Theatre Noir artistic director William Yip fell in love at first listen with songs from the musical 13 about two years ago.
'My favourite is A Little More Home-work. In the song, the character Evan explains what becoming a man means to him - that there's always more to learn, that there's always a little more homework to do in life. Isn't that true for all of us?' Yip says.
This universal truth is what convinced Yip to bring English and Cantonese versions of the Broadway musical to Hong Kong. Opening night is this Friday.
The musical revolves around the life of 13-year-old Evan. After his parents divorce, he moves from New York to a small town in Indiana, where he faces one challenge after another.
Theatre Noir has assembled a cast of 26, aged from 14 to 20, to star in the twin versions of the show, which Yip says is as fun as the teenage favourites Glee and High School Musical, but operates at a deeper level.
'It's not just about friendship and school life, but also the labels we are given by one another - as well as the ones we give to ourselves. It speaks not just to teenagers, but to people of all ages,' he says.
The English version will be staged at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on September 30 and October 1 and 2, with tickets available through Urbtix (www.urbtix.hk). The Cantonese version will be performed at the Polytechnic University from October 7 to 9, with tickets available through HK Ticketing (www.hkticketing.com). The October 8 performance will be adapted for the visually and hearing impaired.
For more information, call 2904 7118.