13 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 his Bar Mitzvah. It came to Broadway on September 16, 2008, with an official opening performance on October 5, 2008.


After his parents' divorce, Evan Goldman must move to Appleton, Indiana from New York City. He is about to have his Bar Mitzvah in the basement of a church, presided over by a rabbi that he and his mom found online. He is appalled at the prospect of the guest list consisting only of his mom and her friend Pam. Evan thinks that if he can get all the cool kids at his new school, Dan Quayle Junior High, to come to his Bar Mitzvah party, he will make a lot of friends and become cool. Unfortunately this means excluding the only friend he has made, Patrice, an intellectual girl, because she is not cool and would ruin his chances of joining the cool crowd. The independent Patrice becomes angry and decides to not be Evan's friend anymore.

Evan then encounters a nerdy kid named Archie who is terminally ill with a degenerative muscular disease. Archie tells Evan that if he doesn't get him a date with the beautiful head cheerleader, Kendra, that he will show up at his Bar Mitzvah and ruin it. Evan reluctantly agrees. At lunch Brett, the popular football player, talks to Evan about making a plan to get him, his posse, Kendra, and Kendra's jealous friend Lucy, into a rated R horror movie entitled "The Blood Master". Evan then says that he can use guilt, "The Jews' greatest contribution to

society," to get his mom to buy them the tickets. He then tells Archie that he will get him into the movie too and arrange for him to sit next to Kendra where he can talk to her. While Lucy and Kendra are getting ready, Lucy tells Kendra that if Kendra makes out with Brett, she will be a slut and a skank. Lucy is jealous of Kendra, and she wants to go out with Brett herself. Brett prepares to make out with Kendra by doing his "exercises".

At the movie, Archie sits next to Kendra but messes up his opportunity by choking up and answering "Hi Kendra!!!" to the question "Hi, what's your name?" Archie leaves the theater and informs the manager that there are underage people in movie, and everybody leaves feeling that everything is Evan's fault. The next day at the football game Brett is still mad and sad that he didn't get to kiss Kendra. This affects his playing, and he freezes twice during the game. After the second time, Kendra comes out and they make-up and finally kiss. After the game, Evan goes up to the bleachers to Archie and Patrice and helps Archie write a note to Kendra telling her how he feels. Meanwhile, Lucy is spreading a rumor that Evan and Kendra have been fooling around to make Brett upset and leave Kendra. Brett and Evan almost get in a fight, but Brett decides not to waste his energy on Evan and walks away with Lucy.

All of these adventures have helped Evan to realize that being cool is not the only value, and he apologizes to Patrice, setting the stage for his Bar Mitzvah and entry into adulthood. To his surprise, everyone shows up at Evan's Bar Mitzvah in a happier mood. They explain that they found Lucy's phone and all the phony text messages that she sent out to make it seem like Kendra was cheating on Brett with Evan. They all party, Simon gets a kiss from Kendra, and everybody is happy.

Characters and original cast[]

13 the Musical
Character Description Original Broadway Cast[1][2] Original West End Cast[3]
Evan Goldman A twelve-and-a-half-year-old Jewish city boy from New York City who tries to fit in at his new school in Indiana. Graham Phillips (Corey Snide on matinee performances.) Guy Harvey
Patrice A somewhat bookish girl. She is the first person which Evan meets and they soon become friends. She has a crush on Evan. Allie Trimm Sienna Kelly
Archie A boy whose energy and looks are unlike anything else in Appleton. He walks on crutches as the result of muscular dystrophy. Patrice's best friend. Madly in love with Kendra. Aaron Simon Gross Tim Mahendran
Brett The stereotypical junior high school football star. Cool, handsome, and about as smart as a postage stamp. All the girls on the cheerleading team are head over heels to date him. Eric Nelsen Jacques Miché
Kendra The prettiest and most popular girl in school. She has a major crush on Brett and they are an on-and-off couple. Delaney Moro Hannah Thompson
Lucy Kendra's best friend, who shouldn't be trusted by anyone. She also has a huge crush on Brett, and tries to get Brett to break up with Kendra so she can start dating him. Elizabeth Gillies Georgia Riley
Eddie Brett's goons. Wanna-be's who flank him constantly. Al Calderon Jack Cashion
Malcolm Malik Hammond Robin Franklin
Molly Cheerleaders and friends of Kendra. Caitlin Gann Lindsay Kearns
Charlotte Ariana Grande Lauren Ellington
Cassie Brynn Williams Amara Okereke
Simon Other boys in the school. Joey La Varco Toby Turpin
Richie Eamon Foley Sario Watanabe-Solomon



Los Angeles[]

The musical premiered on January 7, 2007 at The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, California and ran through February 18, 2007. The production was directed by Todd Graff, with choreography by Michele Lynch, and the cast and band were all teenagers.[4] This production received a nomination for the 2007 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards, World Premiere Musical.[5] The cast and band for the Mark Taper Forum production: Ricky Ashley, Caitlin Baunoch, Molly Bernstein, Jenáe Burrows, Emma Degerstedt, Jamie Eblen, Julia Harriman, Jordan Johnson, Tinashe Kachingwe, Tyler Mann, Sara Niemietz, Ryan Ogburn, J.D. Phillips, Ellington Ratliff, Chris Raymond, Charlie Rosen, Alex Scolari, Chloé Smith, Christian Vandal, Nehemiah Williams and Seth Zibalese.[4]


The musical was next presented at the Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Connecticut, by Goodspeed Musicals from May 9, 2008 through June 8, 2008, with direction by Jeremy Sams and choreography by Christopher Gattelli. It starred most of the original Broadway cast, except that it featured Ashton Smalling as Kendra, Taylor Bright as Cassie, Matthew McGinn as Eddie and Kyle Crews as Malcolm.[6]


The musical opened on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on September 16, 2008 in previews, with an official opening on October 5, 2008 and closed on January 4, 2009 after 105 performances and 22 previews.[7] The director and choreographer were the same as at Goodspeed, and most of the Broadway cast was also in the Goodspeed production (except Moro, Hammond and Williams). There was a teen band, as in prior productions.[8] The production received one Drama Desk Award nomination, for Outstanding Lyrics by Brown. 13 is the first and only all Teenager Cast and Band to ever hit Broadway.Template:Citation needed

Post-Broadway productions[]

Revivals featuring revisions to the show made by Brown, Dan Elish and Robert Horn were staged at French Woods Performing Arts Camp in summer 2009, Theatre Under the Stars, Houston, in the fall 2009, and Indian Head camp in summer 2010.[9] In 2010, Ransom Everglades Theatre staged a revival in Miami from March 19–22, directed and choreographed by Angelica Torres.Template:Citation needed

The musical opened Off-Broadway at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre on April 23, 2011, in a production by the Children's Acting Company. This six-performance engagement used the revisions by Brown, Elish and Horn.[9]

13 had its first production in Seattle at Nathan Eckstein Middle School in May of 2010. It was produced the following year by Broadway Bound Children's Theatre at ACT Theatre in Seattle Washington, under the direction of the company's artistic director, Jimmy Nixon. It was performed twice by that company, first in December of 2011, and later in July 2015. Template:Citation needed In 2009–2010, show was performed in several productions in Jerusalem, Israel.[10][11]

The first UK production of 13 was given by The Rival Theatre company at Cecil Hepworth playhouse in April 2010. Jason Robert Brown gave his blessing and a quote for the poster. Riverside Theatre Company of Cambridgeshire and very closely followed by Young Performers Theatre Company, of Shrewsbury, both in June 2010. The West End production of 13, by the National Youth Music Theatre, premiered at the Apollo Theatre in Westminster, London on August 22, 2012 and ran for 6 performances. The production was directed by Jason Robert Brown. As with the Broadway production, the cast were all teenagers. A West End cast recording was made at Sphere Recording Studios in Battersea, London[12] and released on December 18, 2012.[13][14]

In 2011, Theatre Noir presented the first Hong Kong productions in both English and Cantonese.[15] The premiere of the Cantonese version took place at Jockey Club Auditorium, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 7 October 2011.[16] In September 2014, Theatre Noir presented a re-run in both English and Cantonese in Yuen Long Theatre.Template:Citation needed

In March 2012, 13 made its South Australian debut when it was performed by Adelaide Youth Theatre for the Adelaide Fringe Festival at the Adelaide College of the Arts. It was directed by Rodney Hutton and musically directed by Michelle Nightingale.[17]

A West Australian production of 13 opened on February 4, 2015 as part of the Fringeworld Festival. Presented by Playlovers at Hackett Hall, Floreat, it was directed by Kimberley Shaw with musical direction by Stepnhen Beerkens and Madeleine Shaw.[18][19][20] In December 2013, a Flemish/Dutch version was mounted by Jeugdtheater Ondersteboven, a youth theatre company in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium.[21]

Film adaptation[]

In 2014, CBS Films announced that they intend to produce a film adaption of the musical.[22] The screenplay was expected to be written by Bert V. Royal, with producers Laurence Mark, Bob Boyett and executive producer David Blackman. Jason Robert Brown is expected to oversee the adaptation's music and lyrics.[23]

However, in 2019 it was announced that 13 would become a Netflix original movie. The screenplay is now expected to be written by Robert Horn, with direction by Tamra Davis.[24]


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  4. 4.0 4.1 Hernandez, Ernio."Middle School Musical: Jason Robert Brown's '13' Opens in Los Angeles" Template:Webarchive, January 7, 2007
  5. Hernandez, Ernio."Kaye, Fishburne, Felder Among Nominees for 2007 L.A. Stage Alliance Ovation Awards" Template:Webarchive, September 24, 2007
  6. Jones, Kenneth. "Teen Time! Cast Announced for Goodspeed Run of '13' Musical" Template:Webarchive,, April 22, 2008
  7. Gans, Andrew and Kenneth Jones. "New Musical 13 to Close on Broadway in January 2009" Template:Webarchive,, November 21, 2008
  8. Jones, Kenneth. "13, A New Musical Comes of Age on Broadway Sept. 16" Template:Webarchive,, September 16, 2008
  9. 9.0 9.1 Hetrick, Adam. After Broadway Growing Pains, 13 The Musical Returns to NYC in Revised Version April 23" Template:Webarchive,, April 23, 2011
  10. Dekel, Ayelet. "13 Mania Grips Jerusalem",, March 1, 2010
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  21. Jeugdtheater Ondersteboven vzw, Production details for first dutch performance.
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  23. Template:Cite magazine
  24. McPhee, Ryan. "Netflix Adaptation Jason Robert Brown Musical 13 in the Works" Playbill, September 20, 2019

Song List[]

  • 13 / Becoming a Man
  • The Lamest Place In The World
  • Hey Kendra
  • Get Me What I Need
  • Opportunity
  • What It Means To Be A Friend
  • All Hail The Brain / Terminal Illness
  • Getting Ready
  • Any Minute
  • Being A Geek
  • Bad Bad News
  • Tell Her
  • It Can't Be True
  • If That's What It Is
  • A Little More Homework
  • Brand New You