Few things get me as naturally enthused as musical theater and a well done rom-com, so I feel like the news that 13 Going On 30 is coming to Broadway was designed specifically for me. Like sure, the rest of you can hear about it, but all these press releases and whatnot are mostly just letters to me from the producers to let me know they're thinking of me, and that they've finally heard my prayers about this nearly-perfect movie. I hope you all know this, but 13 Going On 30 was a 2004 film starring Jennifer Garner as Jenna Rink, a 13-year old who made a wish at her birthday party to be 30... only to wake up and find it to be true. She stars opposite Mark Ruffalo as Matty Flamhaff, her childhood best friend and a 30-year old who grew up the more traditional way, and hasn't been friends with Jenna in years. It was adorable and heartwarming and perfect, and according to Deadline , it made over $96 million worldwide — just the first of many wonderful reasons to bring it to the Broadway stage.
To figure out some of the other reasons that this is such a logical fit, let's look at another musical — Legally Blonde. Like 13 Going On 30, Legally Blonde also started as a female-helmed rom-com before heading to Broadway in 2007. Both storylines portray a woman excelling in her chosen field — Elle Woods at Harvard Law School, and Jenna Rink as the co-editor of Poise Magazine — and include little nuggets of fun that will translate perfectly to the stage, like humor and fashion. Both movies have positive, inclusive comedic voices that are anti-bullying and about finding and loving yourself, but also take on darker issues like not being taken seriously in the workplace. In Legally Blonde, that manifests as Elle's professor trying to take advantage of her, and in 13 Going On 30, there are elements of plagiarism and theft, not to mention regret, so audiences can run the whole gamut of emotion.
And in addition to their plot similarities, both movies also celebrate something else — fashion. Elle Woods loves fashion, and Poise is a fashion magazine, so in both cases, there are almost endless opoprtunities for pops of color and exciting costumes that could informe the songs that will be written for the show. I'm imagining bright, bubbly numbers just like we heard in Legally Blonde. Vulture reports that the book for 13 Going On 30 will be written by the film's original screenwriters Josh Goldsmith and Cathy Yuspa, and the music and lyrics will be crafted by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, who collaborated for Broadway's First Date, and are currently working on a 17 Again musical.
Image: Columbia Pictures; Giphy