13th Grade

the unknown artists & ruckus rockwell · Ages 17+ · United States of America

world premiere
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June 07, 2017 certified reviewer

What I liked

The Best Fringe Musical I’ve Seen!
Writers Pam Eberhardt and Dan Testa have given a freshness and freedom to the characters of community college that makes us actually give a f**k.
This musical is Hilarious! Relatable! And well worth your time. Top-notch writing, catchy music, and it had me laughing through parts that would normally make me uncomfortable- (I’m usually not into sexual comedy).

What I didn't like

The fringe committee’s choice of space for this piece. The fringe committee should pay more attention to which pieces are assigned to which spaces. I know it’s Fringe- BUT I feel like the sound system of the theatre was a disservice to the hard work that this company put in. When a musical is going onto a stage, the company putting it up should not have to worry about holding themselves back because the track isn’t loud enough. The company should also not have to worry about the speaker systems only being located in front of the first row of audience members- so that if they turn up the volume they blast the first two rows with too much volume.
Musicals of fringe should be able to be in spaces that accommodate musicals without having to pay more or fight for them.

My overall impression

13th grade is a nostalgic new musical that isn’t afraid to go there- and by there, I mean deep into the hilarious underbelly of that first year of community college. Writers Pam Eberhardt and Dan Testa are BRILLIANT! With songs like, “Stop Dating Gay Guys If You Want To Find The One” to characters as legendary as Jem Bobby- Eberhardt and Testa have created a seamless story, packed with moments of pure comic gold- brought to you by an incredible ‘greek chorus/barbershop trio of women narrators that will have you bent over laughing line after line. Oh, and they also happen to be obsessed with ‘The Craft.’ Which is equally hilarious and relatable (I mean- wasn’t every girl? … Come on… well, I was…So…).
The ensemble is EXCELLENT! Each of the 11 characters contains a “stock” quality: The pretty, popular girl, the misunderstood gay son, the hot guy with long hair that plays guitar, etc. BUT the actors let you in on the joke while still bringing their own comedic presence to each role.
Having 11 characters in a space that tight and still keeping blocking and choreography clean is nothing short of miraculous. I could continue on… but really- JUST GO!
You’ll enjoy yourself!

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