Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department alumnus Rob Colletti ’11, a graduate of the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department’s BA Program in Acting, is “totally terrific” as the star of the national tour of the Broadway hit School of Rock, according to Chicago Tribune theatre critic Chris Jones. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical about a wannabe rock star who poses as a prep school teacher runs through November 19 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre , 151 W. Randolph in downtown Chicago. For tickets to the Chicago engagement, click here.
Chicago Sun-Times critic Hedy Weiss also praised Colletti’s performance in her overnight review, saying that Colletti “works harder than any marathon runner and goes the full, exhausting distance in every song and scene.”
“This role is by far the most difficult role I’ve ever played,” Colletti recently told journalist Scott C. Morgan, entertainment reporter for the northwest suburban Daily Herald newspaper, in an interview published October 28. “Not in a painful sense, but in the workload required. . . . Out of a two hour and 30-minute show, [my character] is onstage for all but about 10 or 12 minutes,” Colletti said. “It’s an enormous undertaking.” Morgan reports that Colletti has a strict two-hour warmup of physical stretching and vocal exercises along with a 30-minute post-show cool down. He also notes that Colletti had to train online with a British vocal coach via Skype “to ensure that he could sing the show nightly without blowing out his voice.”
“They had us do literally months of physical preparation with a trainer. I had to lose 20 pounds to get the role,” Colletti told Morgan. For the complete Daily Herald interview, click here.
Colletti‘s professional credits include the Broadway and national touring companies of The Book of Mormon, in which he played the leading role of “Elder Cunningham. While still a student at Columbia, he also studied in the comedy studies program at The Second City and. appeared in The Original Grease at the American Theater Company in Chicago. That 2011 production restored material from the original 1971 Chicago production of Grease that had been cut from the show’s 1972 Broadway version. The Original Grease was created with the participation of Grease‘s coauthor Jim Jacobs, benefactor of the Jim Jacobs Musical Theatre Scholarship at Columbia College Chicago.
Based on the hit 2003 film of the same name, School of Rock 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 mind-blowing rock band. While teaching these prodigies what it means to truly rock, Dewey falls for the school’s uptight headmistress, helping her rediscover the wild child within. Colletti portrays Dewey, the role played by Jack Black in the original movie.
School of Rock has music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, a book by Julian Fellowes, and direction by Laurence Connor.