Printable Copy13 THE MUSICAL
Adelaide Youth Theatre
Star Theatres
Until 21 Mar 2021

Review by Janice Bailey

“13 the Musical” was conceived by Jason Robert Brown in 2007, and he was also responsible for the music score. The story was written by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, covering a range of issues affecting teens – including bullying, jealousy, first kisses and friendship.

Bernard Flynn fits the role of Evan very well, portraying the awkwardness of a 13-year-old boy about to undertake his bar mitzvah. His life is about to become everything he can imagine – until his parents divorce and he has to move to Appleton, Indiana. While he is busy trying to find ways to entice the ‘cool kids’ to come to his bar mitzvah, he learns the valuable lesson of what it means to be a true ‘friend’. Bernard navigates a difficult role with panache and charm. He meets Patrice, played intuitively by Holly Abbott. Patrice is uncool and a bit quirky but she is a ‘real’ person and she knows what it means to be a true friend.

William Hambidge-Hay plays Brett, the most popular guy in school, with just the right amount of bravado. Phoebe Rodger as Kendra, the girl most other girls would like to look like, takes on the role with ease. Harry Ince as Archie, the boy with a disability, is a standout in a difficult role, providing much of the humour.

Each of the leads demonstrated excellent vocal and dance ability. Sebastian Cocks as Malcolm, Henry Tran as Eddie, Asher Gordon as Richie, Hamish Skene as Simon, Chloe Seabrook as Cassie, Charlotte Lawrence as Mollie, Ellie Spiniello as Charlotte and Emily Bennett as the Head Rabbi all fulfil their roles with enthusiasm, energy and raw talent. Special mention must go to Bridget Tran, Charlie Mazey, Madelyn Birch, Talia Benetti, Tessa Maloney as the New York cheerleaders and Anna Oldfield as the Dance Captain.

All musicals need a good band to provide the music – Natalie Aynsley on keyboard, Patrick Maher on guitar, Jakub Gaudasinski on bass and Brodie Hewitson on drums drive the show.

It is always a pleasure to see the Adelaide Youth Theatre displaying their talent with such enthusiasm and “13 the Musical” certainly lived up to their excellent reputation.