In Jason Robert Brown's new rock musical, "13," the 13-year-old characters stand in a semicircle, staring bewilderedly at scraps of parchment.The teenagers in this show, which has its world premiere Jan. 7 at the Mark Taper Forum downtown, are non-Jewish students at a middle school in the fictional Appleton, Ind., and the "mysterious" documents are invitations to a bar mitzvah, courtesy of the Jewish new-kid-in-town, Evan Goldman.This funny-poignant piece is the brainchild of 36-year-old composer-lyricist Brown -- who is often described as a successor to Stephen Sondheim -- and among the smartest and most sophisticated talents in today's musical theater.
Here is a question for the rabbis: Can a teenager acting out a bar mitzvah on stage actually get credit for becoming a man? What if he has rehearsed for months? And what if he reads a real Haftorah? Ricky Ashley, the 17-year-old who stars in the new musical "13," never had a bar mitzvah. He was too busy acting and never found time to prepare. But now, Ashley is playing Evan Goldman, a 13-year-old who has his coming of age ceremony after moving to a new school in a new town, where the kids confuse "bar mitzvah" with "Bon Jovi."
The 2006 edition of Jewish baseball cards features "newly discovered" Jewish players and Jewish players from the 1940s women's league. The set of 55 also includes cards for the 13 Jews who played last year in the major leagues