In Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “School of Rock,” a renegade substitute teacher turns a class of prep-school fifth-graders into rockers and sneaks them into the Battle of the Bands.
When The Zephyr Theatre presents the rowdy musical in Lowell Park later this month, one of the kids in the band will bring impressive credentials to the professional production.
Twin Cities actor Huxley Westemeier had a role in the national tour of the Broadway debut of “School of Rock” when he was 10. Now, he returns to the stage as Zach, a guitar-shredding rocker. He’ll be joined by 11 other early teens, many who have theatre experience at The Zephyr and/or Minneapolis-based Children’s Theatre Company.
All the kids will be singing and dancing, and four of them will be playing instruments, said Randal Berger, The Zephyr’s associate artistic director, who will be co-directing “School of Rock” with Calyssa Hall, The Zephyr’s executive director.
The rest of the cast will be fleshed out with 21 adults, including Reed Sigmund, The Zephyr’s director of education and a frequent Zephyr actor. He’ll throw himself into the role of Dewey Finn, the sub who doesn’t know much about science and math but is determined to give the kids a “rock-solid” education.
When the kids rip into “Stick It to the Man,” “You’re in the Band” and other rock tunes, the Battle of the Bands judges — and the Zephyr audience — will see whether Finn succeeded.
“School of Rock” will be presented at 7 p.m. July 21-25 and 27-28 in North Lowell Park in downtown Stillwater. General admission tickets are $30 for adults and $22 for children and students with valid ID. Chairs provided. Reserved seats are $45 for adults and $30 for children. VIP seats (which include complimentary drink and shuttle service from The Zephyr’s parking lot) are $120. For tickets, go to stillwaterzephyrtheatre.org. For parking info, go to ci.stillwater.mn.us/community/amenities/parking-information.
New Feral Cats, July 9
The New Feral Cats — featuring Midwest Music Hall of Famer John Garden and singer/songwriter/guitarist Ross William Perry — deliver high-energy blues, rock, and R&B.
The New Feral Cats will perform at 7 p.m. July 9 on the outdoor stage at The Zephyr Theatre, 601 Main St. N., Stillwater. Tickets are $20 at stillwaterzephyrtheatre.org. Cash bar open. Bring your own chairs.
Local author showcase, July 10
Sponsored by Valley Bookseller, this open-house-style event will give book lovers an opportunity to meet 13 local authors. The showcase will start at 1 p.m. July 10 at The Zephyr Theatre, 601 Main St. N., Stillwater. Free. Cash bar open.
Riverside Swing Band, July 17
This popular band — with guitar, trumpet, saxophone, trombone, upright bass, drums, and four voices — often gets Zephyr audiences up and dancing. The musicians will return with their modern take on vintage sounds of the Swing Era, the Fifties, rockabilly, blues, and original music.
Riverside Swing Band will perform at 3 p.m. July 17 on the outdoor stage at The Zephyr Theatre, 601 Main St. N., Stillwater. Free; $10 donation appreciated. Cash bar open. Bring your own chairs.
Literature Lovers’ Night Out, July 27
Valley Bookseller will present a gathering of national and local authors at The Zephyr Theatre. The featured authors will be Jennifer Chiaverini (“Switchboard Soldiers”), Matt Goldman (“Carolina”), and Antonia Angress (“Sirens & Muses”).
Literature Lovers’ Night Out will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. July 27 at The Zephyr Theatre, 601 Main St. N., Stillwater. Tickets are $15 and are available at fareharbor.com/valleybookseller. Cash bar open.
“The Music of Adele,” July 31
Adele’s music spans all ages, and Colleen Raye brings the heart and soul of it to this show. Backed by six musicians and singers under the musical direction of keyboardist Jordan Hedlund, the full sound of Adele’s production will be re-created.
“The Music of Adele” will be performed at 6 p.m. July 31 at The Zephyr Theatre, 601 Main St. N., Stillwater. Tickets are $35 at stillwaterzephyrtheatre.org or at the door. Cash bar open.
“Springsteen With Strings,” Aug. 10
Veteran singer and producer Mick Sterling returns to The Zephyr with a guitar, piano, and string quartet to honor Bruce Springsteen’s music. Anticipate unique renditions of “Thunder Road,” “New York Serenade,” “Incident on 57th Street,” as well as newer songs.
“Springsteen With Strings” will be presented at 7 p.m. Aug. 10 at The Zephyr Theatre, 601 Main St. N., Stillwater. Tickets are $35 and are available at stillwaterzephyrtheatre.org or at the door. Cash bar open.