School of Rock

School-of-Rock-Broadway
www

ig-iconyt

Bios | Schedule | Reviews

Natalia Bingham

natalia-bingham NATALIA BINGHAM (Swing, u/s Summer, Marcy, Katie, Shonelle) Natalia is honored to ‘rock’ with the cast and crew of SOR. Credits include Small Alison (Fun Home), Annie (Annie), Young Cosette (Les Mis) and Sesame Street (“Elmo’s World”). Thanks to mom, dad, nana, Tori, Merri and Claire at Tara Rubin Casting, Lisa Calli, Barry Kolker, Amanda Flynn, Kat, Rick, DMO, and UDA.
NataliaBingham.com

twitter-iconig-iconyt

Olivia Bucknor

OLIVIA BUCKNOR (Shonelle, u/s Tomika) Thrilled to debut the role of Shonelle in the SOR tour. Featured in the Oscar-nominated cartoon “My Life as a Zucchini” as Beatrice. She played young Ranita in the biopic “Roxanne, Roxanne.” Featured in Pharrell Williams’ book “Happy”. Thanks to her parents for their support, L’il Angels and Innovative Artists.

fb-icon

Grier Burke

grier-burke GRIER BURKE (Tomika) Grier is excited to join this cast and be in the band! She most recently appeared in the Broadway National Tour of Disney’s The Lion King as Young Nala. Regional Theater credits: Elf the Musical, A Christmas Story, Annie Warbucks, and Billy Elliot. Many thanks to Gray Talent Group. www.grierburke.com. @iamgrierburke.
GrierBurke.com

ig-icon

Bella Fraker

bella-fraker BELLA FRAKER (Swing, u/s Summer, Marcy, Katie, Shonelle) Bella is thrilled to rock out with the 1st School of Rock tour. From Atlanta, Ga. giving many thanks to God, family, Nancy, casting, Orbit Arts, Broadway Dreams, Bob and Debbie.

fb-iconig-iconyt

Carson Hodges

carson-hodges CARSON HODGES (Mason, u/s Lawrence) Carson is 9 years old and thrilled to make his Broadway debut on the School of Rock Tour. Gratitude and thanks to his entire family, Malko Dance Studios, Skips Music, Bach to Rock Music Academy, and his agent Nancy Carson for their love, support and mentoring.

fb-iconyt

Jack Suarez Kimmel

jack-suarez-kimmel JACK SUAREZ KIMMEL (Swing, u/s Zack, u/s Freddy) Jack is thrilled to debut on the SOR Tour! NJ metal-head and multi-instrumentalist, shredding the guitar since age 8. Thanks Mom, Dad, Liana, Bebe and the entire family. Instagram: jkimmel.music

ig-icon

Alyssa Emily Marvin

alyssa-emily-marvin ALYSSA EMILY MARVIN (Marcy) Alyssa Emily is thrilled to rock across the USA with the amazing SOR team! Int’l Tour: Annie (Molly). Love and thanks: Nancy Carson, Tara Rubin Casting, SOR Creative, Bob Marks, Janine Molinari, Denise Simone, Raquel/MVS, Alex, Mom, Dad, Grandma Diane, Andy, Julia, Cookie dog, family and friends! www.alyssamarvin.com; Insta: @alyssaemmarvin
AlyssaMarvin.com

fb-icontwitter-iconig-iconyt

Theo Mitchell-Penner

theo-mitchell-palmer THEO MITCHELL-PENNER (Lawrence) Playing the piano since age 5, Theo is over the moon to be making his touring debut in SOR! Thanks to Nancy Carson, his teachers, and the Walnut. Love to his family and friends. Special thanks to Merri Sugarman, Andrew Lloyd Webber, and the cast and creative team.
ig-icon

Vincent Molden

vincent-molden VINCENT MOLDEN (Zack) School of Rock is Vincent’s first theatrical appearance. A sixth-grader in public school in Chicago, Vincent started playing the guitar at age six. He thanks his family, Little Kids Rock, the Chicago Public Schools All-City Performing Arts program, and whoever created Rocksmith.

ig-icon

Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton

gilberto-moretti-hamilton GILBERTO MORETTI-HAMILTON (Freddy) Gilberto is humbled by the opportunity to tour with SOR. This Native New Yorker comes from a musical family with roots in the Caribbean and Italy. He was honored as “Musician of the Year 2017” by the Boys Club of NYC. This multi-instrumentalist also plays piano, bass, xylophone and percussion. Insta: gilbertomorettihamilton

fb-iconig-iconyt

Iara Nemirovsky

iara-nerimovsky IARA NEMIROVSKY (Summer) Iara is thrilled to make her national tour debut as Summer. A proud member of the country’s youngest Shakespeare troupe (Los Angeles Drama Club), she wishes to thank DDO, Tara Rubin Casting, team SOR. To my family, friends, teachers, Mama, Papa and Snow – you rock! @5678iara

ig-iconyt

Theodora Silverman

theodora-silverman-2017 THEODORA SILVERMAN (Katie) “Theo” is thrilled to be playing her dream role of Katie in the National Tour of School of Rock! Recent credits: Once National Tour, ABC’s “What Would You Do?” Thanks & love to Mom, Dad, Hazie, Lisa, Barry, Tara Rubin Casting, Ellyn, Jeff, Dan & Piper! @theosilverman

ig-iconyt

Jesse Sparks

jesse-sparks JESSE SPARKS (Swing, u/s Zack) Born a NYC Rocker, Jesse grew up attending concerts and listening to all genres of music. Jesse started lessons at age 6, quickly finding his passion for electric guitar!

ig-icon

Cameron Trueblood

cameron-trueblood CAMERON TRUEBLOOD (James, u/s Freddy) Born in L.A., long-time drummer Cameron is honored to join the SOR cast! Love and gratitude to mom, dad, brothers (Dylan, Mason and Ethan), Tonya, Aaron, and Tara Rubin Casting.

Gabriella Uhl

GABRIELLA UHL (Sophie, Tomika) From Cornwall, NY, and is excited and thankful for this national tour debut “in the band!” Thanks to my family, my voice coach Ilene Reid, and everyone who’s supported this adventure.

Huxley Westemeier

huxley-westemeier HUXLEY WESTEMEIER (Billy, u/s Lawrence) This Minneapolis native is thrilled to play Billy in the National Tour of School of Rock! Recent credits: The Guthrie Theater’s Watch on the Rhine, The Ordway’s Jesus Christ Superstar. Special thanks to Tara Rubin Casting, Jeremy, Maggie and Broadway Playground. Love to family, Mom, Dad and Rufus.

 

Review Quotes

The Healthy Hen – Date Unknown

“There is just something awe-inspiring about seeing these incredibly skilled and talented kids performing live right in front of you. It was magnificent. The kids rightly stole the show. They each played all of their own music and absolutely rocked it. They were so gifted.”

Broadway World San Francisco – 07/08/2018

“Fortunately, the kids are more than alright, earning an ‘A’ for natural talent and a refreshingly unaffected stage presence. All of them – Theodora Silverman, Cameron Trueblood, Alyssa Emily Marvin, Carson Hodges, Grier Burke, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, Vincent Molden, Huxley Westemeier, Theo Mitchell-Penner, Iara Nemirovsky, Jack Suarez Kimmel, and Gabriella Uhl – deserve praise for showing us a class of very real kids with unique personalities, quirks, and foibles that never ring false as stagey kid stuff. They carry the heart of the show…with a sweet humor, boundless energy, and bodacious musical chops – particularly those on solo instrumental duty – and smooth dance moves…”

Bay Area Reporter – 07/04/2018

“Standout child stars in his pick-up rock band include Vincent Molden on lead guitar, Theodora Silverman on bass, and Theo Mitchell-Penner on keyboards.”

The Daily Californian – 07/04/2018

“…School of Rock finds its big draw in its talented cast of kids, some as young as 9, who play their own instruments at every performance….All the kids humorously amplify the caricatural personas of their roles, from sassy costume designer Billy (Huxley Westemeier) to nerdy keyboardist Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner). But the most impressive part of their roles come from their adept instrumental performances – Zack (Vincent Molden) channels rock-star angst into his Chuck Berry-esque guitar riffs, while Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) brings wild energy to his drum solos. Iara Nemirovsky’s Summer holds her own onstage against Rob Colletti (protagonist Dewey Finn), commanding the theater and her classmates in ‘Time to Play.'”

Marinij.com – 07/04/2018

“The main appeal is that the 11-year-old kids are really playing their instruments as they rock the roof off the place. It’s a joy to watch Vincent Molden doing the Chuck Berry Duck Walk while rocking the guitar as the somber Zack, while Theo Mitchell-Penner’s withdrawn Lawrence wails on keyboards, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton’s Freddy pounds the drums and Theodora Silverman’s Katie keeps it cool on bass….It’s really the kids who make the show, and it’s at its best when they have a chance to shine. Other standouts include Iara Nemirovsky as precocious overachiever Summer, Huxley Westemeier as high-strung aspiring designer Billy, and Grier Burke as withdrawn powerhouse singer Tomika.”

Yab Yum – 07/03/2018

“The kids are absolutely phenomenal. After all, this is a show that built its hype on the fact that the very young cast plays their instruments live, on stage. And that hype is completely justifiable. They are completely magnetic. The show is anchored by Theo Mitchell-Penner as Lawrence (on keyboard), Theodora Silverman as Katie (on bass), Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as Freddy (the drummer) and Vincent Molden as Zack (the incredible guitar player). Every time they rock out live on stage, the audience erupts with excitement. Even those accustomed to seeing young people perform on a stage cannot help but be floored by the elevated talent that comes with the quadruple threat of children who can act, sing, dance, and play live music that rivals some of the greatest rock musicians in history.”

Vmedia Backstage – 06/30/2018

“This company includes some of the best Broadway kids including 6th grader, Vincent Molden, on lead guitar who stops the show at least two times with his amazing riffs….The marvelous kids in the two and a half hour musical include: Huxley Westemeier, Gabriella Uhl, Cameron Trueblood, Jesse Sparks, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, Vincent Molden, Theo Mitchell-Penner, Jack Suarez Kimmel, Olivia Bucknor, Grier Burke, Natalia Bingham and Carson Hodges all top pro’s….Moretti-Hamilton and Mitchell-Penner show off their impeccable voices along with the other ‘iGeneration’ in the cast….Katie played by the stand-out Theodora Silverman…Freddy, played by the talented Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton…Piano player Lawrence played by the the accomplished Theo Mitchell-Penner tells his new teacher he isn’t cool enough to be in the band. Of course, the clever Mitchell-Penner, is able to switch like a pro from Mozart to Queen and Electric Light Orchestra….the elegant little Grier Burke…”

SF Gate – 06/29/2018

“They act, sing, dance and play their own instruments – quadruple threats, in musical theater parlance – with talent and charisma to burn….the extraordinarily gifted young actors in its cast…”

SF Examiner – 06/28/2018

“…kick-butt performances by a dynamic cast, including some awesome 9- to 12-year olds….‘School of Rock’s’ best parts by far – and they’re even inspirational – are the numbers when the kids perform….Guitarist Zack (Vincent Molden), keyboardist Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner), drummer Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) and bassist Katie (a super-cool Theodora Silverman) really rock out in ‘You’re in the Band.’ (A pre-show announcement emphasized they’re not faking and really playing.) And things genuinely heat up in ‘Stick It to the Man,’ the Act 1 closer, when the whole crew – Olivia Bucknor, Grier Burke, Bella Fraker, Carson Hodges, Jack Suarez Kimmel, Alyssa Emily Marvin, Iara Nemirovsky, Jesse Sparks, Cameron Trueblood and Gabriella Uhl – joins in. Given the right material, these kids clearly have a future in show biz.”

BroadwayWorld Arizona – 06/20/2018

“When all is sung and done, though, it’s the kids that make the musical a trip!…Fists are up, hands are clapping, jaws are dropping as Iara Nemirovsky plays Summer, the sassy, no nonsense, in-Dewey’s face, band manager; Theodora Silverman (Katie) slays the bass guitar; Vincent Molden ran away with lead guitar; Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton (Freddy) shred the drums; Theo Mitchell-Penner (Lawrence) floated along the keyboards; and Grier Burke (Tomika) emerges from shyness to reveal a powerhouse amazing-grace voice.”

David Appleford’s Film and Theatre Reviews – 06/20/2018

“When Dewey starts the audition process and has his class substitute marching cymbals for rock ‘n roll drums, cellos for guitars, and piano for the organ, complete with backup singers and a classroom band manager who’s in charge ‘of the whole damn thing!’ both the music and the comedy reach giddying heights of delight that should have you beaming and applauding after each mini solo. The sight of prep school uniformed ten-year-olds holding instruments almost bigger than they are is in itself funny, but once that drummer emerges from behind his drums and suddenly knocks out a killer solo, followed by a pulsating electronic bass and two backup singers bursting into Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wildside chorus, you’ll be hooked….Theodora Silverman with her dead-pan, rock ‘n roll face, is irresistible as Katie, the cellist turned bass player.”

San Diego Story – 06/16/2018

“Each of the young performers who play Dewey’s pupils are very talented and are in big sequences where they get to sing, act or play various instruments such as the guitar, keyboard and drums. Molden, Mitchell-Penner, Burke, and Iara Nemirovsky as the band manager Summer Hathaway, behave like real kids, which gets the audience caring for their characters.”

Purple Words on a Gray Background – 06/14/2018

“The stars, playing their own instruments with panache, include guitarist Zack (Vincent Molden), drummer Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton), bassist Katie (Theodora Silverman) and keyboardist Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner)….Among the other young actors in the ensemble, Iara Nemirovsky shines as the domineering student Summer Hathaway, while Grier Burke belts out a crowd-pleasing, a cappella ‘Amazing Grace.’”

San Diego Jewish World – 06/14/2018

“Iara Nemirovsky is a petite powerhouse as the class’ Little Miss Bossy, Summer Hathaway…the kids really do play [their instruments] and they are impressive. Vincent Molden as Zack busts some classic Chuck Berry moves on lead guitar. Theodora Silverman is no slouch on bass guitar and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton has some real chops on the drums. At first, Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) resists being in a rock band because rockers are ‘cool’ and he’s never been ‘cool.’ But this boy knows how to jam on the keys. And we cheered when shy little Tomika (Grier Burke) finally found her voice in a goose bumps raising ‘Amazing Grace’ sung a cappella.”

San Diego Union-Tribune – 06/14/2018

“…the musicianship, including that of the kids, is solid….The stars, playing their own instruments with panache, include guitarist Zack (Vincent Molden), drummer Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton), bassist Katie (Theodora Silverman) and keyboardist Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner)….Among the other young actors in the ensemble, Iara Nemirovsky shines as the domineering student Summer Hathaway, while Grier Burke belts out a crowd-pleasing, a cappella ‘Amazing Grace.’”

Times of San Diego – 06/13/2018

“We get some background info on the primary musicians in Dewey’s young band – all musically mega-talented, with 6th grader Vincent Molden, who plays lead guitarist Zack, as a standout; this is his first theatrical experience….The bossy, goodie-two-shoes girl, Summer (big-voiced Iara Nemirovsky, who’s quite good at copping an attitude) becomes the band’s manager.”

BroadwayWorld Denver – 06/01/2018

“The most exciting performances of the night however, must be given to the children of the cast. These are some of the most talented kids I have ever seen. With many of them playing instruments live and in living color, it made for an incredible experience. Stand out performances include real life 6th grader Vincent Molden in the role of Zack (Guitar), Iara Nemirovsky as Summer (Band Manager), Theodora Silverman (Bass), Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as Freddy (Drums), and Theo Mitchell-Penner as Lawrence (Piano).”

Boulder Weekly – 05/31/2018

“They infuse the show with youthful energy and talent that overflows off the stage; there’s something so lovable about kids jumping around on stage shouting, ‘I’m in the band!’…But inarguably the rocket fuel of the production are the dozen kids who rock the stage, particularly Theodora Silverman on bass, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton on drums, Vincent Molden on guitar, Theo Mitchell-Penner on keyboards and Grier Burke on vocals. Not even old enough to drive, these kids are seasoned pros – many of them as quadruple threats: singing, dancing, acting and playing an instrument.”

Glendale Cherry Creek – 05/31/2018

“The soundless Tomika, played by Grier Burke, surprisingly opens-up and slays a delivery of ‘Amazing Grace.’…The kids unquestionably stole the show not only with their acting but by playing their instruments live.”

The Know – 05/31/2018

“As announced before the curtain rose, they are, in fact, playing their instruments…Their young voices are strong, their harmonies impressive. And they are all so darned energetic. (All that jumping!)”

Signal Tribune – 05/29/2018

“The dozen or so child performers actually sing and play instruments here—including electric guitar, bass and drums—along with an insane amount of jumping as only kids can do. Clad in the plaid uniforms of the lofty Horace Green preparatory school, these mostly 10-year-olds cutify the production with their talent, including well-timed humor….The kids are also vocally skilled, including quiet Tomika’s (Grier Burke) strong rendition of ‘Amazing Grace.’…The kids’ collective angst, caused by parents who variously don’t hear them, overschedule them and expect them to follow in their footsteps, is best expressed in their ensemble number, ‘If Only You Would Listen’…”

MyBurbank.com – 05/15/2018

“…warm, engaging, and filled with invigorating performances by a cast of budding young musicians and singers who steal the show in almost every scene”

Arts Beat LA – 05/11/2018

“…for the rock ‘n’ roll scenes their expertise seemed genuine and evident. We see Vincent Molden as Zack the guitarist, Theo Mitchell-Penner as Lawrence on keyboards. Theodora Silverman is fantastic as Katie on bass as is Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton who plays drummer Freddy.”

Los Angeles Daily News – 05/11/2018

“Still, the dozen kids are the undisputed highlight here. There’s Zack on guitar (Vincent Molden), Lawrence on keyboards (Theo Mitchell-Penner), Katie on bass (Theodora Silverman) and Freddy on drums (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton). And yes, as a recorded Webber tells us preshow, they play their instruments onstage. There’s the trio of singer: Shonelle (Olivia Bucknor) and Marcy (Alyssa Emily Marvin), plus Tomika in the lead (Grier Burke). And there are those essential team members: Sophie the roadie (Gabriella Uhl), Mason on tech (Carson Hodges), James on security (Cameron Trueblood), Billy the stylist (Huxley Westemeier) and Summer the band manager and young feminist (Iara Nemirovsky).”

Deadline – 05/07/2018

“The children in School of Rock strike a melodic balance with their performances, giving the perfect combination of mature awareness without taking away from the fact that they are kids. …they struck a chord with me… Then there is the young Grier Burke, who plays Tomika, the quiet, timid student that you know for damn sure has a hidden talent. Throughout the first act of the musical, you sit on the edge of your seat waiting for her to slay. The payoff comes in the second act when she delivers a take-me-to-church rendition of ‘Amazing Grace.’”

LA Weekly – 05/07/2018

“But my special accolades go to the youngsters, each one of whom is as disciplined as any seasoned professional, whether they’re center stage or off to the side, doing whatever they need to do to stay in character…And the musical performances of some of those playing an instrument, including Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton on percussion, Theo Mitchell-Penner on keyboard, Theodora Silverman on bass and – most outstanding – Vincent Molden on electric guitar, propel you into wow territory.”

Los Angeles Times – 05/07/2018

“When Katie (Theodora Silverman) starts slapping the bass, Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) smashes the hi-hat, Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) blows the roof off with his keyboard improvisations and Zack (Vincent Molden) shreds on the electric guitar, all of them looking uncannily like members of Van Halen in the 1980s except somehow pure and innocent, the audience kvells like grandparents watching a toddler in Daddy’s tie.”

Onstage Blog – 05/07/2018

“…turns a piccolo player named Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) into a righteous drummer…Precocious student Summer (Iara Nemirovsky), always eager to follow the rules and earn gold stars, becomes the band’s manager. Shy Tomika (Grier Burke) blossoms and belts out ‘Amazing Grace’ to become a lead singer with Dewey. Shonelle (Olivia Bucknor) cast as one of the adorable backup singers is precious in this show.”

CA Highways – 05/06/2018

“Of course, the real stars of the show (at least in the eyes of the audience) were the kids, eclipsing the smaller adult roles. … All of these kids are talented, but quite a few deserve special recognition. Let’s start with the musicians: Silverman, Moretti-Hamilton, Molden, and Mitchell-Penner are great on their instruments, and really really shine in their solo moments. It reminds one of how much talent there is in the kids of this world – be it science or music or performance. Burke blows the audience away with her solo of ‘Amazing Grace’, and Nemirovsky has some great comic and leadership moves as Summer. Lastly, Westemeier’s a hoot as Billy.”

Daily Bruin – 05/06/2018

“The children also succeeded in embodying their characters through telling body language and facial expressions. Cello-player-turned-bassist Katie (Theodora Silverman) nodded her two pigtails while pooching her lips, and lead guitarist Zack (Vincent Molden) bent his knee and tilted his torso to the side, transforming the kids from upright, quiet students to confident, hip rockers. … Grier Burke as Tomika, the shy, slouched-girl-turned-sassy lead singer of the band, stood out from her middle school peers. In the second act, after expressing her aspiration to be a lead singer in the band instead of just a backup singer, she comes center stage, closing her eyes and planting her feet while belting ‘Amazing Grace,’ scoring her a spot in their ensemble.”

Entertainment Weekly – 05/06/2018

“All are worthy of praise, but particular props to Grier Burke, who plays Tomika with deadpan and who nails her emotional ‘Amazing Grace’ performance.”

BroadwayWorld Los Angeles – 05/05/2018

“These pint-sized phenoms are uber-talented, both as actors and musicians….Instead of wondering whether Vincent Molden (Zack) is actually shredding that electric guitar himself, you can sit back and enjoy how well he’s doing it. A girl bass player? Yes, please, and Theodora Silverman has the chops to kill it, along with the rocker attitude. Lovable Theo Mitchell-Penner is a monster on the keyboard and, in his final hour, proves to be quite the showman as well, while Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton tears it up on the drum kit every chance he gets. There are big, bright performances by Iara Nemirovsky as an annoying goody two-shoes turned band manager, Huxley Westemeier as a pre-teen costume designer destined to give Project Runway’s Michael Kors a run for his money, and Grier Burke, who blossoms from the shy new girl to a determined young lady who knows she’s lead singer material. Back-up girls Olivia Bucknor and Alyssa Emily Marvin have some surprisingly hip moves, and it keeps going right on down the line.”

Hollywood Reporter – 05/04/2018

“It’s hard not to be impressed by a preteen like Vincent Molden, who can shred an ax with the dexterity of Hendrix, or the fussy and charming Theo Mitchell-Penner, able to switch on a dime from Johann Sebastian Bach to Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Grier Burke charms as reluctant diva Tomika, and Iara Nemirovsky gives a buttoned-down portrayal of Summer, the goody-two-shoes band manager whose references to female empowerment get a rise out of the audience”

LA Parent – 05/04/2018

“Now about those kids: Cast members Theo Mitchell-Penner on keyboards (as Lawrence), Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton (as Freddy) on drums, Vincent Molden (as Zack) on lead guitar and Theodora Silverman (as Katie) on bass are impressive musicians…The vocal performances—especially by kid cast members Olivia Bucknor, Alyssa Emily Marvin and the amazing Grier Burke—are strong throughout the show. And these young performers make playing their instruments, singing, dancing and acting (really good acting) look easy and joyful in a way that only kids can.”

Stage and Cinema – 05/04/2018

“…once those kids get a chance to rock out, the show comes alive, and they own the joint. Knowing they are accomplished musicians seals the deal. The happy surprise is how simply organically many of the child performers go about their work, with very few Dainty Junes among them…one deadpan look from young actress and bassist Theodora Silverman puts the audience on notice: This is a show where kids rule. As the lead guitarist with father issues, Vincent Molden stalks the stage with the ease and flair of a seasoned pro. He’s riveting. Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton on drums, Olivia Bucknor and Alyssa Emily Marvin on backup vocals, and Grier Burke emerging in the second act as a lead vocalist also have some wonderful moments. Perhaps the sweetest of the lot is Theo Mitchell-Penner on keyboard, as the lumpy uncool kid who thrives by flirting with a new glam-rock persona. Standouts among non-musical members of the band include Huxley Westemeier as a campy stylist and Iara Nemirovsky as the frighteningly confident, over-achieving band manager…Westemeier provides one of the more genuine notes in the show, with a throwaway line about feeling sad when his mother gets Botox, because he cannot tell if she is happy anymore. Something about his honest delivery…”

Post Crescent – 04/25/2018

“But make no mistake, these kids pack a mean punch. Their vocals are clear, but it’s the fact that they play their own instruments live throughout the entire performance that truly kicks the ‘wow factor’ up a notch. Vincent Molden shreds the electric guitar. Theo Mitchell-Penner showcases incredible talent on the keys, as well as a magnetic stage presence that’s well beyond his years. Theodora Silverman dominates the bass – despite the fact that it’s nearly as big as she is. And, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton gets the audience on their feet with his epic drum solos. Sure, these kids are cute – but they’re also bona-fide rock stars. The entire group of students is worthy of all sorts of praise and applause (which they rightfully received during opening night, especially following the songs ‘Stick it to the Man’ and ‘School of Rock’).”

We Are Green Bay – 04/24/2018

“Twelve children help fire up the hot touring production of ‘School of Rock – the Musical’…The children are 10 years old, give or take. What they do is well beyond what any elementary school child you know can do in performance – certainly when taken as a bunch. The 12 children form a rock ‘n’ roll band-plus. They sing, dance, act and supply kid enthusiasm. Especially way ahead of the curve are the children who play guitar, keyboard, bass and drums. In the thick of songs, they are ‘on.’”

The News Herald – 04/12/2018

“School of Rock’s kid cast, a dozen youths who are every bit the equal to their adult colleagues and steal the show with their confidence, timing and effortless exuberance. Their first appearance, singing the ‘Horace Green Alma Mater,’ is Broadway smooth, but it’s really when they start working with Colletti’s Dewey that things shine, storming through the ebullient anthems ‘You’re In the Band’ and ‘In the End of Time’ and genuinely tugging at heartstrings as they plea with myopic parents during ‘If Only You Would Listen.’ Their chemistry with Colletti is easy and natural, and their own moments of camp – as they audition for the Battle of the Bands or try to hoodwink principal Rosalie Mullins…are accomplished ensemble acting. A taped message from Lloyd Webber at the start of the show affirms that the youth corps is indeed really playing their instruments on stage and the four – Vincent Molden as guitarist Zack, pucker-faced Theodora Silverman playing a bass that’s nearly as tall as she is Katie, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as drummer Freddy and Theo Mitchell-Penner as keyboardist Lawrence – are outstanding and even, given their ages, astounding. And Grier Burke, as the shy Tomika, stops everything with her a cappella rendering of ‘Amazing Grace.’”

Vizion Magazine – 04/12/2018

“The musical…features a room of talented triple threats – all under four feet tall. The energy and attitude of the younger members of the cast carried the show…Playing their instruments on stage, the students showcased their skills and stole each scene they were in. From the overbearing stage manager (Summer) played by Iara Nemirovsky to the bashful keyboardist (Lawrence) played by Theo Mitchell-Penner, the students brought the mannerisms, insecurities and rock angst of their characters to life…School of Rock is a fun romp, with a stage full of mega-talented kids who we are sure to see more of in the future.”

Buffalo Theatre Guide – 04/04/2018

“…the true stars of this show are the children. All the children in this show are phenomenal, and if I had space to name them all, I would. Vincent Molden as Zack, is a pro on his electric guitar, and my jaw just dropped when I saw him take to the stage with such confidence and ease. Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as Freddy, is a rock star on the drums, watching him go to town is so inspiring! Huxley Westemeier as Billy, is hilarious as the band’s costume designer. He packs so much punch into his delivery! I couldn’t stop laughing. Grier Burke as Tomika opens her mouth and angels sing! She is a young powerhouse with the ability to bring audiences to their feet when she finishes singing.”

Buffalo Vibe – 04/04/2018

“The kids are terrific, and we are advised by an announcer before the show that, yes, they do play their own instruments. And they play them very well. Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton is a charismatic presence as Freddy the drummer. Theodora Silverman’s bass playing with her Rock Star stare is delightful. Theo Mitchell-Penner is the desperately-wanting-to-be-cool keyboardist, Lawrence. Vincent Molden has the moves as lead guitarist, Zack. Grier Burke as the shy Tomika with the huge voice surprises everyone with ‘Amazing Grace.’ Huxley Westemeier is charming as queen-in-training stylist Billy with his measuring tape around his neck and penchant for glam rock. Iara Nemirovsky is Summer, band manager and teacher’s pet extraordinaire. They all, along with the ensemble kids, are very talented and are the heart of the show. Their song ‘If Only You Would Listen’ speaks to the desire in all of us to be heard and understood by those whom we love and depend upon. They talk of how difficult it is being overscheduled and pressured all the time. They have more energy than that bunny in the commercials, jumping up and down in their school uniforms, dancing, running their desks around the stage, and breaking free, at least for a time, of all the restrictions placed on them. The show-stopper ‘Stick It to the Man’ expresses their (and Dewey’s) frustration and anger at being pawns in someone else’s game. … and the charm, delight, and talent of the kids that elevates School of Rock.”

NealsPaper – 03/31/2018

“…a stage full of talented children…How can one not enjoy watching a mite like Vincent Molden wield a guitar close to his own size and wail out a riff that would do Clapton proud? Theodora Silverman is truly impressive on the bass, and Theo Mitchell-Penner and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton give you hope in the future of music as well…the kids do great and create a lot of energy when they have the chance. Oh, I almost forgot the excellent turn by Iara Nemirovsky as the brattiest prep who shows her sense of superiority is deserved.”

Philly.com – 03/28/2018

“The kids – all playing their own instruments to accompany the pit orchestra – provide much of the amazement and heart. As the too-stiff guitar prodigy Zack, Vincent Molden impresses every time he strikes his ax, and local young actors Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton and Theodora Silverman kill it on the drums and bass, respectively.”

UMD Writers’ Bloc – 03/22/2018

“But by far the most impressive part of this production is the musical talent of the students of Horace Green. Each time they picked up an instrument, they played it onstage, rather than relying on an orchestra. The theater was suddenly a rock concert with Katie (Theodora Silverman) and her perfectly exaggerated poker face strumming on the bass, Freddy banging out the beat on the drums (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton), Zack (Vincent Molden) wailing on the electric guitar and Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) pounding on the keyboard….In a musical so full of hyper excitement, the students’ emotional ballad, ‘If Only You Would Listen,’ is a moment of peace in the controlled chaos, and reminds us of the voices of children that are so often brushed aside.”

The Baltimore Sun – 03/21/2018

“Of course, the kids reveal mighty talents when given the chance to come out of their shells….Several of the young folks deliver some pretty good lines, too (one about Botox gets a particularly big laugh)….The young actors do their own singing and instrument-playing, and do it with a contagious enthusiasm”

89.3 WFPL – 03/15/2018

“The production’s best part comes when the band of young people Dewey finds himself tasked to teach get to play. This group take charge of their instruments onstage – electric guitar, bass, keyboards, and drums – the works. They sing and dance with an infectious enthusiasm…The best part of this musical and the production is that the children aren’t just cute – they look like they are having a great time and that transfers beyond the stage”

Arts Louisville – 03/14/2018

“The stage production also features kids who play and sing for themselves, and it is a wise choice because they are irresistible. … Each of the young company members are solid actors, good singers, and expert musicians where applicable. They were nothing short of amazing, and they are what set this show apart from all others. The strongest are the band members: Vincent Molden as guitar prodigy Zack, Theo Mitchell-Penner as keyboard wizard Lawrence, Theodora Silverman as Katie, who is only slightly bigger than the bass guitar she has mastered, and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as keeper of the big beat, drummer Freddy. Grier Burke sings with a powerful voice as late bloomer Tomika, and as Summer, the band manager and largely non-singing role, Iara Nemirovsky was appropriately domineering and authoritative”

Twin Cities Arts Reader – 03/10/2018

“The real stars of the show are all of the children. These include Ava Briglia, who takes on the bossy role of Summer; John Michael Pitera as the Barbra Streisand-loving fashionista Billy, Phoenix Schuman as guitarist/composer Zack, Gianna Harris as the painfully shy new girl with the incredible singing voice, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as the drummer Freddy, and Theodora Silverman as bass guitarist Katie. These little scene stealers, especially Pitera and Briglia, repeatedly light up the stage and create the show’s most delicious moments.”

Aisle Say – 03/08/2018

“The real rock stars of the show are undoubtedly the kids of Horace Green. These quadruple-threat kids between the ages of 9-12 can tickle the keys, shred on the axe, and slam on the drums just as hard as any adult rock band that this reviewer has ever seen. From the first time you hear them playing Mozart’s ‘Queen of the Night’ in music class, you can feel the raw talent that creates the School of Rock. The band is made up of Zack (Phoenix Schuman) on guitar, Katie (Theodora Silverman) on bass, Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) on keyboard, Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) on drums…”

City Pages – 03/08/2018

“The show’s child performers (notably Ava Briglia, as the imperious Summer) are nonetheless winning…”

Minnesota Theater Love – 03/08/2018

“Once these young performers get to rocking out, it would be easy to believe that the sound is actually being made by adult professionals in the orchestra pit. These kids can play! …Each of the young actors is amazing at playing the transformation of their character while showing off their mad musical skills. Phoenix Schuman is the guitarist Zack, Theo Mitchell-Penner is the classical pianist-turned keyboardist Lawrence, and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton is Freddy, who uses his drumsticks on anything that’s around, not just his drum kit. Theodora Silverman has an awesome ‘rock face’ as bass player Katie, and Gianna Harris is the quiet Tomika, who turns out to be a powerful singer. The other students sing backup or take on backstage roles, led by Ava Briglia as Summer, the know-it-all band manager. Each member of the class has a personality and a moment in the spotlight, and they all deserve a mention: Olivia Bucknor, Tommy Ragen, Chloe Anne Garcia, Carson Hodges, John Michael Pitera, and Gabriella Uhl.”

Talkin’ Broadway – 03/08/2018

“But what really captures us are those young superstars, who not only deliver the required skills of singing, especially Gianna Harris as a soul singer keeping her light under a bushel, dancing, and playing their instruments like they just walked off the Grammy Award show—remember the name of guitar wizard Phoenix Schuman—but they each create unique, whole characters, kids with distinct feelings who work their way into our hearts.”

Cherry and Spoon – 03/07/2018

“…the true stars of the show – the dozen young actors playing Dewey’s students. They’re all so incredibly talented, so full of energy in the way that only kids can be. They fairly burst off the stage, jumping three feet in the air performing JoAnn M. Hunter’s punchy choreography with youthful abandon. Special shout out to the musicians – Theodora Silverman giving all kinds of attitude on bass, Phoenix Schuman as the angsty lead guitarist, adorkable Theo Mitchell-Penner on keyboard, and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton never dropping a beat on percussion. Truly the joy of this show is watching all of these children do what they love to do, portraying children who are finally set free from overbearing parents to do what they love to do.”

KSTP.com – 03/07/2018

“…the amazingly talented child actors….What’s most exciting about this rocking show is that the children are performing live on stage. Can you imagine being a bashful Tomika, played by Gianna Harris, and having the courage to sing your heart out at the Battle of the Bands?…It was touching to hear the kids perform ‘If Only You Would Listen’ and later they energetically perform ‘Stick It to the Man.’ Those were among the many standouts throughout Act I.”

Star Tribune – 03/07/2018

“But it’s the youngsters – who play their own instruments – who truly raise this ‘Rock.’ Led by Ava Briglia as take-charge Summer, John Michael Pitera as fashion-conscious Billy, Gianna Harris as shy powerhouse Tomika, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as drummer Freddy and Phoenix Schuman as guitar hero Zack, they are clear and competent with huge stage charisma”

TwinCities.com – 03/07/2018

“But the real charm of ‘School of Rock’ lies with the kids. A pre-taped message from Lloyd Webber informed the audience that, yes, they actually play their instruments and the results are spectacular, from the nimble guitarist (Phoenix Schuman) to plucky bassist Katie (Theodora Silverman) to the velvet pipes of Tomika (Gianna Harris).”

League of Cincinnati Theaters – 02/26/2018

“…the kids were simply amazing musicians. They all played their own instruments and were ridiculously talented.”

League of Cincinnati Theaters – 02/25/2018

“However, the real stars of the show are the children who are in Dewey’s class. The cast has some talented actors/musicians and there is not enough space to discuss all of them individually. Kudos go to Katie (Theodora Silverman), who was outstanding as the School of Rock bass player. Also excellent was the keyboardist Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) and backup singer Marcy (Chloe Anne Garcia). I personally loved watching Garcia’s long hair bob and weave every which was as she was singing. She made that role so much fun to watch. Finally, kudos have to go to the band’s manager Summer (Gabriella Uhl). Uhl hit the right note (pun intended) for her part by being the bossy know-it-all and was delightful to watch.”

Cincinnati Gazette – 02/24/2018

“However, it was the children School of Rock that stole the show high kudos of praise to: Phoenix Schuman as Zack on guitar, Theodora Silverman as Katie on Bass, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as Freddy on Drums and Ava Briglia as Summer the Manager of the Band. They rocked their spirits out and stuck it to the man”

Cincinnati.com – 02/22/2018

“The featured kids – most are between 9 and 13 – are super, too, particularly Tommy Ragen as Zack (guitar), Theo Mitchell-Penner as Lawrence (keyboard), Theodora Silverman as Katie (bass) and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as Freddy (drums). And yes, they do play their own instruments. And Ava Briglia – also one of the kids – is a hoot as Summer, the band’s brassy manager”

League of Cincinnati – 02/22/2018

“The highlight of the show is the kids—their energy, the dancing, and of course the musicianship. These preteens slay it on drums, bass, keyboard, guitar and vocals. … Of course all the kids are great, but a special shout out to Theo Mitchell-Penner (Lawrence on Keyboard), Tommy Ragen (Zack on Guitar), Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton (Freddy on Drums), Ava Briglia (Summer the Manager), Theodora Silverman (Katie on Bass), Olivia Bucknor (Shonelle) and especially Chloe Anne Garcia (Marcy Back-up Singers).”

BroadwayWorld Oklahoma – 02/19/2018

“And shine these kids do! The first announcement assures the audience that these pint-sized prodigies are really playing their instruments: Phoenix Schuman (Zack) shreds his guitar, Theo Mitchell-Penner (Laurence) tickles his keys, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton (Freddy) wallops his drums, and Theodora Silverman (Katie) thumps her bass…all with gusto and aplomb rivaling adults two or three times their age. And all the kids, including those instrumentalists listed, show off their vocal, dancing, and acting chops – particularly Ava Briglia (Summer), John Michael Pitera (Billy), Chloe Anne Garcia (Marcy), and Gianna Harris (Tomika). ‘You’re In the Band’ and ‘If Only You Would Listen’ are two main highlights of the show, showing these young artists’ youthful exuberance but also their emotional availability.”

CTX Live Theatre – 02/17/2018

“Unsurprisingly, the children of Mr. Schneebly’s class are, indeed, true rock stars. No one has to direct them to jump for joy; they are up there truly jumping for joy with the electric energy of their youth. Before the show begins, an announcement crackles out of the auditorium speakers to assure us that yes, indeed, all the children are really playing their own instruments. And they do so with the technical skill of professional musicians. Phoenix Schuman as lead guitar-player Zack gets mad props for his solos and the ability to duck-walk and play guitar at the same time (a la Chuck Berry). Gianna Harris as shy Tomika has a wonderful and incredibly powerful voice. And finally, Theodora Silverman as the bass-playing Katie is a wellspring of playful energy and real rock-and-roll mischief.”

BroadwayWorld Austin – 02/16/2018

“…a stellar cast of kids we can’t help but be charmed by. … I found myself particularly partial to the easy going electric guitarist Phoenix Schuman (Zack) and Summer (Ava Briglia) who receives well deserved applause when Dewey says she’ll be a great President someday.”

Greenville University Papyrus – 02/13/2018

“Summer (Ava Briglia), Tomika (Gianna Harris), Zack (Phoenix Schuman), and the rest of the students performed brilliantly, adding high-energy to the production.”

NewsOk – 02/09/2018

“And it’s impossible not to root for the 8- to 13-year-old hotshots – Phoenix Schuman as stiff lead guitarist Zack, Theo Mitchell-Penner as insecure keyboardist Lawrence, Theodora Silverman as serious bassist Katie, Gianna Harris as shy singer Tomika, and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as hyperactive drummer Freddy – as they sing, dance and play their instruments live. By the time the story turned into an all-out rock concert, the stellar cast had the OKC audience turned into cheering fans during Tuesday’s opening night performance.”

Broadway World Houston – 02/04/2018

“Speaking of the School of Rock band, those kids play the hell out of those instruments. They made me realize that not only do I not know how to rock but that I have been desperately desiring to rock my entire life. Zack, the young guitarist played by Phoenix Schuman, is a prodigy (just like the young actor who plays him and the entire youth cast of the show).”

Houston Chronicle – 01/31/2018

“But what’s not expected is how the younger actors of the cast dive into their brief shining moments: Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, as Freddy, offering up a drum fill that’d make Neil Peart proud. Gianna Harris, as the shy vocal prodigy Tomika, belting out ‘Amazing Grace’ like in one of those unexpected (but in fact entirely premeditated) viral videos from ‘America’s Got Talent.’ Ava Briglia, as the class president Summer,…got a Tuesday night audience roaring with a reference to the gender pay gap”

Houston Press – 01/31/2018

“But it’s the kids who really deserve their moment in the spotlight. The band (Theodora Silverman, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, Phoenix Schuman and Theo Mitchell-Penner) really get their chances to show off and it’s worth noting, and emphatically as Lloyd Webber does in a pre-recorded message that starts the show, that ‘yes, they do’ play their own instruments. It’s a testament to the show that it feels like all the children – all 12 members of Dewey’s class – get a turn, whether they’re jamming in the band, singing backup, part of the crew or simply ready with a well-timed faint.”

Ladue News – 01/21/2018

“Making this School of Rock infectious with their musical skills as well as their acting acumen are Ava Briglia as the band’s ‘manager’ Summer and Gianna Harris as Tomika, the shy student who reveals a powerful voice on her Amazing Grace solo. Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton makes a snazzy drummer as Freddy and Phoenix Schuman delights as the inspired guitarist Zack. Theodora Silverman as Katie plays bass with gusto and a deadpan face, while Lawrence, who admits he isn’t ‘cool’ but mildly protests to Dewey that ‘I never said I was fat,’ is portrayed with humor at the keyboard by Theo Mitchell-Penner. Others contributing nicely in children’s roles are Olivia Bucknor and Chloe Anne Garcia as backup singers Shonelle and Marcy respectively. John Michael Pitera is a hoot as costumer Billy, a lad with a flair for style and a love for fashion magazines. Gabriella Uhl plays the ‘roadie’ student Sophie, Carson Hodges is Mason, the ‘tech’ advisor, and Tommy Ragen plays ‘security’ student James”

Snoop’s Theatre Thoughts – 01/21/2018

“The real draw of this show is the live music, played on stage by the child performers with energy and style…the kids really make the show, from Ava Briglia as bossy band manager Summer, to Gianna Harris as shy but vocally gifted Tomika, to Phoenix Schuman as guitarist and songwriter Zack, to Theodora Silverman as cellist-turned-bass player Katie, to Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as drummer Freddy, to Theo Mitchell-Penner as insecure keyboardist Lawrence, to John Michael Pitera as enthusiastic band stylist Billy, and more. The entire cast of kids is great—putting on a great show playing their instruments with attitude, and believably portraying the transformation from sheltered prep school kids to confident rockers”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Suburban Journals) – 01/18/2018

“From Phoenix Schuman on guitar (who broke out a little duck walk on the same stage once famously graced by Chuck Berry) to Theodora Silverman on bass to Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton on drums and Theo Mitchell-Penner on keyboard, the kids certainly have the talent to rock with the best of them. Add in the impressive vocals of Gianna Harris and the comedic performances of Ava Briglia and John Michael Pitera and you have one of the finest collections of pre-pubescent performers this side of the Disney Channel”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Entertainment) – 01/17/2018

“…an ensemble of child actors so talented, they take their show to the head of class. These kids sing with strong voices, perform choreographer JoAnn M. Hunter’s dances with abundant verve and, when called on to do so, play their own instruments…Best of all, they can act. They all speak clearly, an accomplishment in itself, and they all stay true to their clearly delineated characters. They sparkle whether they’re performing flashy solos or dancing up a storm as ‘backup singers.’ A large group that includes Ava Briglia, Gianna Harris, Theo Mitchell-Penner, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, John Michael Pitera, Phoenix Schuman, Theodora Silverman and a number of gifted others, they make the show rock and roll…But the musical is all about those terrific kids”

Art on My Sleeve – 01/13/2018

“…it’s the kids who give the show its impish, wholesome Monkees energy. Dynamic Phoenix Schuman on guitar, nerdy Theo Mitchell-Penner on keyboard, grumpy Theodora Silverman on bass, and hipster Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton on drums are a cornucopia of musical precocity. The mini character roles have the same Broadway excellence, bossy little Ava Briglia emerging as company manager, effeminate John Michael Pitera finding his passion in costume design, and withdrawn Gianna Harris breaking out of her cocoon with a smashing a cappella ‘Amazing Grace.’”

BroadwayWorld Charlotte – 01/12/2018

“…it’s the kids who give the show its impish, wholesome Monkees energy. Dynamic Phoenix Schuman on guitar, nerdy Theo Mitchell-Penner on keyboard, grumpy Theodora Silverman on bass, and hipster Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton on drums are a cornucopia of musical precocity. The mini character roles have the same Broadway excellence, bossy little Ava Briglia emerging as company manager, effeminate John Michael Pitera finding his passion in costume design, and withdrawn Gianna Harris breaking out of her cocoon with a smashing a cappella ‘Amazing Grace.’”

Charlotte Magazine – 01/10/2018

“Those ripping solos from guitarist Zack (Phoenix Schuman), drummer Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton), bassist Katie (Theodora Silverman), and keyboardist Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) are played live by the kids in the band”

The Charlotte Observer – 01/10/2018

“But the most remarkable thing – so remarkable that Lloyd Webber can be heard before the show, assuring us it’s true – is that four young actors, all apparently pre-teens, play their instruments live. Correction: rule their instruments. Drummer Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, keyboardist Theo Mitchell-Penner, bassist Theodora Silverman and especially guitarist Phoenix Schuman deliver body-shaking rock that makes no excuses for age….shy student Tomika, played winningly by Gianna Harris, will find her new rock voice in the school band (a sweet one).”

Tampa Bay Times – 01/02/2018

“…the fine young musicians and dancers on stage (guitarist Phoenix Schuman and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton on the drums are particularly impressive)…”

Orlando Weekly – 12/2017

“His charges, particularly Gianna Harris as Tomika and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as Freddy, are sprightly and determined in their musicianship”

1059 Sunny FM – 12/27/2017

“And these are some pretty amazing kids. In an announcement before the show, Webber confirms that the children onstage are indeed playing the instruments in their hands. Their musicianship is impressive for any age. … Billy (John Michael Pitera), a young boy who becomes the band’s costumer and hides copies of Vogue inside copies of Sports Illustrated to try and keep his true interests from his father, is hilarious and endearing all at once”

Broadway World Orlando – 12/27/2017

“With a show like this, you expect all the kids to be really good singers and dancers. They do not disappoint…They all genuinely look like they are having fun on stage, which channels to the audience…More impressively is the fact that there are a few kids in the show who play their instruments live. Katie played by Theodora Silverman plays the bass and has the attitude to match. Though the bass looks bigger than her, she commands the instrument like a rock goddess. Lawrence “on the keys” played by Theo Mitchell-Penner is definitely a musician who appreciates and feels the music. Freddy played by Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton is an amazing drummer with boundless energy that matches the pace of the show. And Zack on guitar played by Phoenix Schuman has amazing skills and fast fingers. Aside from the musicians other stand out performances include Ava Briglia, who plays Summer. Summer is a type A, bossy, know-it-all, young lady who is very well cast in her role. You can just see her wanting to do what’s right. On the opposite spectrum is Tomika played by Gianna Harris…Without spoilers, Harris has an amazing voice that sent chills down my spine.”

Fansided – 12/27/2017

“The younger performers steal every number. In addition to singing, dancing and acting, the younger performers play all their own instruments on stage. Their talent is truly inspiring. … In the second act, when Tomika (played by Gianna Harris) finds her voice, the audience enthusiastically responds. Her moment resonates so well. While her stunning voice fills the theater, the moment reminds everyone to believe in themselves”

Orlando Sentinel – 12/27/2017

“But the child performers onstage are mighty fun to watch, especially Phoenix Schuman as reserved Zack and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as drumming dynamo Freddy”

Orlando Weekly – 12/27/2017

“The production’s child stars, who play their own instruments live, are all impressively talented…”

Berkshire Fine Arts – 12/20/2017

“Among the child actors, the standouts include Gianna Harris as Tomika, an insecure girl with a load of talent. Harris’ rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ will drop draws with her deft voice control. She emits a sincere expressive and strong sound without it sounding forced. Ava Briglia shines as Summer, a studious girl who desires the education her parents are paying for. Ava, speaking with a voice oozing with confidence, convincingly conveys a precocious, no-nonsense, opinionated, even commanding personality. The youngsters prove to be quadruple threats; they can sing, dance, act and play musical instruments…they deserve commendations.”

Florida Theater On Stage – 12/16/2017

“The kids in the band with their volcanic riffs and boundless bounding energy are essential to the show’s success and this tour certainly has them in its large cast including vocalist Gianna Harris, keyboardist Theo Mitchell-Penner, percussionist Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, bassist Theodora Silverman and blazing lead guitarist Phoenix Schuman.”

BocaMag – 12/06/2017

“Each performer is a quadruple threat, and they make glorious harmony together while deconstructing rock ‘n’ roll into its constituent parts….Each of the actors has his or her moment, but special recognition is due Gianna Harris as the cripplingly shy Tomika, who slays her classmates with a soul-stirring rendition of ‘Amazing Grace.’”

Broadway World Greenville – 12/06/2017

“Ava Briglia, Gianna Harris, Phoenix Schuman, Theo Mitchell-Penner, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, Theodora Silverman and a half dozen other kids steal the show as Dewey’s students. They play their own instruments on stage and jump and bounce around with gusto. They’re a delight to watch. … the overall energy – especially from the kids – is overpowering and endearing”

Carolina Curtain Call – 12/06/2017

“There’s the spectacular Zack (Phoenix Schuman) on electric guitar, groovy cellist Katie (Theodora Silverman) on bass, nerdy pianist Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) on keyboard, and dynamic Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) on the skins. Two of the young ladies Shonelle (Olivia Bucknor) and Marcy (the energetic Chloe Anne Garcia) become back-up singers; teacher’s pet and taskmaster Summer (Ava Briglia) is the band’s manager; obviously gay Billy (John Michael Pitera) is the stylist; and shy newcomer Tomika (Gianna Harris) blooms as the band’s female soloist. …the youth effectively tug at their parents’ (and our) heartstrings in ‘If Only You Would Listen.’”

Journal Sentinel – 11/22/2017

“Ultimately, though, this show belongs – as it should – to its kids (they’re all good; my fave was Theodora Silverman, the quiet but plucky bassist). … The show’s best such moment – a show-stopper on Tuesday night, as a moved audience burst into spontaneous and heartfelt applause – comes when the shyest and quietest child proves her right to be a singer in the band by delivering a tender and nuanced ‘Amazing Grace.’ Sung by Gianna Harris as the previously tongue-tied Tomika, its sound was sweet indeed.”

On Milwaukee – 11/22/2017

“As wonderful as both Murphy and Dorsett Sharp are, the real stars of the show are the students. Simply put, these kids rock. Each performer consistently proves that they are a quadruple threat. Their acting is genuine, their singing voices are strong, their dancing is flawless and I still can’t believe kids that young can play instruments that well. ‘You’re In the Band’ and ‘Stick it to the Man’ were easily the best numbers of the night, as these memorable songs allowed the kids’ diverse musical talents to take their rightful place at center stage. Extra credit goes to Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton and Phoenix Schuman; they come dangerously close to the show with their epic portrayals of Freddy and Zack.”

Hyde Park Herald – 11/15/2017

“Then, there are the kids, who not only play their own music—we’re assured by an opening announcement—but also craft distinctive, endearing characters, starting with Briglia’s bossy, resourceful Summer, who is tapped as band manager. Standouts for me were Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as rambunctious Freddy on drums and Theodora Silverman as deadpan bass player Katie (with bobbing pigtails), but kudos also go to Phoenix Schuman as guitarist Zack, who proves to be a musical prodigy, Theo Mitchell-Penner as gluten-intolerant Lawrence, who thinks he’s not cool enough to be in a band, and Gianna Harris as Tomika, who’s too shy to even speak until Dewey encourages her to let loose with the powerhouse voice of a lead singer.”

Times Square Chronicles – 11/15/2017

“The kids in the cast range in age from 9 to 13, each liberating their buttoned up prep school exterior to release their inner rock gods and goddesses. The class includes over a dozen kids that will tickle your funny bone, including the uptight know-it-all, Summer (Ava Briglia), the equally shy singer, Tomika (Gianna Harris), and lead guitarist, Zack (Alex Louis). I challenge anyone to not tap a toe to the infectious fun that includes the originals ‘Stick It To The Man,’ ‘In The End Of Time’ and the title track ‘School of Rock.’…The kids in this cast will warm the hearts of any mid-November chilly Chicagoan for a few hours.”

Chicago Onstage – 11/09/2017

“Aside from the main adults, it is the kids who absolutely steal this show. Briglia is a force as the overachieving Summer. Watching Theodora Silverman make ‘bassist faces’ was such a hoot that it nearly overshadowed the immense talent the young girl has on the instrument. Theo Mitchell-Penner’s Lawrence is clearly a mini-Dewey in his social ineptitude as well as his love of the music (though his keyboard talent may well outpace his leader’s guitar playing). Phoenix Schuman’s Zack, the band’s lead guitarist, shows his loneliness and pain as powerfully as he wields his axe. And Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) can already play his kit twice as well as most rock drummers I know. The fifth of the ‘If Only You Would Listen’ group, Tomika (Gianna Harris) has a powerful talent that I can’t reveal here because it comes as a surprise in the play, but it’s worth waiting for. These kids are honestly so good that, when I saw a couple of them in a restaurant after the show, another member of my party suggested we get autographs. (We didn’t.)”

Talkin’ Broadway – 11/09/2017

“Colletti also has some winning co-stars in the remarkable young actors who play Dewey’s students. Yes, they impress by being able to play their instruments as well as sing, but even more impressive is their skill as comic actors. They’re musical, they can move, and they’re funny. There’s Ava Briglia as the no-it-all Summer who becomes ‘manager’ of the band Dewey forms called School of Rock. She’s snotty without being grating and smoothly makes the transition from gold-star-grubbing nemesis to ally. Theo Mitchell-Penner is the pianist turned keyboardist Lawrence, who thinks he’s not cool enough for the band, but proves to be a rock virtuoso on the electronic ivories. Equally virtuosic is Zack on guitar, played by a very cool Phoenix Schuman. Gianna Harris is sweetly heartbreaking as Tomika…No vocal slouches either are Olivia Bucknor and Chloe Anne Garcia as the backup singers Shonelle and Marcy. Katie (Theodora Silverman) plays a mean bass and Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) is a big-league drummer. In charge of the fabulous costumes is the equally fab Billy (John Michael Pitera, who shows stylish gusto in the role).”

Chicago on the Aisle – 11/08/2017

“The 12 kids who play the fifth-graders…are a diverse lot of terrifically gifted performers who do an adorable job of seeming awkward and gangly at first…Guitarist Zack (Phoenix Schuman) gets an awesome axe, skinny cellist Katie (Theodora Silverman) becomes a phenom on the bass guitar, Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) and Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) are lions let loose on the drums and keyboard, respectively.” ”

Chicago Tribune – 11/08/2017

“The young cast includes Ava Briglia, who is letter-perfect as class know-it-all Summer; Theo Mitchell-Penner in the role of Lawrence, young master of the keyboards (who in real life has been playing the piano since age 5); Phoenix Schuman, who handles the guitar like a pro, plays Zack (and has been playing guitar since age 8); and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, who plays drummer Freddy (and also can play piano, bass and xylophone). The musical proteges also include Theodora Silverman as bass-playing Katie.”

Chicago Theatre & Concert Reviews – 11/07/2017

“The students who become members of the School of Rock Band are all excellent, and this is where the heart of this production dwells. Perfectionist and brown-nosing Summer is magnificent, as portrayed by young Broadway veteran, Ava Briglia; as Tomika, the shy little girl with the great big voice, Gianna Harris is wonderful and heartbreaking. Little Theodora Silverman is perfect as the deadpan bass player, Katie; backup vocalists/dancers Shonelle and Marcy are played with moxie and musical talent by Olivia Bucknor and, especially, Chloe Anne Garcia. Little Zack, the talented guitar-playing, music-composing son of an uptight father, is sweetly played by Phoenix Schuman. Master keyboardist and social underdog Lawrence is portrayed with shy sensibility by Theo Mitchell-Penner. Freddy, the little boy who once only played the cymbals, transforms into the Band’s gifted drummer. Here, he’s created by brilliant young percussionist Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton. Played with flair, attitude and festive confidence, John Michael Pitera is delightful as fashionista Billy. As Mason, James and Sophie young Thespians Carson Hodges, Tommy Ragen, Gabriella Uhl, who are also the understudies for other roles, are first-rate.”

BroadwayWorld Chicago – 11/06/2017

“Still, it’s the kids (who actually play their instruments) that steal the show. These include Phoenix Schuman as Zack (lead guitar), Theodora Silverman as Katie (bass), Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as Freddy (drums). Ava Briglia also deserves a shout out as Summer, the over-achieving know-it-all and the band’s manager.”

Chicago Theater Beat – 11/06/2017

“Both Phoenix Schuman and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton are wondrous on electric guitar and drums, respectively, and bassist Theodora Silverman has both musical chops and an adorable pout. Gianna Harris shines as Tomika, a quiet outcast who reveals a remarkable singing voice, and Briglia’s Summer perfectly portrays a take-charge Type-A personality.”

The Fourth Walsh – 11/06/2017

“…these kids are amazing. They sing. They dance. They rock. And some of them are even jamming down on instruments. An animated Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton (Freddy) hitting the sticks with zest. An adorably unassuming Phoenix Schuman (Zack) and subtly badass Theodora Silverman (Katie) amp up the volume on guitar. All the kids lend voice and attitude to the musical numbers. … It’s the kids vs the adults. And these kids are clearly the winners! Two other notable standouts are the hilariously, self assured Ava Briglia (Summer) and the powerhouse songstress Gianna Harris (Tomika).”

Northwest Herald – 11/06/2017

“And the kids are excellent across the board. Standouts include Phoenix Schuman as talented guitarist and budding composer Zack; Theodora Silverman as cello/bass player (with an attitude) Katie; Ava Briglia as star student, band manager and maybe future president Summer; and Gianna Harris as Tomika, the shyest student whose talent eventually stuns her classmates and the audience”

Splash Magazine – 11/05/2017

“The show has seventeen youngsters in the cast, some of the understudying another role as well, and the depth of talent is stunning. A few of the actors stood out to me, each for shining in their own unique ways. The singing and dancing of Gianna Harris was ebullient yet controlled; I only wish she had been able to strut her stuff earlier on in the show. Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton’s drum playing was amazing, especially when he took it from the drumset and onto the floor, or whatever surface was around. Phoenix Schuman wasn’t much bigger than his guitar, but he displayed an incredible amount of skill and stage presence. Each of the actors had a specific character that they embodied with ease; they all have a bright future in theater, and I look forward to watching them grow as performers.”

Chicago Theater and Arts – 11/04/2017

“However, it wouldn’t work if not for the show’s very talented youngsters. They beautifully portray kids whose parents don’t listen to them or consider what they want and need. And yes, the kids really do play the instruments they use in the show”

Chicagoland Musical Theatre – 11/04/2017

“When the stage becomes littered with diminutive rock stars singing ‘Stick It to the Man’ with such unbridled gusto, one has to think it would make Libertyville native and ‘Rage Against the Machine’ founder Tom Morello proud…and as Tomika (‘I’m not a backup singer’), whose rendition of ‘Amazing Grace’ might just be this production’s greatest musical highlight, Gianna Harris.”

Dadapalooza! – 11/04/2017

“The performers are great, the kid musicians are ASTONISHING…The kids in the show (who are on stage a good portion of the time) were great and seemed like real pros, and watching the kids play the music…is mindblowing. They are 13 and 14, some as young as 9, and they really do rock”

Around the Town Chicago – 11/03/2017

“These kids, by the way, are the most energetic and talented I have seen assembled on one stage in a long time. Each and every one is a character that represents kids who are smart but unhappy with the lives they lead. … it is the kids that make this show a brilliant addition to the Broadway In Chicago season. Each and everyone is brilliant and they all play their own musical instruments….The kids are: Ava Briglia, Olivia Bucknor, Bella Fraker, Chloe Anne Garcia, Gianna Harris, Alex Louis, Theo Mitchell-Penner, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, John Michael Pitera, Tommy Ragen, Phoenix Schuman, Theodora Silverman, Gabriella Uhl and Aiden Niklas Villa. These kids are amazing!”

Chicago Sun Times – 11/03/2017

“Watching the show’s 12 kids, who perform with fabulous energy, and shape their distinctive characters with aplomb, is unquestionably immense fun, and can be alternately touching and very funny….No doubt about it, the kids are the reason to see this show…tank-size talent in pint-size bodies, including master drummer Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton; guitar player Theodora Silverman; bass player Phoenix Schuman (a mini David Bowie); star singer Gianna Harris; over-achiever (and ‘band manager’) Ava Briglia, and seven others….the kids here earn 10 gold stars on every count. Little rockets who can rock it.”

Stage and Cinema – 11/03/2017

“Most wondrous are the dynamically diverse kids in the cast…”

Playlist HQ – 11/02/2017

“Gianna Harris shows off her great vocals as Tomika. Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton is very impressive as Freddy on the drums”

Journal Inquirer – 10/26/2017

“The children, though, are superb, maintaining energy in their characters’ discovery of their identities throughout. It is of note that the kids who play instruments are actually playing them on stage and they are good. Real good. Phoenix Schuman as Zack on guitar, Theodora Silverman as Katie on bass, Theo Mitchell-Penner as Lawrence on keyboard, and Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton as Freddy on drums are all impressive. Gianna Harris’s vocals are stellar for a girl her age as Tomika, and Ava Briglia gives a sassy self-assuredness as the indomitable Summer.”

In the Spotlight – 10/26/2017

“But the real stars of the show are the kids who form the rock band under Mr. Schneebly’s (aka Dewey’s) tutelage. They play their own instruments, sing their hearts out, and dance up a storm. Special kudos to Gianna Harris in the role of Tomika, the shy girl, and her amazingly soulful rendition of ‘Amazing Grace,’ and Phoenix Schuman in the role of Zack—the meanest elementary-school aged guitar player ever!”

Naugatuck Patch – 10/26/2017

“The young performers had an appealing realness in their performances and I was relieved that vocally they sounded like kids that can sing. Ava Briglia, who was a Matilda on Broadway, was, well, quite strong as the bossy Summer who easily takes on the role of band manager. Olivia Bucknor was a strong backup singer, as was Chloe Anne Garcia as Marcy. Gianna Harris belted as Tomika, Carson Hodges was the lighting guy Mason, John Michael Pitera tried to spruce up the band as the stylist Billy, Tommy Ragen was James, Gabriella Uhl was Sophie…And those featured musician/actors who hear ‘You’re In the Band?’ Theo Mitchell-Penner covered the keyboards as Lawrence, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton was a fabulous drummer Freddy, Phoenix Schuman rocked his guitar as Zack, Theodora Silverman played the bass perfectly as Katie”

The Bristol Observer – 10/25/2017

“The kids who fill the stage are immensely—and frighteningly—talented. … The kids in the cast are key to the show’s charm. Theodora Silverman, Tommy Ragen, Chloe Anne Garcia, Carson Hodges, Gianna Harris, Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton, Phoenix Schuman, John Michael Pitera, Theo Mitchell-Penner, Ava Briglia, and Gabriella Uhl—are the heart of the show. All of them are talented and are immensely watchable. In particular, Briglia, as Summer, is great as the precocious bossy kid in the class—the one mature voice in a roomful of kids (and this includes Finn). She’s kind of the Jiminy Cricket of ‘The School of Rock’—the voice of reason. The musical skills of Moretti-Hamilton on drums, Silverman on bass, Schuman on guitar, and Mitchell-Penner on keyboards—also are jaw-dropping fabulous. They would put many adults to shame with their musical chops.”

Empty Nest – 10/21/2017

“The young cast in this show have a powerhouse of musical talent. I got goose bumps when Zack (Phoenix Schuman) played a riff on the guitar, Katie (Theodora Silverman) plucked the bass, Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) played a run on the key boards and Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) pounded the drums”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – 10/18/2017

“Yet it is still eye-popping…when the quartet of Phoenix Schuman (Zack), Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton (Freddy), Theodora Silverman (Katie) and Theo Mitchell-Penner (Lawrence) grab their instruments and rev up to rock hard. There are a dozen kids on the Benedum Center stage pulling off a screwball rock comedy…Among them is overachiever Summer (Ava Briglia, a star of ‘Matilda’ on Broadway) and wallflower Tomika (Gianna Harris), who each blossom unexpectedly when subjected to Dewey’s unwavering belief in them.”

Broadway World Columbus – 10/12/2017

“One of the funniest lines comes when Summer (Ava Briglia) warbles her way through Webber’s signature song ‘Memories’ from CATS, Dewey deadpans, ‘Please don’t ever sing that song again.’ The pint-sized performers in SCHOOL OF ROCK are not the latest incarnation of the Partridge Family or the Monkees. These kids not only play their own instruments, but the band of Zack (Phoenix Schuman) on guitar, Katie (Theodora Silverman) on bass, Lawrence (Theo Mitchell-Penner) on keyboards and Freddy (Gilberto Moretti-Hamilton) on drums can really jam. Add into the mix the vocals of Shonelle (Olivia Bucknor) and Marcy (Chloe Anne Garcia) as backup singers and the reluctant star Tomika (Gianna Harris) as a second vocalist and you have a powerhouse band….and Briglia delivers a stand out performance as the band’s manager.”

The Columbus Dispatch – 10/11/2017

“All 12 child actor-singers are wonderful. The kids really do play their instruments and play them well – such as Phoenix Schuman, a strutting stand-out on guitar as Zack. Gianna Harris reveals a lovely voice as shy Tomika, but Olivia Bucknor’s Shonelle and Chloe Anne Garcia’s Marcy also shine on backup vocals. Ava Briglia is amusing as by-the-rules Summer, while Theo Mitchell-Penner is endearing as ‘uncool’ Lawrence, who finds his inner Elton John on keyboards.”

Rochester City Newspaper – 10/05/2017

“The production wisely knows that the kids are the real stars, playing their own instruments, and completely stealing the show, much to the delight of Tuesday night’s audience. They’re all wonderful, though the standouts for me were Ava Briglia as the class resident type-A personality, Summer (who becomes the band’s manager, naturally), and Theodora Silverman as the too-cool-for-school bassist.”

Radio 95.1 Rochester – 10/04/2017

“Every performance rocked. But there were 2 in particular that I’d like to give a special shout out to….2) The Kids. All of them. There are about a dozen kids who play the class at The School of Rock and they all play vital roles. All of them fully committed to their roles whether it be security guard or lead electric guitar shredder. My favorite was Theodora Silverman, she plays the bass player, and makes the cutest and funniest rock star faces during each performance.”

Tour Schedule


Event Information:

  • Tue
    03
    Apr
    2018
    Sun
    08
    Apr
    2018

    Buffalo, NY

    Shea's Performing Arts Center

Back | Home