School of Rock at Queensland Performing Arts Centre

Andrew Lloyd Webber, the man who brought rock and romance to Broadway, is back with a new heart-stirring hit. School of Rock is a New York Times Critics’ Pick and “an inspiring jolt of energy, joy and mad skillz!” Reuters raves “Andrew Lloyd Webber has Broadway rocking again!”

Based on the hit film, this hilarious new musical 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.

Carly spoke with actor Nadia Komazec who plays the fierce Patty diMarco about the show, what she's learned from her character, and her career so far. Read the full interview below:

Nadia Komazec

School of Rock is prepping to rock on up to Brisbane after a highly successful run in Melbourne. What do you think it is about this show that audiences just fall in love with and why should Brisbane make sure not to miss it?

 
We can’t wait to bring our rocking show to Brisbane! School of Rock is a show full of heart and a whole lot of laughter. There is so much to love about this show but in particular our incredibly talented kids. Their talent and fearlessness on stage and off is truly inspiring to watch. I think Brisbane audiences will fall in love with the joyous feeling that they leave the theatre with.  


Many readers may be more familiar with the 2003 movie starring Jack Black. How similar is the musical and what new surprises might there be for audiences to look forward to?  


Personally speaking I am a huge fan of the movie so I was curious on day one of rehearsals to see how the musical stood up to the massive success of the film. I was absolutely blown away at how perfectly they had paid tribute to the film whilst keeping the stage show fresh and original in it’s own sense. There are a few surprises in store but I guess audiences will just have to wait and see what those are.  


One of the nicest parts of this show is how seamlessly the Adult Cast and Child Cast work together to create such a fun and upbeat performance for audiences. What are some of the behind the scenes fun times between the two casts that you can share? Any particularly great memories that you will take with you from this show?  


The role of Dewey Finn originally made famous by Jack black is so demanding in the stage version, we are fortunate to have two incredible actors portraying the role. Brent Hill and alternate Joe Kosky. Both of these dudes are wonderful in the role but watching them work with the kids has been particularly inspiring to witness. To be honest I’m pretty jealous of the connection they have with our stellar child cast.  Patty has very little to do with the children on stage, so I always make an effort to have a chat and a giggle behind the scenes. I was around the same age as the kids in our show when I made my professional debut as Brigitta in The Sound of Music with Rachel Beck and Rob Guest and it was this experience that sparked my passion for musical theatre. 


In creating a role that has already been introduced to audiences via film, how did you approach your character and what work did you do to find Patty di Marco?  


Sarah Silverman was fantastic in the role of Patty in the film. I had big shoes to fill but under the guidance of our incredible creative team and after a detailed rehearsal process I found my Patty. She’s fierce and fiery and knows what she wants. I have to admit that we have a lot in common.  


Of course, this isn’t your first time taking on a stage role that we know from films as well as you have recently starred in Bring It On, Legally Blonde and the Rocky Horror Show. Does taking on these characters see you approach your roles differently? Or is your process much the same? 


Taking on a stage role that has already been made famous on screen and or on stage can be slightly more intimidating however it also means that there is already so much information about the character that is available to the actor. I do as much research as I can but also endeavour to avoid any pre-framing that might limit my own interpretation of the role. As soon as I receive my script and score I make sure that I am confident with all of my lines, lyrics and music before entering the rehearsal room. That way I feel like I can relax a little and play in the room without the pressure of remembering lines. 


And what have you learnt from playing these varied characters over the last couple of years as a performer?  


This is one of my favourite requirements of being an actor. I am given permission and encouraged to transform myself into a different person on a daily basis. How great is that? And not only that, majority of the roles that I have had the privilege of stepping into have all been so vastly different. It forces you to explore parts of yourself that you may not have known existed. I think I always knew a version of Patty Di Marco existed within myself. I take some of her strength with me everyday.  


What is something that you hope the audience walks out of the theatre having realised as a result of seeing School of Rock? What is that take away message you hope people leave with?  


I really hope that our show encourages and inspires young people to put down their phones and video games and perhaps pick up an instrument. After doing this show I certainly wish that I had stuck to my piano lessons when I was younger.  


Finally, so many of the songs just look like such a blast to perform on stage. Any personal favourites? (whether or not it’s your song)


Stick it to the man is my favourite! All I want to do is run out there and dance with the kids. Patty doesn’t dance in the show so I am definitely missing moving my dancing feet. 


RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS:  


Favourite production you have ever seen?

Once

 

You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you go?

New York

 

Dream role to perform?

There are way too many to list.

 

Plays, musicals or operas?

The curious incident of the dog in the nighttime, 42nd Street, Bombshells

 

A hobby you have beyond the theatre?

Reading, cooking, walking my dog and I have a passion for fashion and interior design.

What’s next for you after this show?

Who knows…something fabulous I hope.

School of Rock opens at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre on July 12, 2019. You can get your tickets here.

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