Our Thoughts On Netflix’s 13 The Musical!

Check out our thoughts on Neflix’s 13 The Musical!

13 the musical poster

Hey All!

13 The Musical is the film adaptation from the musical stage production of the same name about a young boy named Evan who moves from New York to a small town in Indiana and must navigate a brand new life while also dealing with the stress of friends, school, and his upcoming Bar Mitzvah. The film is adapted for the screen by Robert Horn, one of the creators of the original stage production, and directed by Tamra Davis (CrossroadsBilly Madison).

13 the musical cast

While a cast of relative unknowns make up the cast of the kids, each kid deftly brings the realism of the young teenage performances to life in a charming way which is more wholesome than many other edgier takes on this genre. The tone and performances are very akin to that of the original High School Musical film from 2006. The adults in the cast are more familiar with names such as Debra Messing (Will & Grace) as Evan’s mom, Rhea Perlman (Cheers) as Evan’s grandmother, and former child actor Josh Peck (Drake & Josh) as Evan’s Rabbi.

13 the musical cast

As aforementioned, the film is about Evan’s transfer from New York to Indiana as a result of his parents breaking up. In true musical fashion, the revelation of this kicks off Evan running away and a musical number (my favorite of the film) to break out. Evan spends the summer with Patrice, a neighbor and friend of Evan’s grandmother but once school starts, it is a whole new world. The moment he sees the “cool kids” and the preexisting dynamics between them all, especially the flirtations between the Brett (the coolest kid in school) and Kendra (the most sought after girl in school), Evan decides he must be a part of the crowd and formulates a plan in which Brett and Kendra can have their first kiss. But it turns out that Kendra’s best friend Lucy also likes Brett! Oh no! Preteen drama! It is adorable. That is the kind of film this is; a tale as old as time about seeking popularity and the jealousy that is raised between adolescents when you’re not about of the crowd or you don’t get to kiss your crush.

13 the musical cast

It should be clearly stated that this film is not the stage musical, but an adaptation. Having listened to Broadway soundtrack for the show, I can hear that some songs were omitted, some added, and some altered to fit this new vision. 13 perfectly captures the bombastic emotions that every preteen and early teen feels that the little things in their lives are the biggest obstacles in the world and more importantly, how their parents just do not understand them. The film wonderfully conveys this idea by never belittling what the younger cast feel as monumental events which could be allegories for more. Is that the intent?


13 the musical cast

I do not know and to be honest it really does not matter. It can interpreted both ways and that is kind of the beauty of this film and story and how it is executed. Is there a camp factor to this? Maybe, but I do not think that preteens who view this film will see it that way and actually will be able to relate and enjoy it. I made an earlier comparison to the 2006 Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical with tone and style and I feel that makes this a great indicator that 13 could be this preteen generation’s High School Musical.

This film is completely suitable for all ages, though I do think it is geared more towards the preteen audience, and as such I have no warnings to give. 13 is fun for all ages and is crafted with quality and care which I think make it stand out from a standard musical for teens.

Check it out! Streaming on Netflix now! Love it!