Press release: Jewish Theatre of Bloomington and Stages Bloomington to collaborate on musical “13”

The following press release was sent to the Bloomingtonian:

The Jewish Theatre of Bloomington and Stages Bloomington 
announce a collaboration
on the award-winning musical “13”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   November 15, 2022   Bloomington, Ind.-  With an explosive score by award-winning composer, Jason Robert Brown and beautifully written book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn, The Jewish Theatre of Bloomington  (JTB) and Stages Bloomington bring to the local theatre scene, the rollicking musical, “13”!    This high energy musical comedy tells the story of Evan Goldman, born and raised in New York City and preparing for his Bar Mitzvah, when his world turns upside-down.  If  the life of a teenager isn’t complicated enough, Evan’s parents divorce and he and his mother relocate to  the small town of Appleton, Indiana where he’s faced with  fitting in to life in rural Indiana, all at the pivotal time of his Bar Mitzvah.   The musical deals with the hardship of leaving the comfort of familiar places for unfamiliar ones, fitting in with peers, and the sometimes rocky journey of growing up.   Ben Jaffe, a Bloomington High School North Sophomore, is featured as Evan in the leading role. Ben is a Stages Bloomington veteran having appeared in several Stages productions, most recently in “Matilda.”  MCCSC students and students from Mitchell and Nashville are also in the cast.  In the single adult role, Rebecca Itow, IU’s online High School Principal, plays Evan’s rabbi.   Rick Armstrong, Stages new Executive Director, will direct the production . Rick is a former Science Teacher and the Theatre Director at Martinsville High School. The Music Director for the production is Erich Meinke and Madeline Samarzea is the Choreographer.                   The 2007 World Premier production of “13” at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, won the LA Drama Critics Award for best production and best musical score. The 2008  Broadway production received a Drama Desk nomination for outstanding lyrics.   The JTB/Stages production of “13” opens in December in the Auditorium at the newly refurbished John Waldron Arts Center. Performances are scheduled for Thursday, December 8 at 7:00 P.M, Saturday, December 10 at 2:00 and 7:00 P.M. and Sunday, December 11 at 2:00 P.M. Talkbacks facilitated by Darrell Stone will take place immediately after the Thursday and Saturday evening performances.   Tickets are available at the BCT box office at 114 E. Kirkwood Avenue and online at  All seats are reserved and there is accessible seating.  A limited number of seats will be available at the door.   A typical activity for a boy or girl preparing for Bar and Bat Mitzvah, is to engage in a social action project. The cast of “13” is following through on that tradition by launching a campaign to provide winter wear for people in Bloomington who are homeless. They are asking patrons to bring to the show, new hats, gloves, and socks that will be donated to local homeless shelters.   For questions or further information:  [email protected]  or [email protected]    

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