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School of Rock Announces a New Class of Rockers

The musical's original guitar prodigy Brandon Niederauer departs the Broadway cast.

Original School of Rock cast member Brandon Niederauer (right) will graduate from the Broadway ensemble on July 30.
(© Matthew Murphy)

Broadway's School of Rock has announced that five new cast members will join the company beginning July 31 at the Winter Garden Theatre.

The newest young members of the ensemble will be Zachary Zwelling as Zack the guitarist, Levi Buksbazen as Freddy the drummer, John Allyn as Billy the stylist, Gabrielle Greene as Shonelle the back-up singer, and Cory Leventhal as James. They take over for Raghav Mehrotra (Freddy), Jersey Sullivan (James), Gianna Harris (Shonelle), Sammy Ramirez (Billy), and original cast member Brandon Niederauer (Zack), who will all graduate from Horace Green on July 30.

Based on the hit 2003 film of the same, School of Rock features music from the movie, as well as original music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, a book by Julian Fellowes, and direction by Laurence Connor. The story follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn a few extra bucks by posing as a substitute teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight-A students into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band. While teaching these pint-sized prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school's beautiful but uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within.

The current Broadway cast stars Eric Petersen as Dewey Finn, Jenn Gambatese as Rosalie Mullins, Steven Booth as Ned, Becky Gulsvig as Patty, Brandon Niederauer as Zack, Raghav Mehrotra as Freddy, Rachel Katzke as Katie, Walden Sullivan as Lawrence, Olivia Chun as Summer, Sammy Ramirez as Billy, and Amadi Chapata as Tomika. The adult ensemble includes Justin Collette, Emily Cramer, Natalie Charle Ellis, John Arthur Greene, Nehal Joshi, Lulu Lloyd, Jaygee Macapugay, Cassie Okena, Patrick O'Neill, Jesse Swimm, Josh Tower, Joel Waggoner, Jonathan Wagner, and J. Michael Zygo. The kids' ensemble includes Troy Bell, Chloe Bryan, Luke Bonenfant, Michael Cascetta, Gianna Harris, Sophia Kekllas, Ellie Kim, Ruth Righi, Demi Singleton, and Jersey Sullivan.

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