School’s out! But not for the amazing Alex Brightman who rocks out on a Broadway stage every night. School of Rock is so much fun, by the end of the show I wanted to get up on stage and dance! I had a chance to chat with Alex Brightman, who is currently starring as Dewey in School of Rock. Alex is a fantastic performer and I was luck enough to see him in Matilda as well. Read on to find out why he is so great.
What was your first exposure to Broadway and musical theater, and how did it influence you?
I saw “Cats” and “The Who’s Tommy” back-to-back and I fell completely head over heels for theatre in general. I wanted to do what they were doing. I didn’t know that it could be a job. I asked my mom if I could do that when we got back home to California, and she found a community theatre that I started at the very next year.
What is the first Broadway show you saw? How old were you?
What’s amazing is that I was 8 years old and saw “Cats” at The Winter Garden Theatre. 20 years later, I’m in the same spot…but in a very different place.
What is it like transferring from an ensemble role to a lead role in such a short time?
To be honest, it has not been a short time. I have been working hard my whole life. I did my first show when I was 8 and I feel as though I have worked tirelessly every single day to make myself a better actor. I never woke up any day and said, “someday, I’ll have a leading role.” I wake up every single day and say, “it is so cool that people pay me to act.” I’ve been saying that for years, thankfully.
Did you meet with Jack Black for advice on who the role is supposed to be?
I have never met Jack Black, but I can’t wait until he comes and sees the show. I think he’ll really enjoy it.
How is it working with Sierra Boggess and the rest of the cast? Do the kids add to your energy on stage?
Sierra Boggess is one of the coolest people I have met in recent years. She is wonderfully spiritual and we chat before every performance. She is a gift. The kids are a master class on stage and off. They are so classy and cool and funny. We all play off of each other so well and it makes the show a joy to do every night.
How well do the adults in the show work with all the children in the show?
People always say that casts are like big happy families. I know it’s cliche, but it’s very true. We all love and support each other. We are a team and we all band together every single show to tell the best version of this story we can.
You went from Matilda to School of Rock do enjoy being in a show with such a big child cast? Are there any big differences between the shows?
What I love about children casts is that they are pure energy. And also, kids have no problem telling you if something is not funny. Too many people in this business will give your comedy the benefit of the doubt. But these kids call me out if I’m not being funny. They sharpen my comedy skills.
Did you re-watch School of Rock the movie to get ready for the Role?
I haven’t seen the movie in a while, but I’m not shying away from it. I didn’t use it for the role, but I am a huge fan of it.
Who is the coolest person who’s seen the show so far?
I am a huge fan of British comedy. Matt Lucas was my first guest at the show and I flipped out. You may know him from Little Britain or Bridesmaids.
What it’s like working with Andrew Lloyd Weber?
He is so down to earth and cool. He seems like a young composer because he just wants his show to be good. He was involved in every step of the process. He might be the most successful songwriter (and the wealthiest) but he may as well be the guy next door. He’s a cool dude.
What show would you like to do next and who would you like to work with?
The next thing I would love to do would be a play. This show has been so taxing on my voice and I think I want to give it a rest. I was also thinking about maybe delving into something on film or TV. We shall see. I would love to work with Tom Hanks at some point.
What kind of student where you in school, were you like your character Dewey?
I was not an amazing student. I am very street smart but I’m not very book smart. I was much more like Dewey during my school years. I had great experiences in school but I never enjoyed the actual work.
Have you ever had a “Patti moment” where you wanted to take an audience member’s phone?
I have those moments more than I care to admit. People really need to check themselves in the theatre. It is so frustrating to watch the blue lights of glowing phones in the audience. It is disrespectful. If you NEED to check your phone for an emergency…you probably shouldn’t be at the theatre in the first place.
What do you love most about the show? What is your favorite number?
I love figuring out each audience during the show. Every audience has a personality and I love to try and read it and utilize it to my benefit. My favorite number in the show is YOU’RE IN THE BAND.
What is the most played songs on your iPhone/mp3 player?
What is your Favorite social media platform? How do you think social media has changed your fan base, and what’s your approach to dealing with it?
My favorite social media platform is Instagram. Social media is the reason I have this many fans. I love that we can connect to people all across the world who love theatre as much as I do. It’s great. And I love being able to talk to people.
Best Day Off Activity?
Walking around bookstores.
Favorite Guilty Pleasure/Food?
Hidden Quirky Talent?
The Giving Tree
All-time favorite show?
THE WHO’S TOMMY
Favorite thing about NYC?
Favorite Dance Move?