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The High School Play-Goer: Southern High School's School of Rock

Highschoolers shone as ­highschoolers shining

photo courtesy of Victoria Scalfaro/ Magic happened when Southern High School Drama Company brought this musical ­spectacular to Harwood.
     School of Rock is a success by all measures. 
     The 2003 movie starred Jack Black, who won an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance and was nominated for a Golden Globe Best Actor. In 2015, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes rewrote the movie for stage with new music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. It was nominated for four Tonys.
      Magic happened when Southern High School Drama Company brought the musical spectacular to Harwood.
      Under the direction of Victoria Scalfaro, senior Ben Griffith ruled the stage as wannabe rockstar Dewey Finn. Late on his rent and without a job, Dewey scammed his way into a substitute teaching gig at an elite private school, where he convinced his students to “stick it to the man” by forming a rock band. Griffith acted, danced, sang and played electric guitar with finesse. 
      Junior Will Sudduth also delivered an outstanding performance as Ned Schneebly, Dewey’s roommate. He was paired with senior Erin Keenan who played his domineering girlfriend Patty with perfect comic timing. 
     The ensemble cast was a mix of experienced and novice musicians. Kate Hutchinson as bassist Katie and Chris Bates as keyboardist Zach Mooneyham honed their existing musical skills for their roles. Real life pianist Fin von Schilcher took up guitar to play Lawrence. First-time musician Chris Downey managed the drums to play Freddie. The result was a polished, energetic performance that left the audience wanting more. 
     Equally impressive were the vocals from supporting characters. Principal Rosalie Mullins (Meadow Bailey), perfectionist Summer Hathaway (Charlotte Shineman) and wallflower Tomika (Alannah Moynihan) delivered memorable, high-energy solos.