One adjective I’d use to describe “Schoolhouse Rock Live!”? Fantastic.
“Schoolhouse Rock Live!” is a ridiculously cute, charming and educational musical that you should go see whenever possible with a friend or the whole family.
The musical focuses on Tom, Dayan LeGrand, a soon-to-be school teacher anxious before teaching for the first time. LeGrand tries to relax by watching some T.V, when all of a sudden, a multitude of smart children pop out of the screen, showing him on how to make learning fun.
Before the performance, old Warner Bros cartoons play to allow the audience to really dwell in nostalgia— that “Saturday morning cartoons” mood.
During the performance the actors go from zero to 100, putting their full energy into every choreographed dance. Several actors wear shoes will wheels in the heel and slide across the stage, or skip and sing at the same time. This must have taken some serious effort. It reminds me of the 2016 V.M.A’s, in which Arianna Grande sang and rode a stationary bike for Side to Side. “Schoolhouse Rock Live!” did a very good job masking the high intensity that must have been singing, dancing and jumping for 90 minutes without getting out of breath. No intermission.
The musical would not have been as successful with a different cast. LeGrand has a strong, soulful voice that will be sure to give you goosebumps. Casting LeGrand for the role of Tom was a good call. Choosing to cross-gender act in this role was very cool to see happen and considering all the skill LeGrand has vocally you won’t really care about gender portrayals.
One cast member that truly stood out was Robert Vardiman who played George, one of the Schoolhouse Rock crew to visit Tom. Vardiman has a voice that sounds like it would come straight from that T.V in the living room on Saturday morning. It feels just right for a performance like this one. I would say that looking back at the musical several months down the line, one of my most vivid memories of that night would be Vardiman’s performance of “Three Is A Magic Number” because of how close it is to the real feel of Schoolhouse Rock.
The only qualm I have with this character is that it seemed as if his character was older than the rest of the Schoolhouse Rock crew, which made a possible love triangle scene later on in the show a tad creepy due to the confusion. The mix between his more adult-like outfit compared to the rest of the crew and his leader personality made his character difficult to read at times.
The whole cast did a fantastic job and really brought to life all the characters.
If you are at all interested in going to see “Schoolhouse Rock Live!”, consider this to be your gentle push. Go see it. Especially on Oct. 19, when there will be a pajama night and free cereal bar before the performance.