• Broadway Beat

Netflix's "13: The Musical” Has One Huge Systemic Problem: I’m Not in It

by James La Bella. @james.la.bella.

BROOKLYN, NY - With today’s release of Netflix’s film adaptation, I think it’s time we address the systemic issue inherent in 13 the Musical…I’m not in it.


As someone who says ‘music theatre’ on important job applications so it’s harder to identify that I’m actually just a BFA MT like the rest of the Honk-rejects out there, I know what punching up can be. And it’s time to throw fists at God by addressing something wrong with canonical titan 13: they won’t let me be in the movie.


Why not? I’m such a cute and sweet little guy! Zack Snyder edited Tig Notaro into Army of the Dead, why can’t Tamra Davis edit me into 13 as Flappers, a spunky eighth grader who loves English class almost as much as he loves tending the cattle?


Binder Casting may say I’m “too tall” for Boq, but someone I’m not too tall for is sensitive farmboy Flappers, Evan’s reluctant lab partner. This role would finally address what Jason Robert Brown meant in the Lincoln Center bathroom when he said “There aren't enough shy and lovely twenty-four-year-olds on their second course of Accutane in my musical 13,” as well as his later comment, “I’ve played your reindeer games. Now please tell somebody I am locked in here.”

Flappers could have a song called “Bonin’ Time”. It would be a bossa nova number about how he debones fish by the river just in time for supper with Ma and Pa. Evan could help him because the usual river would have mercury poisoning. This would highly enhance the movie, because there aren’t any fishing songs in it currently. It would increase queer representation too, because Flappers could have a gay cousin that he emails every so often.


Ultimately, my good ideas are in service of both the unspoken cloud that hangs over 13, but also of Jason Robert Brown’s ability to not be trapped in the Lincoln Center bathroom. Post-Production team, the ball is in your court.