've lived for 20+ months. Special thanks to four of my mentors, David Ruttura, Patrick O'Neill, Lulu Lloyd and Darren Ledbetter from whom I have learned so much about music, acting and dancing. I have made a lifelong family. Here are some photos and video clips from our closing bows and celebration afterward. Enjoy! Keep checking my website and social pages for what's next for me. Until then ... #rockon!
In the last 21 months, I have seen many cast members, some my dearest friends, leave the show and now, sadly, it’s my turn to graduate from School of Rock on Broadway.
My last day at "Horace Green Prep" will be May 14th. It’s been an amazing and unforgettable experience and I’ve learned so much from it. It’s been so great to build friendships and to have many incredible times like being on The TONY Awards, appearing on Good Morning America and the Thanksgiving Day parade, meeting Jack Black and lots of famous rockers like Stevie Nicks and Barbra Streisand.
And, let’s not forget performing in School of Rock on Broadway! It’s been such an honor to meet Andrew Lloyd Webber, Laurence Connor, Joanne Hunter and to share my days with David Ruttura, Patrick O’Neill, Darren Ledbetter, Lulu Lloyd and the ultra-talented cast, crew and company.
Without School of Rock, I probably wouldn’t be playing bass or guitar. I originally thought that family meant those I was related to, but I now realize my family extends to my School of Rock family too.
School of Rock, the hit musical from Andrew Lloyd Webber, features Broadway’s first-ever kids rock band playing their instruments live on stage. These kids are incredibly talented and hard-working, but we wanted to know what the young stars like to do around New York City when they’re not busy jamming out. Rachel Katzke, Ellie Kim, Raghav Mehrotra, Jason Kisare, Chloé Bryan, Ava Della Pietra, Ruth Righi, and Gianna Harris shared the places they love the most, and they hope visitors will love them just as much.
Once a year, Broadway swings are recognized for their vital contributions to the business. School of Rock has some of the best swings on Broadway. I am so proud to work alongside them every day. While all Broadway swings must be versatile and have an excellent memory, our show presents us with some unique challenges. There is a tremendous amount of dance choreography for each role as well as blocking that includes moving desks, props and walls -- and an open pit! Swings are ready to go on at a moment's notice. I cover six different roles in the show including Summer (with solo songs) and Katie (the lead bass player). We work together as a company to be sure that the show ALWAYS goes on! Here's a great photo of all of the School of Rock swings.
Top (L to R): Jason Kisare, Jesse Swimm, Lulu Lloyd, Patrick O'Neill Bottom (L to R): Ellie Kim, Luke Bonenfant and me!
One of my favorite things to do (when I have some time) is to see other Broadway shows. I think all actors on Broadway enjoy that. In January, Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect, Dear Evan Hansen) came to our show!
It was great to meet him afterward. Thanks Ben!