Bring on Tomorrow Co’s Production of 13: The Musical features an all teen cast, with 19 talented young performers carrying the show from start to finish.
The story follows Evan Goldman, who is about to turn 13-years old. Forced to move from New York to small town Indiana just before his bar mitzvah, he must find a way to fit in, in hopes that the ‘cool’ kids will come to his party. The chaos that ensues is jam-packed with teenage gossip, crush-induced behaviour, and friendship.
Under the direction of Chris Adams, the cast is outstanding, with many undeniably superb triple threats who can sing, dance and act.
Standouts include Julia MacLean as Patrice with a beautiful singing voice. Julian Lokash and Jason Sakaki, as Archie and Brett, handle the humour in Dan Elis and Robert Horn’s book with a seasoned ease, and Graham Verchere carries the show with an endearing grace as Evan.
Under the leadership of musical directors Michelle and Michael Creber (who also leads the lively four-piece band), Jason Robert Brown’s songs are toe-tapping fun with both wit and warmth. Highlights include “The Lamest Place in the World”, and “A Little More Homework”.
Christopher David Gauthier’s simple set transforms seamlessly from location to location, with the lockers of Dan Quayle Junior High cleverly used in the song “Bad Bad News”.
At times, this story does feel a little predictable and clichéd, a tale of the new kid realizing that being cool isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and there are also many stereotypical portrayals of gender throughout. The only characters managing to break these roles are Patrice, Archie, and then Evan. While this helps to bring them to the forefront as the odd ones out, there are moments when the other characters felt flat and uninteresting. Its conclusion though is rewarding, as it strays from the expected perfect ending.
Despite some of its stereotypes, 13: The Musical remains a relatable story for anyone who was once a teenager (or is one), and felt the pressure of fitting in.
Filled with humour and charm, it also has some important lessons for all of us about the true meaning of friendship.
13 The Musical with music & lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and book by Dan Elis & Robert Horn. A Bring On Tomorrow Co. presentation, in association with Moving Mirror Productions and Creber Music Corporation. Directed by Chris Adams. On stage at the Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright St, Granville Island) until October 8. Visit http://bringontomorrowco.com for tickets and information.