13,THE NEW MUSICAL

. . . is playing now through July 25, 2010. Only 3 more days to see this in Rancho Penasquitos at the Westview High School, produced by American Rose Theatre. For tickets, 619-733-2021 or www.americanrosetheatre.com

Reviewed by Peggy Lips-Kaz

Do you remember what you were doing when you were 13 years old? I don’t. This is a new musical by Tony award winning composer Jason Robert Brown. The cast of 30 teens, many with professional acting credits had the experience of being mentored by the composer [Jason Robert Brown]. What an amazing opportunity for these young people. There are two casts, alternating the performances. All the major cast members are...you guessed it, 13 (years of age). Don’t let their age deter you. These are very professional, well-rehearsed actors/actresses. The show was perfect and wonderful. The all-teen band includes Chris Raymond, guitarist for the original Los Angeles and Broadway productions.

This is a high-energy funny musical. OK, so you aren’t 13 anymore? Take a trip back in time to empathize with the teens of today as they try to find their own “cool”. Evan Goldman’s parents have just gotten divorced and he and his mom move from New York City to a small town in Indiana. Major cultural shock !! Now he is turning 13, adjusting to a new school, friends and “manhood”.

The production team is headed by Ira Spector who sat very calmly in the audience on opening night. I was impressed. Kyrsten Hafso as the Musical Director and Choreographer did a great job so that their movement and songs were looking comfortable for the teen cast. There are always lots of volunteers that make a production like this happen. Everything was perfectly smooth and professional. This is a hit !!