Photo by Don Kellogg

Sunday, September 28, 2008


The new musical on the block, 13, made it's debut this past week.  As you might guess, it's a musical about being 13 years old - and there are 13 kids on stage to share the musical tale.   In this day and age where High School Musical XIV (is that what we're up to?) dominates the kid-scape - this musical just doesn't make the cut.   I'm left wondering why Disney has not brought it's international sensation to Broadway yet (who thinks Shrek the Musical will make it anyway?).

Let's get a few things straight.  This is not really a Broadway show.  It's just entertainment.  It's the clever, relevant, and thoroughly modern story of Evan, a, you guessed it, 13 year old who's from the Upper West Side. His parents are getting a divorce (surprise!) just before his Bar-Mitzvah (he's Jewish) and his mom uproots him and takes him to Appleton, Indiana (they don't have Jews there) to live.   You can just begin to imagine the trials and tribulations that follow.

What you have to juxtapose here is what i can only imagine to be most exciting times in the lives of these actual actor kids (trust me, i am SO jealous of them) against the fact you're paying $100 for a ticket to see... well... kids.  (Did i mention that they were all absolutely adorable and talented?) Why are we willing to pay this much to see kids sing slightly off key sometimes, miss a few dance steps here and there, not exactly command the stage, and put on what amounts to a really REALLY good High School Musical?  It's like the best of the best - but when the best are kids - it's not exactly Broadway quality.  Endearing and entertaining - but not Broadway.  (I have to say I also wonder if anyone else thought they were watching Cory Feldman and Haley Joel Osment on stage in disguise!)

I think the producers are going to lose their shirt on this one.  A run off-Broadway at the Minetta Lane or New World Stages seems more appropriate.   I hope I'm wrong for the kid's sake.  I hope I'm right for Broadway's sake.   You decide.

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