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Actor

Brandon Niederauer plays during a show. Photo from Gary Niederauer.

This young boy from Dix Hills sure knows how to rock.

Brandon Niederauer, 12, has only been playing the guitar for four short years, but he has already had more career milestones than most kids his age.

Brandon has already played on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, with the Allman Brothers Band, and at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. But his most recent accomplishment is perhaps his most impressive.

Brandon Niederauer plays during a show. Photo from Gary Niederauer
Brandon Niederauer plays during a show. Photo from Gary Niederauer

This December, he will be in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s newest musical on Broadway: “School of Rock-The Musical.” Brandon said he first became interested in playing the guitar after seeing the original movie, “School of Rock.”

After competing against more than 50 musicians to get the part and going through an eight-week workshop, Brandon said he got the call that he had gotten the role while he was playing basketball with his brother.

“All the kids and adults in the cast get along really well,” Brandon said in an email. “We have a lot of fun playing pranks and joking around. We are like a family.”

As for working with legendary composer Webber, Brandon said he has already taught him a lot.

“School of Rock — The Musical” officially opens on Dec. 6 at the Winter Garden Theatre.

This month, Brandon performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote the musical.

According to Brandon, when Webber was asked to be a guest on the show, the producers thought it would be a good idea to have him on the show as well.

“I was very honored to play the whole set with such an amazing band,” Brandon said. “I was one of the band. There is something special about that. They showed me the music and set list right before the show and I had so much fun playing and fitting it.”

Brandon Niederauer in "School of Rock — The Musical." Photo from Gary Niederauer.
Brandon Niederauer in “School of Rock — The Musical.” Photo from Gary Niederauer.

Brandon will also be performing with his cast in The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this year on the Gibson guitar float.

“Being on the Gibson float is a dream come true,” Brandon said. “I saw that float a year ago and said, ‘I want to do that.’”

Brandon’s father, Gary Niederauer, said he knew right away that his son had special talents.

“I knew after the first lesson,” Niederauer said in an email. “Everything was easy and natural for him. He knew where all the scales were after only being taught one.”

As for seeing his son up on stage, Niederauer said he delivers every single time.

“It is thrilling to be able to watch your son create amazing sound from nothing with other amazing advanced musicians,” he said. “I really can’t believe it. He has no fear and loves to perform for an audience.”

When asked about any plans for the future, Brandon said there’s nothing concrete.

“I have been a guitar player, singer, writer — now I’m acting on Broadway,” he said. “I really have no plan. Things have been happening on their own, so whatever it is, I just want it to be fun!”

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Tab Hunter with one of his theme cakes at the reception. Photo by Theresa Rothman

By Stacy Santini

Wednesday evening, Oct. 14, the Cinema Arts Centre had the privilege of hosting in person the infamous, impossibly handsome 1950s icon Tab Hunter and his partner of 33 years, Allan Glaser, at an exclusive Long Island screening of Glaser’s riveting documentary based on Tab Hunter’s memoir and life titled “Tab Hunter Confidential.”

Curated by Jud Newborn, the center not only screened the movie to a packed house, standing room only, but honored the veteran screen legend with a roster of engaging events. After the viewing, there was a dialogue with Hunter and Glaser conducted by famed author and film critic Foster Hirsch followed by a Q-and-A session.

A reception in the center’s Sky Room followed with droves of people lined up to meet the humble, engaging Hunter, who at 84 is as stunning as ever. Audience members were treated to jazz music by Mike Soloway, a buffet of cheese, fruit and crudité as well as three cakes specially made to remind us of some of his career highlights: one a baseball glove surrounded by the four bases in honor of his most popular movie, “Damn Yankees,” the second a tribute to his chart topping song, “Young Love” and the last, a joyful rainbow confection welcoming him.