Twelve-year-old New Yorker, Evan Goldman, is surrounded by rabbis. After chanting, one of them explains that, when a boy has his Bar Mitzvah, he becomes an adult. Evan breaks from the scene and expresses his anguish to the audience. The mounting pressure of puberty, coupled with his parent's ugly divorce, has created unneeded stress in his life ("Thirteen / Becoming a Man"). Just as Evan begins to feel hopeful, his mother calls to tell him that 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 in Indiana to have his Bar Mitzvah; Patrice attempts to encourage him ("The Lamest Place in the World").
Next, we join Evan for the start of the school year. Brett, the most popular kid in school, has summoned up the courage to ask Kendra, the prettiest girl in school, to a scary movie on Friday night so that he can kiss her ("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 the "Brain." As the new kid, Evan is thrilled. Patrice, however, is not amused. As the popular kids begin considering Evan's invite to his Bar Mitzvah, however, he becomes pressured to renege his invitation to Patrice – no one will attend if she is there. Seeing the group is not bluffing, he hastily rips up her invitation. Patrice is devastated.
Later that day, we meet Archie, a high school student who suffers from a degenerative illness. He has run into Evan in the school and expresses anger at Evan for humiliating Patrice, his best and only friend. In an attempt to capitalize on the incident, Archie promises to help mend things between him and Patrice, but only if Evan can get him a date with Kendra ("Get Me What I Need"). At cheerleading practice, Kendra teaches a new cheer while Lucy resolves to make Brett her boyfriend ("Opportunity").
Elsewhere, Archie tries to talk Patrice into giving Evan a second chance, especially since she has a crush on him. Patrice feels betrayed by Evan and finds it difficult to forgive him ("What It Means to Be a Friend").
In class, Brett tells Evan that he should get his mom to buy them all tickets to the new thriller, "The Bloodmaster." Evan protests that his mother won't buy them tickets to an R-rated movie, but Brett reminds him that, if she 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 into relenting ("All Hail the Brain / Terminal Illness"). In an effort to make things better with Patrice, Evan eventually asks her to go to the movie with him as his date. He doesn't realize until later on that he has set up Archie's date with Kendra on the same day and movie as Brett's date! Realizing his mistake, Evan makes Archie promise not to do anything more than sit next to Kendra during the movie, or else he will 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. Throughout the bloody scenes, we see into Brett and Kendra's thoughts as they prepare for the impending kiss ("Any Minute"). Just as they're about to lock lips, Archie ruins it. Brett swears revenge on Evan and Archie. Lucy, seeing her chance, kisses Brett. Patrice tells off Evan when she sees that all he cares about is Brett being angry at him ("Good Enough"). With no one to whom he can turn, Evan realizes that he's in danger of forever 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 try to bring Brett and Kendra back together so that he can get on everyone's good side. Archie, fearing that this is an impossible 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 mends his relationship with Kendra. Lucy, however, won't stand for this. 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"). 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 true friends. He wants to call off the Bar Mitzvah because it would only be the three of them, but Archie and Patrice insist that it won't be that bad ("If That's What It Is"). Finally, Evan has his Bar Mitzvah, and it turns out to be a success. Reflecting on the lessons of becoming a man, he begins to accept what growing up is all about ("A Little More Homework"). The show ends with the cast in celebration ("Brand New You").
Although 13 is an original and new musical, since its debut, it has inspired a novel by the same name from authors, Jason Robert Brown and Dan Elish.
Following two weeks of previews, 13 first premiered on January 7, 2007, at The Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, California, and ran through February 18, 2007. With a book by Dan Elish and music/lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, the cast and band were comprised of all teenagers. Todd Graff directed the production, with choreography by Michele Lynch.
The musical was next presented at the Norma Terris Theater in Chester, Connecticut, by Goodspeed Musicals from May 9, 2008, through June 8, 2008, with direction by Jeremy Sams, choreography by Christopher Gattelli and the addition of book writer, Robert Horn.
13 then began previews on Broadway at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre on September 16, 2008, before officially opening on October 5, 2008. The show ran for 22 previews and 105 performances before closing on January 4, 2009. Jeremy Sams and Christopher Gattelli reprised their same duties as at Goodspeed, and most of the Broadway cast was also in the Goodspeed production.
Following its Broadway run, 13 has since gone on to have a successful life in numerous international productions, including those in the UK, Israel, Hong Kong, Australia and Belgium, as well as Off-Broadway and regionally.
- 13 is the first Broadway show in which all of the actors and orchestra members, with the exclusion of the conductor, were under the age of 18.
- A cast album was recorded by the original Broadway cast and released on September 20, 2008.
- After posting to his website that he had begun work on a screenplay, Jason Robert Brown stated in an interview in October 2013 that he believed a movie adaptation of 13 would be happening within the next year.
- 13 received a 2009 Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Lyrics .
- The premiere production of 13 at the Mark Taper Forum received a nomination for the 2007 LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards, World Premiere Musical.
- Because the cast album was recorded during the show's Broadway previews, when edits were still being made, the actual track list and order of a few songs is slightly different from the final version of the show that audiences saw.
- Originally, the show ran as a longer, two-act show with an intermission, but was eventually whittled down to a continuously running 90-minute one-act.
"...Has on tap that natural radioactive energy that makes young teenagers so appealing."
– NY Times
"The production sweeps... with the glitz and easygoing energy of a well-oiled comic book."
– Talkin Broadway
"This kinetic, high-powered musical starring 13 pubescent teenagers has something for everyone."
– NY Theatre Guide
"...has heart and charm."
– LA Times
- Music and Lyrics by
- Book by
Music & Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown 50%
You also agree to include the following on the title page of all programsand in all advertising and publicity wherever and whenever the full production credits are given, in a type size not less than 20% of the type size used for the non-logo title of the Play or 7-point pica type, whichever is greater, in substantially the following form:
Subsequently produced for The Goodspeed Opera House by Michael P. Price,Executive Producer
|PIANO CONDUCTOR'S SCORE||2|
|KEYBOARD PATCH SOLUTIONS|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT LARGE|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT MEDIUM|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT SMALL|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT X-LARGE|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK ADULT XX-LARGE|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD LARGE|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD MEDIUM|
|LOGO TEES SIX-PACK CHILD SMALL|
|VIRTUAL STAGE MANAGER|
|DRUMS||BELL TREE , DRUM KIT , SHAKER , TRIANGLE , WOODBLOCK|
|GUITAR||ACOUSTIC GUITAR , ELECTRIC GUITAR|
|GUITAR 2||ACOUSTIC GUITAR , ELECTRIC GUITAR|