13: The Musical is a musical with lyrics and music by Jason Robert Brown and a book by Dan Elish, with Robert Horn newly joining as co-librettist. The story concerns the life of 13-year-old Evan Goldman as he moves from New York City to Appleton, Indiana and his dilemma when the move conflicts with the celebration of his Bar Mitzvah. It premiered in 2007 in Los Angeles and transferred to Broadway on September 16, 2008. In 2012, Jason Robert Brown collaborated with The National Youth Music Theatre to cast and direct his own version of "13" in London's West End, with six performances from 22nd August 2012 at the Apollo Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue.
12-year old New Yorker Evan Goldman is surrounded by rabbis. After chanting to him, one of them explains that when a boy has his Bar Mitzvah, he becomes an adult. As the rabbis reveal that they're actually other New York kids, Evan tells the audience about how stressful turning 13 is - especially since his parents are getting divorced and he's under pressure to have the best Bar Mitzvah imaginable ("13 / Becoming A Man"). Just as Evan thinks maybe things will be fine, his mother calls to tell him they're moving to Indiana. Once there, however, Evan finds a friend in his neighbor, Patrice. Evan is disappointed that there aren't any cool places to have his Bar Mitzvah. Patrice agrees that their town is lame, but things have gotten better since Evan moved there ("The Lamest Place in the World").
When school starts, Brett, the most popular kid in school, summons up the courage to ask Kendra, the prettiest girl in school, to a scary movie Friday night so he can kiss her with tongue ("Hey Kendra"). Despite her best friend Lucy's attempts to dissuade her, Kendra consents. Inviting Kendra to a scary movie was Evan's idea, so Brett decides that Evan is cool and refers to him as "Brain." Evan is thrilled. This means Brett will come to his Bar Mitzvah, and if Brett comes, everyone else will come. Patrice, however, is not pleased. If she goes to the Bar Mitzvah, nobody else will go because they hate her. Evan doesn't think it'll be that bad, but when he hands out invitations, he sees Patrice is right, so he rips up her invitation ("Invitations"). As the other kids express their excitement over Evan's party, Archie enters and introduces himself. He's upset at Evan for humiliating Patrice—who's his best and only friend—but promises to help make it up to her if Evan gets him a date with Kendra. When using his degenerative illness to guilt Evan into getting him the date doesn't work, Archie tries to convince him that he can't turn to anyone else ("Get Me What I Need / Kendra Dream"). Evan finally relents. Later, at cheerleader practice, Kendra teaches a new cheer while Lucy resolves to make Brett her boyfriend ("Opportunity"). Archie tries to talk Patrice into giving Evan a second chance, especially since she has a crush on him, but she's lost faith in him ("What It Means To Be A Friend").
In class, Brett tells Evan to get his mom to buy them all tickets to "The Bloodmaster". Evan protests that his mother won't buy them tickets to an R-rated movie, but Brett points out that if he doesn't, nobody will go to his Bar Mitzvah. Evan cycles through possible plans, eventually settling on having Archie use his illness to guilt his mother ("All Hail the Brain / Terminal Illness"). To make things better with Patrice, Evan asks her to go to the movie with him, as a date. He then realizes that he set up Archie's date with Kendra when everyone is seeing "The Bloodmaster", which is Kendra's date with Brett. Evan makes Archie promise to do nothing more than sit next to Kendra to not screw up Brett's date. Archie agrees and everyone prepares for Friday night ("Getting Ready").
At the movie, Patrice is upset that Evan isn't even sitting next to her. Brett and Kendra overthink their impeding kiss, and just as they're about to actually do so, Archie ruins it ("Any Minute"). Brett swears revenge on Evan and Archie, and Lucy, seeing her chance, kisses Brett. Patrice tells off Evan when she sees all he cares about is Brett being angry at him ("Good Enough"). Even Archie is upset with Evan, who then realizes he's in danger of being a lonely geek ("Being A Geek").
As Lucy and Brett begin dating, she forces him to spend more and more time with her. Brett's friends recognize that Lucy isn't good for Brett or for them at all ("Bad Bad News"). Evan promises to help get Brett and Kendra back together so he can get back on everyone's good side. Archie, fearing that this is a suicide mission, begs Patrice to help Evan. She shows up just in time to tell Brett to talk to Kendra, and she and Evan suggest things to say - while resolving their own issues ("Tell Her"). Brett takes their advice, and he and Kendra are a couple again. Lucy, however, won't stand for this after fighting with Kendra. She spreads a rumor that Kendra is cheating on Brett with Evan, and then gets Evan and Kendra in the same place so Brett can catch them ("It Can't Be True"). Her plan works. As Kendra runs after Brett, Evan realizes that he didn't really want to be friends with Brett, anyway and that Archie and Patrice are his real friends. He wants to call off the Bar Mitzvah because it'd only be the three of them, but Archie and Patrice point out it won't be that bad. Evan has his Bar Mitzvah after all after he had his first kiss with Patrice ("If That's What It Is / Evan's Haftorah"). He's starting to understand what growing up means ("A Little More Homework"). The show ends with the cast singing "Brand New You" after the curtain call.
Original Broadway cast Edit
- Graham Phillips as Evan Goldman
- Allie Trimm as Patrice Parker
- Aaron Simon Gross as Archie Walker
- Elizabeth Gillies as Lucy Dunn
- Eric Nelsen as Brett Sampson
- Delaney Moro as Kendra Quaker
- Al Calderon as Eddie
- Malik Hammond as Malcolm
- Caitlin Gann as Molly
- Ariana Grande as Charlotte
- Brynn Williams as Cassie
- Eamon Foley as Richie Hammond
- Joey La Varco as Simon
Musical Numbers Edit
- "13/Becoming a Man"
- "The Lamest Place in the World" - Patrice
- "Hey Kendra" - Brett, Malcolm, Eddie, Lucy and Kendra
- "Get Me What I Need" - Archie and Company
- "What It Means to Be a Friend" - Patrice
- "All Hail the Brain/Terminal Illness" - Evan, Archie and Company
- "Getting Ready" - Evan, Archie, Lucy, Kendra, Brett and Company
- "Any Minute" - Brett, Kendra, Patrice and Archie
- "Good Enough" - Patrice
- "Bad Bad News" - Eddie, Malcolm, Simon and Richie
- "Tell Her" - Evan and Patrice
- "It Can't Be True" - Lucy, Molly, Cassie, Charlotte and Company
- "If That's What It Is" - Evan, Patrice and Archie
- "A Little More Homework"- Charlotte, Evan and Company
- "Brand New You"- Charlotte, Cassie, Molly and Company
Ariana Grande auditioned for the musical in New York with her best friend Aaron Simon Gross. They grew up together doing musical theater since they were very young in Boca Raton, Florida. Ariana said, "I just felt really comfortable because I had one of my closest friends in the world with me from home." Both Ariana and Aaron got cast into the musical out of thousands of kids that auditioned.
- Ariana said she barely had any lines.
- Ariana revealed in an interview with Seventeen that her shoe came off during one of the shows and landed in the front row. However, she just kept dancing and singing.
- Ariana said she got all of the highest harmonies in the musical. She had to belt her brains out and in the beginning, it was challenging but eventually it helped her, made her become a better singer, and expanded her range "so much".
- 13 is the first musical to have a cast full of kids
“Love how my face fits so good in your neck”
To view the 13: The Musical gallery, click here.
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