(Dave Itzkoff’s article appeared in The New York Times, 1/3; via Pam Green.)

What kinds of backstage pleasures does a newly minted heavy-metal star enjoy these days? At the Winter Garden Theater, Alex Brightman, the lead actor of Broadway’s “School of Rock,” has furnished his diminutive dressing room with such not-so-hedonistic gratifications as a steam-inhaler mask, tasteful throw pillows and a collection of year-end award-season movies on DVD.

Even the colorful contents of his pill case are not nearly as illicit as they might seem: “They’re all vitamins,” Mr. Brightman said recently as he gulped down a bitter handful. “It’s all to make me superhuman on the inside.”

Mr. Brightman, 28, who has cultivated a burly, bearded, Belushi-esque look for “School of Rock,” hardly fits the stereotype of a preening, Spandex-clad guitar god. But he has nonetheless turned this musical, which is based on the 2003 Jack Black comedy and opened last month, into his personal stairway to heaven.


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