By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Fringe Arts Festival specializes in edgy, provocative theater — but there’s something for the younger set, too. A musical aimed at middle-schoolers has its Philadelphia premier this Friday.
The show is called “Jennifer the Unspecial,” a title whose irony emerges over the course of its 90 minutes, as she and classmates ride a time machine.
Matt Mezzacappa, who wrote the book and lyrics, says despite the time travel fantasy, the show is a realistic depiction of a turbulent age.
“It’s really about 8th graders just dealing with 8th grade and being cool and being not cool, liking someone and them not liking you,” he says, “and somehow these 8th graders, even though they kind of suck at dealing with 8th grade, they’re great at dealing with this time travel situation.
To enhance the theme of the timeless trials of growing up, the show is being staged in the Egypt room at the University of Pennsylvania museum. There are three shows next weekend, including a matinee on Saturday.