“13” had a brief run over the weekend of June 2 – 5 and like all good things, if you missed it, you missed out on a chance to see a wonderful production. Held at the Historic Hoover Theater in San Jose, “13” was a production of Starting Arts’ Dream Team II, a group of very talented performers ranging from 11 – 14 years of age.
Adapted from a book by Dan Elish and Robert Him with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, “13” tells the story of a 12-year-old pre-teen, Evan Goldman, a resident of New York, who is planning his bar mitzvah. However, his parents divorce finds him moving to Appleton, Indiana. To fulfill his desire to become popular, he realizes by having the most fabulous party at his bar mitzvah can make him a hit with his new classmates.
Different shows have two separate casts, so while I saw Cast A, given how great Starting Arts and the Dream Teams (Dream Team and Dream Team II) productions have been in the past, Cast B would have been just as good. Goldman, played quite effectively by Matthew Burrows, found it difficult to make inroads with the various social rules that exist among pre-teens. Attempting to fit in, he found himself in an all-too-typical situation when he befriended Patrice, played by Liliana Ibsen, a neighbor who was a social outcast at school. From there, complications ensue as Goldman tries to make everyone happy.
The Dream Teams are both composed of young artists. Dream Team II has artists in grades eight through 12, while the Dream Team features young artists ranging from fifth through eighth grade. For more information on the Dream Teams or Starting Arts, please visit their webpage, www.StartingArts.com.