Geek. Poser. Jock. Beauty Queen. Wannabe. These are the labels that can last a lifetime.
With an unforgettable rock score from Tony Award-winning composer, Jason Robert Brown, (Parade, The Last Five Years, Bridges of Madison County) Pittsburg Community Theatre's first show of the season, "13," is a musical about fitting in – and standing out.
Set to open on March 9 for area schools with a special daytime performance at 9 a.m., and March 10-12 for the public, the former Broadway show “13” is an hilarious, coming-of-age musical about discovering that "cool" is sometimes where we least expect it.
It tells the story of Evan Goldman, who is plucked from his fast-paced, preteen New York City life and plopped into a sleepy Indiana town following his parents’ divorce.
Surrounded by an array of simple-minded middle school students, he needs to establish his place in the popularity pecking order.
The stories that come to life as he attempts to make new friends are ageless, the emotions they explore timeless, the laughter and the memories they provide priceless.
Among those friends: Patrice. She’s an outcast. Ostracized by her peers, she finds a friend in Evan when he moves to town. The two of them become friends with Archie, a student made fun of by his classmates for his physical disability.
Then there are Kendra and Lucy, who fight over Brett, the hottest and most popular guy in school. Twenty other characters round out the cast.
The show is being directed by Greg Shaw, PCT board member who is the Pittsburg High School theatre teacher and also directs shows for Theatre in the Park in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. For the cast, he sought the area's best teen performers.
The show is musically directed by MJ Harper, who portrayed “Mama Rose” in last summer’s “Gypsy” and is a vocal music and theater instructor in Ft. Scott, Kansas.
The show’s band is under the direction of Cooper Neil, PHS instrumental music teacher, who just wrapped direction of the band that performed “Seussical,” a musical directed by Shaw at Memorial Auditorium earlier this month.
“I think teenagers should especially come see this show because I am sure they can all relate, whether they were the one in these situations or they knew people like the characters in the show,” said Alexis Daniels, a PHS student who plays Kendra. “It has a great score and is very entertaining.”
McKenna Shaw, a PHS student who plays Patrice in this show and has played her before in a theatre in Kansas City, said adults and teens alike should see the show.
“It provides a good message of kindness for teens going through these tough years right now,” she said. “As for adults, it brings a sense of nostalgia for them as they look back on their teen years. It's fun for the whole family.”
Tickets may be purchased and printed online at www.memorialauditorium.org, or by calling the Memorial Auditorium box office at 620-231-7827, or stopping by the box office at 503 N. Pine. Cost: $12 reserved seating, main floor, adults; $10 reserved seating, main floor, children 13 and under, and seniors; $8 general admission, balcony.
This blog is a spot for journalist Andra Stefanoni, a PCT board member who also has been cast in several productions, to allow audiences a peek behind the scenes.