13cast’13’ It starts this Saturday night in Wonthaggi and it’s not to be missed. 13 The Musical is the Wonthaggi Theatrical Group’s new musical and it promises to be another hit for the award-winning WTG team. When Karen Milkins-Hendry first saw a production of ‘13’, she knew she had to bring it to Wonthaggi.
It was in October 2011 and she was with her family and other local theatre luminaries Bron Kalos and Will Hanley.
“A friend had recommended it, so down we went to the Trades Hall Council building in Carlton with no expectations but a mild curiosity,” said Karen, who’s directing Wonthaggi Theatrical Group’s ‘13’.
“The production was put on by a talent school in Melbourne who had spent their September holidays preparing for the show. We were in a run down, small part of the building, squished in uncomfortable metal seating with a small stage in front of us and the band on the side.
“The opening number started and we were transfixed. The stage flooded with teenagers exuding energy, talent and incredible commitment. The music instantly enthralled us and we were smitten. All of us kept leaning over to the other, whispering madly, laughing loudly and sharing the journeys unfolding onstage. Time flew and we were at the end of the show. We all left absolutely determined to bring this to Wonthaggi.”
At a WTG forward planning meeting, the fate of the show was set.
“We would produce 13 in 2013 – what a fantastic ring that had! Now, here we are, holding our breath and bursting out of our skin to bring the same joyous feeling to audiences that we were lucky enough to have nearly two years ago. When our cast of 39 bring the exhilaration, pain, frustration, laughter and joy of turning 13 to that opening number, they will have set the tone for the next 100 minutes of pure entertainment.”
Karen said the response from the cast had been nothing short of spectacular.
“As a production team we couldn’t be happier. To have such a large cast with an age range of 11 to 16 come together for a common purpose was a challenge that was met with surprising ease. I have said to many people that anyone who says with a sigh, the youth of today…’, should come to rehearsal. Our experience was that these young people were disciplined, committed and showed great passion for what they were doing.”
Karen said the result will be a WTG show unlike any other. Due to the show opening on Broadway in 2008 it will not be well known to many of our regular supporters. It will be a case of expecting the unexpected, be ready to laugh, ready to reflect and let the emotion of teenage vulnerability near the end bring a tear to the eye. The WTG team is incredibly proud of what we will be presenting this year and can’t wait for the opening night crowds to spread the word of the talent of the youth in our own backyard. See you in the theatre!”

Tickets are available at the Wonthaggi Workmen’s Club phone 56721083 or call in and pick up some tickets. Although the season runs for 10 performances it is almost certain that the show will be booked out over the following weekends – so go this weekend and don’t miss out.