13: A New Musical @ Bryan Brown Theatre Bankstown

The cast of 13

AFAICR nevr come across 13 b4. AIAMU. Z0mg… Sg8.

Don’t speak teenager? Let me translate.

As far as I can recall, I have never come across 13 before. Am I am monkey’s uncle? Oh my god … so great.

I just saw Birdie Productions’ musical 13 at the Bryan Brown theatre in Bankstown and I am jiggie with it! FYI this is how it rolls.

12 year old New Yorker, Evan Goldman is ripped from the greatest city in the world by his getting-divorced Mom. He lands in a small town in Indiana on the eve of his Bar Mitzvah and is totally focused on getting in with the cool kids so that he will have a fantastic party. For the next 2 hours he makes every wrong choice available.

As Evan, Noah Mullins is the perfect leading man. Tall, handsome with a boyish easy charm he commands the stage in his early song ‘I’m Becoming a Man’ . We understand Evan straight away and though he does some bad things, he turns out to be a righteous dOOd (dude). There is an audible gasp in the crowd when he really stuffs up early in his new school career. His singing voice is full and he has a good command of the tops and an excellent control of the long notes.

The object of his initial bad choice is Patrice played by Scout Silbersher in a cracker performance. Patrice is the smartest person in the room but longs to have an equal. She thinks Evan might be it and Silbersher’s interpretation of her first solo ‘Lamest Place in the World’ sets up the character as a young woman of depth and feeling. With a voice that is perhaps more comfortable in the Alto range than the Mezzo Soprano of the role, she really nails the recits. Her ability to carry the character forward during those almost spoken songs to expose Patrice’s yearnings is emotional and compelling.

And Patrice has a lot to yearn about…Kendra (Skye Butcher) and Lucy (Isabella Compton) are the mean girls! And the two performers really nail it. Butcher’s object of desire, Kendra, is just ditzy enough to be manipulated yet strong enough to know what she wants. Compton is wonderful as the scheming …biatch. She has great stage presence, a clearly defined character and both young women have charisma to spare and voices that blend beautifully.

And who yearns for Kendra? The Jock, Brett (Joe Howe) and his two rambunctious mates Eddie (Louis Vinciguerra) and Malcom (Cameron Field). These three are hilarious. And their voices are also fine as standalone but with a really nice blend as a trio. They have a great comradery until Brett becomes all Hb4b. (Look it up … can’t explain that one!).

Also with an eye for Kendra is Archie (Ethan Fuller) who handles the comedic role of the unlucky-in-love BFF with broad strokes and was loved by the audience. The rest of the ensemble is also fantastic and when they all get a go in the encore, ‘Brand New You’ the talent of this cast just shines.

Director Meg Day has gently guided her young cast to a heart-warming, energetic and polished production. WTF … I have forgotten to mention that this is a teenage cast, they are all under 18. Not that you would notice, they are just incredibly talented in anyone’s language. Who should see this show? Anyone who loves a musical!

They are supported by a great band, and contemporary choreography (Ashlee Evans) which highlights the triple threat nature of the whole cast. Plus, the flexible set design includes the graffiti URAQT which took me a while to understand, and screens where you can see their text messages and Facebook posts. I learned a lot!

For example … ig2g ( I got to go)!

13: A NEW MUSICAL continues at the Bryan Brown Theatre, 80 Rickard Road, Bankstown until Saturday 3rd October. Bookings http://www.birdieproductions.com.au and 97311620.

One thought on “13: A New Musical @ Bryan Brown Theatre Bankstown”

  1. I SECOND THAT EMOTION! This is a powerhouse of real and charming. Such a brief but kickass run…like the grand finale of fireworks.

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