Rock musical cheers age ‘13’ with story about growing up from J*Company

The J*Company Youth Theatre, a program of the San Diego Center for Jewish Culture, will present the high-energy Broadway hit “13 - The Musical,” Dec. 3-12 at the Garfield Theatre at the Jewish Community Center in La Jolla.

The cast includes Ethan Rappaport in the lead role of Evan Goldman, and also stars Celia Tedde, Michelle Guefen, Scott Peterson, Marissa Wolfsheimer, Talia Israel, Emily Hoolilan, Joshua Shtein, Mara Jacobs, Julian Coker, Cameron Chang, David Ahmadian and Jonas McMullen.

The story (music and lyrics by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, book by Dan English and Robert Horn) follows 12-year-old Evan Goldman who lives “in the greatest city in the world, New York.” He is popular and cool and getting ready for the biggest day of his life, but when his parents get divorced his world turns upside down and he’s forced to have his bar mitzvah in “the lamest place in the world,” a small town in Indiana.

All Evan wants is to make friends and survive the school year, but that’s easier said than done. The star quarterback is threatening to ruin his life; his only friend Patrice won’t talk to him; and quite possibly the least popular kid in school sees an opportunity for blackmail … what else could go wrong?

As an educational component of the show, the cast (and audiences) will learn about the hot-topic of bullying. “13” is the first musical to deal with the problem head-on, teaching young people the importance of compassion and acceptance. School audiences and the cast will be visited by an educator and a psychiatrist who will discuss all aspects of bullying and the long-lasting effect it has on people, but especially kids during the middle and high school years.

“Get ready to rock!” said Joey Landwehr, artistic director. “We are presenting ‘13 – The Musical,’ the way it was meant to be. This is going to be an all-dancing, all-singing, full-out rock concert (think Green Day meets youth theater) with a live rock band and some of the best dancing La Jolla has ever seen.

“ ‘13’ has a beautiful plot about the trials and tribulations of growing up. It’s filled with beautiful ballads and heart-touching lyrics. This is definitely a show for anyone — ages 9–99. I hope everyone will come to see this show, it’s destined to be a new classic!”

Landwehr has worked as an actor and director in New York City, both on and off Broadway, as well as in national tours and regional theater. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) and Actors’ Equity Association (AEA). He was honored in 2006 as one of the 40 San Diego residents under age 40 who are making significant contributions to the community.

Landwehr most recently directed “Fireflies,” “South Pacific,” “The King and I,” “The Sound of Music,” “Cinderella” and “Fiddler on the Roof” for J*Company.

If you go


“13 - The Musical,” from J*Company Youth Theatre


10 a.m. Dec. 3 and 10; 8 p.m. Dec. 4 and 11; 1 and 4:30 p.m. Dec. 5 and 12; 7 p.m. Dec. 9


Garfield Theatre, Jewish Community Center, 4126 Executive Drive, La Jolla




or (858) 362-1348.