From Broadway to Birdsboro

Submitted photo
Submitted photo

Alpha Omega Players’ new production of 13, the 2008 Broadway musical by Jason Brown, is a “funny look at growing up.”

Mark Drey, the theater’s founder, gave many insights about the play and the cast.

Despite the subject matter, the show isn’t for kids, but it’s also not offensive for children.

The show “revolves around a date gone extremely bad.” The lead character, Evan Goldman, played by Tyler Montgomery, feels his life is over when his mother uproots him from New York City to a small town in Indiana. His efforts to fit in and make a new set of friends fuels and drives the story.

When asked why he chose this show this year, Drey shrugged and explained that he simply “likes the show and likes the music.” He elaborated that this was the “perfect year” with the available talent.

The teenage cast loves the material, as well. When asked what he enjoyed most about being part of this production, Tyler Montgomery said he loved “just getting to live the teen experience on stage.”

“We can all relate to it because it’s about being 13 and we’re all around that age,” Nicole Greenfield said.

Seeing the talent and commitment of these kids makes it difficult to remember they are all between the ages of 12 and 17. Colin Lynch, the youngest cast member, said he loves the “maturity of it all.” These young adults are having a blast, but they are serious when they need to be.

Drey pointed out that the kids “all really want to be here.”

The famed camaraderie of the theater envelops the teenagers. Their dedication shows.

As each cast member arrived to rehearsal, Drey and other members of the production team teased them and each other about haircuts and microphones. Prior to mic check, many of the kids goofed off in one big cluster on the edge of the stage. That fellowship is a major part of the allure of being in 13.

“We get to hang out and do music together,” Meghan O’Neill explained. Most of the kids pointed to their friendships as their favorite thing about being in the cast. Ryan Ferrante pointed out that “[performing] is something we all enjoy.” Theo Okkerse was excited about “all the wonderful people.” “We’re like a family,” added Mickey Gray.

That familial bond allows cast and crew to work together superbly. The sets are polished and the stars are ready to shine.

“The kids are ready for an audience,” Drey stated. The “music is tough,” but the live band and the cast blend together seemingly without effort.

When asked if they would do it all over again, the cast gave a unanimous “Yes!” “A hundred times,” Meghan O’Neill added.

Tickets can be reserved now. Call the Alpha Omega Players at 610-404-4844 or e-mail Alpha1978@dejazzd.com.

There will be six great opportunities to catch this family musical: 8 p.m. Nov. 29, 30, Dec. 6, 7; 3 p.m. Dec. 1, 8.

Don’t miss it!