Joey Brant needs to have a bar mitzvah immediately. Like, next Tuesday. Except he's not thirteen, the usual age for the Jewish milestone. He's in his sixties. A task he thinks he could quickly cross off his to-do list becomes a deep immersion into the faith he no longer follows when he meets Rabbi Michael Levitz-Sharon.
Michael's personal life is hanging together by a thread. Her preteen daughter is being treated for cancer, which has put a strain on her marriage and her beliefs. Between her duties as rabbi, mother, and wife, she doesn't have much time or energy to spare. So, when she finds Joey in her office on Shabbat asking for immediate help, she refuses.
Eventually Joey wins Michael over and they embark on a crash bar mitzvah course, leading the two into a series of reflections on their own faith and family. Through the genuine connection established between Joey and Michael, this sentimental dramedy will charm anyone who has ever questioned why bad things happen to good people.
Mark Leiren-Young has written over two dozen plays, including dramas, comedies, musicals, revues and theatre for young audiences. His play Shylock has been produced around the world since debuting at Bard on the Beach in Vancouver in 1996. The Czech production of the play ran for three years in Prague and was broadcast as a television special in 2019. He won the 2009 Leacock Medal for Humour for his bestselling memoir Never Shoot a Stampede Queen. He lives in Victoria, BC. You can find out more about Mark at leiren-young.com.