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Hear Andrew Lloyd Webber's Plan for a 'School of Rock' Musical

By Michael Arbeiter, Hollywood Staff

Andrew Lloyd Webber - the man who breathed modern, musical life into Eva Perón, Jesus Christ, and the long unsung heroes of the Jellicle race - is apparently a big Jack Black fan. The Broadway mainstay has announced interest in adding a new project to his long list of stage staples: a musical adaptation of the 2003 movie School of Rock. Webber tells Broadway World, ''[One] thing that I've just got the rights to that I am very excited about ... is that movie School of Rock.''

Webber suggests that he will combine his own lyrical talents - which have resulted in classic numbers like ''Memory,'' ''Don't Cry for Me, Argentina,'' and ''Music of the Night'' - with the rock and roll benchmarks present in the original Richard Linklater movie. ''There may be songs for me in it, but it's obviously got songs in it as it stands,'' Webber says.

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This is an interesting tactic for the established composer, who seems to be drawing from the well of Rock of Ages and Jersey Boys, tapping into pop favorites of yore for a stage production. Fans will recall School of Rock boasting a soundtrack featuring artists like Led Zeppelin, The Ramones, Cream, The Clash, The Doors, David Bowie, and Steve Nicks, in addition to original songs penned by star Black and screenwriter Mike White.

Presently, Webber is in the process of developing a musical based on the life of physician and subject of political controversy, Stephen Ward. ''So, I will go from Stephen Ward, which is really going to be sort of a chamber musical, to a musical about kids playing the guitar!'' Webber says, once again invoking jealousy in the heart of Maxwell Sheffield.

Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter

[Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures]

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