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Life at "13" Presented in High Energy Musical
At MCCC's Kelsey Theatre July 29-Aug. 7


West Windsor, N.J. -- The Pennington Players present an all-teenage cast in "13 the Musical," a grown-up tale about growing up, at Mercer County Community's Kelsey Theatre. Dates and show times are: Fridays, July 29 and Aug. 5 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, July 30 and August 6 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays, July 31 and August 7 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is conveniently located on the college's West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew follows the opening night show on July 29.

With a lively rock 'n roll score by the Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown and librettists Dan Elish and Robert Horn, "13" follows 13-year-old Evan Goldman, who moves from New York City to Appleton, Indiana, in the wake of his parents' divorce. Evan is in survival mode -- just hoping to make friends and get through his first year at Dan Quayle Junior High School. But before he knows it, the school's star quarterback is on his case, his only new friend, Patrice, isn't talking to him, and the rumors are flying. This high energy musical about the pains of growing up is for anyone who has ever been a teen!

The show stars Tanner Mead, of Burlington, as Evan Goldman; Matthew Blazejewski, of Trenton, as Archie; Meredith Brandt, of Voorhees, as Patrice; Wesley Cappiello, of Hamilton, as Brett; Melissa Geerlof, of Mercerville, as Molly; Jared Kirsch, of Livingston, as Eddie; Natalia Maccaroni, of Robbinsville, as Lucy; Caroline Purdy, of Cranbury, as Cassie; Karaline Rosen, of Robbinsville, as Charlotte; Nicky Rosolino of Princeton as Simon; Ellen Rothfuss, of Roosevelt, as Kendra; J. Scott, of Allentown, as Malcolm; and Uvay Trivedi, of Columbus, as Richie.

Two local teen bands will be featured as pre-show entertainment prior to several performances. (A ticket to the show is required to hear the bands.) Read more about the bands and their performance dates and times here.

Director Laurie Gougher is thrilled to bring "13" to the Kelsey stage. "It's a wonderful story about that awkward phase in life when kids have one foot in childhood and one foot in adulthood. The show will appeal to everyone - current teens, younger kids anticipating their teen years, parents looking for insight into the teenage mindset, and nostalgic adults." Goucher adds that the music is contagious, with original rock numbers, get-up-and-dance R&B, and soulful ballads that explore a wide spectrum of adolescent emotions. The musical enjoyed a run on Broadway from 2008-09.

Gougher notes that the cast is delightful. "I really enjoy working with young actors, especially at this age. They are smart and talented and just coming into their own. Teenage actors are often dismissed as too old to play cute children, yet too young to play adult roles. It's the kind of show where a young actor can really blossom and I'm proud to be a part of that."

The "13" cast, front row from left, Jared Kirsch, Caroline Purdy and Matthew Blazejewski; standing from left, J Scott, Melissa Geerlof, Karaline Rosen, Tanner Mead (as Evan Goldman), Meredith Brandt, Wesley Cappiello, Ellen Rothfuss, Uvay Trivedi and Natalia Maccaroni. Not pictured: Nicky Rosolino.
From left, Ellen Rothfuss as Kendra, Wesley Cappiello as Brett and Natalia Maccaroni as Lucy.
From left, J. Scott as Malcolm, Jared Kirsch as Eddie, Uvay Trivedi as Richie, Wesley Cappiello as Brett and Natalia Maccaroni as Lucy.

The production staff also includes Beverly Kuo Hamilton, producer and stage manager; Peter de Mets, musical director; John Boccanfuso, choreographer; Ben Burwell, lighting design; and Kathy Slothower, costume design.

Tickets are $16 for adults; $14 for seniors, and $12 for students and children. Free parking is available next to the theater. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333. Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible.

Closing out the Kelsey Summer Festival is "Forever Plaid," a musical homage to guy groups of the 50's, Aug. 19-28.

or a complete listing of the events schedule and more at Kelsey Theatre, visit:

Kelsey Theatre Summer Series
Kelsey Website
Audition Information
Tomato Patch Visual and
Performing Arts Workshops

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