Producing 13 for the McLean Community Players (MCP) has truly been a labor of love. I was first introduced to 13 through the Original Broadway Cast Album around the time the show was on Broadway. Sadly, I did not get a chance to see the Broadway production or any subsequent regional production, but I have been eager to see this show for several years now. Even after listening to the music constantly for the past few months, 13 remains my favorite Jason Robert Brown show, largely because of its catchy, comical and sincere songs.
The energy captured in the music is palpable, particularly with the excitement and anticipation depicted in the opening number, and the production team has assembled an amazing cast to share this story. Our cast of 17 is between the ages of 12 and 16, and we have had a blast rehearsing the show’s funny, awkward, sweet and serious moments. As Evan Goldman, the multi-talented Cuinn Casey leads us on this journey of self-discovery. In 13, Evan must navigate the nerve-racking world of middle school after moving from New York City to a small town in Indiana, where he has a limited time-frame to establish his “cool” status, convince the popular kids to come to his bar-mitzvah and avoid being labeled a “geek”.
One of the many reasons why I wanted to produce 13 is its relatability. Any adult has been 13, and any adolescent is going through the subjects that this show tackles. Moreover, the process of growing and improving oneself that is central to the “Becoming a Man” premise is something we never really complete in life despite our best efforts. Accepting both who we are and what life throws our way is an endless struggle. The messages of 13 transcend middle school and highlight life lessons that are applicable to everyone.
There is no better way for me to highlight what 13 has to offer than to show you.
Between Jason Robert Brown’s music, the fun and humorous story, the relevant and honest lessons, and our excellent cast and crew, the MCP production of 13 will be an exciting musical. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm January 30 – February 15, 2015 at the McLean Community Center’s Alden Theatre. Tickets are $23-25 and are available at McLeanPlayers.org or by calling 866-811-4111. Further information is available at www.McLeanPlayers.org.