Rock School | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Engrossing and frequently hilarious, this documentary by Don Argott peeks inside the Paul Green School of Rock Music in downtown Philadelphia, an after-school program in which kids ages 9 through 17 are grouped into bands, assigned set lists, and propelled toward live performances. Green, who founded the school in 1998 and has watched its enrollment expand to well over 100 students, curses out his young players like Buddy Rich on a bad night, but his effectiveness is evident by the end, when he chaperones a dozen-odd kids on a trip to Germany to perform at a five-day Frank Zappa festival. Screenwriter Mike White claims that he'd never heard of Green when he wrote Richard Linklater's charming comedy The School of Rock, but the similarities between Green and Dewey Finn, the maniacal heavy-metal guitarist played by Jack Black, are striking, to say the least. 93 min. Reviewed this week in Section 1. Century 12 and CineArts 6, Esquire, Landmark's Century Centre.

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