Jeremy Woodard likes the feel of “School of Rock” but the Garner Magnet High School graduate says there is no sure thing on Broadway.
He knows. His first Broadway gig ended after one night when the show closed after the opening day. He had a signed contract for another show that was up and running, but that one closed before his opening day.
But he hit it big with “Rock of Ages,” a show built around 1980s classic rock. The show ran for six years and made Woodard a star. His image was plastered on the side of New York City buses.
“At the beginning we didn’t know if it would find an audience. It did,” he said.
He left the ROA to take a role in what was expected to be another big theater success, Diner.
“I signed a contract and was ready to go,” Woodard said. “But it never was staged. You just never know what will be a hit and what won’t.”
“School of Rock” is based on the 2003 movie that starred Jack Black as Dewey Finn, who poses as a substitute teacher at a prep school. Instead of teaching them, he uses the fifth-graders to form a rock group.
Woodard’s role isn’t nearly as prominent in “School of Rock” as it was in “Rock of Ages.”
“The kids do most of the work in this one,” he said. “I’m an adult. I’m a teacher and some other roles. But I’m excited about the show.
“I’m glad to be working and to be on stage. This is something that I really love. It is still exciting to go out and do what I love to do and be paid for it.”
“School of Rock” is in previews now.
The show goes on eight times a week and adjustments are made after most. The cast does a show and then comes in for rehearsal the next day to make changes and presents the newly revived show hours later.
“It’s a busy time, but it is an exciting time,” Woodard said. “Hopefully, the show is getting better day after day.”
“School of Rock,” which stars Sierra Boggess, officially opens on Dec. 6 at the Winter Garden Theater. The musical features the music from the film, plus additional songs by Andrew Webber.
Tim Stevens: firstname.lastname@example.org