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Bar Mitzvah BoyMark Leiren-Young’s Bar Mitzvah Boy opens Winnipeg Jewish Theatre’s new four-play season on September 14.

The play follows Joey, a sixty something lawyer who decides it’s time for him to have the Bar Mitzvah he never had. Joey assumes it will be fast and he can get on with this life. But things don’t work out quite the way he expects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The play is about two people who find each other at a time when they both need it,” says WJT Artistic Director Ari Weinberg. “It’s funny, moving and asks questions about why we believe what we believe in.”

 

Bar Mitzvah Boy stars actors Amy Lee (playing Michael, the young rabbi) and Nicholas Rice (who plays Joey, the lawyer). Both actors are originally from Winnipeg and now live in Toronto.

“Joey Brant is a smart, sweet guy,” says Rice, who was seen in WJT’s Angels in America most recently. “Wisecracks and snappy retorts are his stock-in-trade — but predictably they mask a lot of pain and regret.  It takes a while for Rabbi Michael to peel Joey’s layers back, which she does, even as he peels back hers.”

“Michael is strong, smart, and full of conviction but finds herself at a crossroads,” says Amy Lee, who was last seen in Winnipeg at MTYP in Of Mice and Morro and Jasp. “She is trying to define what faith is at this current point in her life and meeting Joey brings a lot of questions and feelings bubbling to the surface.”

Director Krista Jackson says she has one goal with the show. “I hope audiences will remember that magical time in their lives when they were 12 or 13, whether they had a Bat/Bar Mitzvah or not, when belief was innocent,” says Jackson.

“The story reassures us that life is a continuous journey and it is never too late to find beautiful, new connections and perspectives by engaging with a community. I hope this play reminds the audience that we are not alone; that when we come together at synagogue, church or in the dark theatre together to share, we are reminded that human connection is truly our lifeline.”

Bar Mitzvah Boy plays from September 14 to 22 (with a preview on September 12) at the Berney Theatre this September. Tickets are available by calling 204.477.7478, online at wjt.ca or in person at 123 Doncaster Street, Unit C148.

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