By Heather May | Special to The Tribune | May 25, 2019, 6:00 a.m. | Updated: 11:28 a.m.
There’s no Jack Black character bouncing around the room riffing about rock and urging the students to “stick it to the man.” And no unsuspecting principal about to learn the truth and ruin their upcoming gig.
In fact, in this tucked-away music space in Sugar House called Salt Lake Academy of Music (SLAM) [ed: the former MusicGarage.org], the students’ parents are listening just outside the studio, beaming as their kids audition while playing “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” by Jet and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
This is a real version of the movie and Broadway musical “School of Rock.” The play — on stage May 28-June 2 at the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City — features Draper’s Blake Ryan. The 12-year-old is a swing performer who steps onto the stage as needed; he’s the understudy for five characters, thanks to his skills with the piano, harmonica, guitar, ukulele and drums.
The musical, based on the 2003 Jack Black movie, follows a teacher who turns a group of students into a “guitar-shredding, bass-slapping, mind-blowing rock band.”