13 is a musical that explores the constant potential minefields that teenagers all over the country navigate everyday. Presented by the California Youth Conservatory, 13 follows the confused year in the life of Evan Goldman. Evan’s stress begins when he finds out that he has to move from New York to Indiana due to his parents imminent divorce, make a new set of friends, get accepted by the popular kids at school and making sure his all important upcoming Bar Mitzvah is perfect. Along the way you meet a cast of characters that round out the typical middle school experience: the geek, the unpopular kid, the most popular guy in school and the back stabbing friend. Who better to portray all the teenage angst, nervous energy and belief that no matter how stupid the plan, that it will work, than actual teenagers?

The cast of 13 is led by Reed Lievers who charming, funny and a strong singer and performer. The rest of the main characters are played by two rotating casts, so rather than single anyone out when I haven’t seen the other performers, I will say that I am sure the other cast is as excellent as the cast I saw perform tonight. The cast had energy, great comedic timing (especially in the “Bad Bad News” and” Any Minute” numbers) and was thoroughly entertaining. The music and lyrics, written by Jason Robert Brown, are fun and entertaining and the ensemble is strong vocally. If you combined the strong ensemble interaction and harmony of Rent with the heightened theatricality of life and school from Glee, you would have a good idea of what you get when you watch 13.

If you like going to the theater then I strongly urge you to get tickets to 13. This show is a lot of fun; a musical for kids both young and old. Not only will you see great performances, but you will also be supporting the next generation of actors, singers and directors. CYC is an organization that gives serious young actors and singers the training and opportunities that will help them continue their career in theater. This cast was even able to work with Jason Robert Brown who came down from Los Angeles to work with them in their final week of rehearsal. San Diego is a city that premiers shows and then sends them on to New York (like Memphis at the La Jolla Playhouse, Whisper House at The Old Globe Theatre and many more), and now with CYC, I think we’ll also be known for sending some great performers as well.

13 is being performed from January 16th- 31st at the Lyceum Theatre in Horton Plaza. Information on the California Youth Conservatory, show ticket information, photos and videos from their other performances can be found at

Performs January 16 - 31, 2010  

ErinMarie Reiter
National Youth Theatre


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