Posted on October 5, 2011 at 4:35 pm

At some point last night, I reached 13,000 followers on Twitter. What makes that particular number extra cool is that the day I hit 13,000 is three years to the day from 13‘s opening night on Broadway, October 5, 2008! 13 and 13,000? Right? ADMIT IT, IT’S COOL. I have to admit that 13,000 feels like an awful lot of people, especially since I still don’t know exactly what I’m supposed to do with Twitter in the first place. But I am grateful that those thirteen thousand people apparently have some interest in whatever inanities I tweet, and therefore today I shall celebrate by posting two very rare 13 artifacts!

(I know, compared to Ariana Grande‘s 817,000 followers, my number seems pretty paltry. Stop raining on my parade, haterz.)

Before going into rehearsal for the production at Goodspeed in the summer of 2008, our producer asked me to make some high-quality demos of the new songs I was writing for the show so that he could lure investors with them. So I got a great band of LA’s finest session musicians and called in some very fancy talents to help me sing the songs.

The brilliantly funny Jesse Tyler Ferguson (176,000 followers) came in to play Archie to my Evan for this number, which, as you can see, remained essentially unchanged when the show opened seven months later.


All Hail The Brain/Terminal Illness from 13 (demo recording, 2008)
Music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
c 2008 Semolina Farfalle Music Co. (ASCAP)
JRB & Jesse Tyler Ferguson: vocals
JRB: piano
James Harrah: guitars
Jon Baker: electric bass
Tom Walsh: drums
Recorded March 1, 2008 at Umbrella Media, Chatsworth CA by Andy Waterman; vocals recorded and mixed by Jon Baker
Produced by Jason Robert Brown

The other track is considerably different than anything currently in the score of 13. “Anything You Want” was written for the top of Act Two (back when the show was going to have two acts). The story: It’s the big football game – the Quayle Quails (led by Brett) against the dreaded Thunderhawks. But Brett can’t concentrate, because his mind is fixated on the events that transpired at the movie theatre two nights before, when Kendra broke up with him. Since then, Kendra’s been calling to apologize and get him back, but the conniving Lucy has been using every available technique to press her advantage. It all comes to a head here at the game, where Lucy and Kendra – both cheerleaders for Brett’s team – stand ready to act on Brett’s command. Brett is torn – who should he choose? In his distraction, he keeps getting sacked. But finally, disoriented and punch-drunk after having been knocked over several times by the opposing team, Brett finally succumbs to Lucy’s siren-call and engages in a massive tongue-lock with her. Thus fortified by lust, he leads his team to victory.

We actually performed this number at Goodspeed, but it got cut for a number of very good reasons, not least of which was that we really didn’t have enough boys in the cast to make a credible football team. Another, perhaps larger, issue was that it was a long number about Brett, Kendra and Lucy, but the characters the audience really needed to spend time on were Evan, Archie and Patrice. So out it went. But now you can hear this exuberant if ridiculous rendition, featuring me in full meathead mode as Brett, the always lovely Kim Huber as Kendra, and the deliciously evil Susan Egan (only 2,000 followers – let’s get on that, Tweeps!) as Lucy. (Note also James Harrah’s triumphant Brian May impression in the last minute.)


Anything You Want written for 13 (demo recording, 2008)
Music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
c 2008 Semolina Farfalle Music Co. (ASCAP)
JRB, Kim Huber & Susan Egan: vocals
JRB: piano
James Harrah: guitars
Jon Baker: electric bass
Tom Walsh: drums
Recorded March 1, 2008 at Umbrella Media, Chatsworth CA by Andy Waterman; vocals recorded and mixed by Jon Baker
Produced by Jason Robert Brown

Thanks to all my Twitter followers for following me, and more importantly, Happy Anniversary to all my 13iacs! When’s the revival?

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