California Dolphin: statewide California news

East Bay boy is rocking thousands on ‘School of Rock’ tour

Mystic Inscho just loves being out on the road with the touring production of “School of Rock – The Musical.”
“It’s really exciting,” says the 10-year-old actor who performs the role of Zack in the show. “I get to see new places that I would probably never see in my whole entire life, if I hadn’t gone on tour. My favorite so far would probably be Ottawa, Canada.”
The Bay Area native says that he’s gotten to see some 50 cities on tour. Yet, he’s now heading back to familiar territory as “School of Rock” opens at the Center for Performing Arts in San Jose on June 4.
Inscho, a fifth grade student from the Hayward/Castro Valley area, got his start in acting at the age of 4 and has worked with numerous local companies, including Berkeley Playhouse, Tomorrow Youth Repertory in Alameda and Sunnyside Productions in San Leandro.
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He joined up with the “School of Rock” tour eight months, which has given him a chance to really hone his skills on the electric guitar. It did take him a while, however, to get comfortable with shredding in front of an audience.
“At first when I did it, it was really scary, because I hadn’t performed in front of that many people before,” he says. “But after about five shows I kind of got used to it and I started thinking it was fun.”
So don’t be surprised if you Inscho smiling a bit more toward the end of the show, which follows a grounp of school kids on a journey from the classroom to the world of rock ‘n’ roll.
“In the beginning of the show, I don’t really play the electric guitar. I kind of just sing,” Inscho says. “But when the show gets to the end, I start playing more electric guitar – and I just look forward to that a lot.”
“School of Rock – The Musical” runs June 4-9 in San Jose. Tickets are $43–$153, www.broadwaysanjose.com .
‘Sharp Dressed Man’
Get ready for the ZZ Top musical.
Yes, as unbelievable as it may sound, producers are now developing a jukebox musical featuring the music of that Texas rock trio.
It’s called “Sharp Dressed Man” and it is expected to open in 2020 in — where else? — Las Vegas. It comes courtesy of Caesars Entertainment, with a team led by Michael Gruber and Jason Gastwirth along with lead producers Carl Stubner and Prem Akkaraju.
And, despite what you may have assume, the band is actually aware that all this taking place and they are actually on board with the project. The three ZZ Top guys — Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill and Frank Beard — are serving as executive producers.
“We’re excited about this fantastic project and look forward to hearing our music in a new innovative context,” said ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. “Fans have often told us that we’ve provided the soundtrack to their lives, and this is very much in line with that kind of enthusiastic thinking.”
The musical is “an outrageous, bawdy musical romp about a Lone Star auto mechanic who becomes a modern-day Robin Hood, stealing hearts — and car parts — with the help of his merry band of beer drinkers and hell raisers,” according to a news release.
Of course, it’s built on the band’s biggest hits, such as “Legs,” “La Grange,” “Gimme All Your Lovin’” and “Cheap Sunglasses,”
“Pairing ZZ Top’s iconic music with a Texas-version of the Robin Hood story delivers countless laugh-out-loud moments for audiences of of all ages. It’s an absolute blast,” says Prem Akkaraju.
“I know firsthand that ZZ Top is an enduring phenomenon; they’re now about to celebrate 50 years of rocking audiences around he world,” said Carl Stubner. “The show that Prem, Michael, Jason and I envision will utilize the band’s music and tremendous energy for audiences in a new immersive realm. This, just like ZZ Top, is all about having a good time at a great party and telling fun stories through their music.”
ZZ Top performed at the City National Civic in San Jose in January. Read our review of the concert here.
The band returns to the Bay Area to perform a co-headlining show with Lynyrd Skynyrd at Concord Pavilion on Aug. 24. Tickets are $39.50-$199.50, www.livenation.com .

Cal Shakes concerts
There’s one thought that usually crosses my mind as I sit down at the Bruns Amphitheater in Orinda, a few minutes before watching yet another dependably excellent Cal Shakes production.
And that thought is:
This would be a great place to see a concert.
Now, it appears that Cal Shakes might be able to read my mind since the organization has announced a new summer concert series called Echoes at the Bruns Amphitheater.
The first concert in the series features headliners Thao & The Get Down Stay Down and Sudan Archives on June 22. AH-MER-AH-SU opens the show and DJ LadyRyan performs at the post-concert dance party.
Show time is 7 p.m. and tickets are $35-$125, calshakes.org/echoes .
The Echoes series continues with concerts on July 27 and Sept. 7. Acts for those shows have yet to be announced.
The concerts are co-produced with (((folkYEAH!))).


SAP Center celebration
Blake Shelton has been added to the lineup for the SAP Center’s music festival weekend, which celebrates the 25th anniversary of the venue.
The country music superstar kicks off the festival on Sept. 13.
Shelton joins the two other previously announced shows of the music festival.
Following Shelton will be Kings of the West, featuring Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, E-40, The Game, Too Short, Warren G and he Psycho Realm on Sept. 14. On Sept. 15, Colombian reggaeton sensation Maluma performs.
Tickets for all three shows are currently on sale, www.ticketmaster.com .
Prior to the concerts inside the venue, the SAP Center will be hosting local artists on an outdoor stage in the Arena Green each day.
The outdoor festival runs 2-7 p.m. each day and is free to attend. Besides music, there will be a variety of arts and crafts booths, interactive games and rides, and a variety of food and drink options.

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