Theatre NOVA's MAZEL TOV, JOHN LENNON By David Wells Extends Through April 21

Theatre NOVA's MAZEL TOV, JOHN LENNON By David Wells Extends Through April 21

Due to overwhelming audience response and sold-out shows, Theatre NOVA, Ann Arbor's resident professional theatre with an exclusive focus on new plays and playwrights, is thrilled to announce an extension of its smash hit "Mazel Tov, John Lennon" by David Wells. The world premiere was slated to run through April 14 but has been extended through Sunday, April 21 due to full houses, glowing audience response, and critical acclaim.

Also, this upcoming Sunday, April 7, 2019 there will be a talk-back with the playwright, director, and cast immediately following the performance (approximately 3:30 p.m.)

Audiences have said of the production: "Fabulous! It was timely to what is happening in politics today, the actors were fantastic... I loved Leon, and John Lennon WAS John Lennon." "The acting was phenomenal." "A riveting production, acted brilliantly. The hour-and-a-half flew by, and I loved every minute of it. They were amazing! Funny, yet very touching." "It's a great play... Great acting and directing, giving the play depth and impact. This play deserves audiences and awards." "We loved it. Awesome performances by both actors. Perfect balance of humor & drama - a fabulous play."

Critics are raving about the production as well: "Powers' impassioned monologue about government abusing its power through immigration law and hurting families is masterfully played. It brought sniffles from the opening night audience. Hejkal's portrayal of the affable Lennon at a time in his life when he's outgrown music super-stardom and is eager to promote high ideals is so spot-on that it's easy to forget you're not watching the Beatle himself. Period furnishings, clothing, and media set the simple stage of Wildes' law office well. From 1971 to 2019, 'Mazel Tov John Lennon' is both compelling and makes today's headlines echo in our heads with the currency of history and the story of a cultural icon." -Pulp: Arts Around Ann Arbor

"Wells uses humor and outrage with equal skill contrast the famously snarky, quick-witted Lennon with the decent but stolid Wildes. Director Carla Milarch finds the right balance between the inherent comedy and the deeper, darker issues at hand. Most importantly, she gets excellent portrayals from her two-person cast. Phil Powers gives a bravura performance as Wildes. His timing and bewildered facial expressions capture Wildes lack of savvy about the world beyond the law that he cherishes. [Forrest] Hejkal resembles Lennon, and he has that easy slouch. But more important, Hejkal does an excellent job of catching Lennon's shifting moods. He also portrays Lennon's warmth, sharp wit, and basic decency as he relates the pain of his youth and a growing rift with Yoko."

"Mazel Tov, John Lennon" will now be extended through Sunday, April 21, 2019 at Theatre NOVA (410 W. Huron, Ann Arbor) a downtown performance space. Remaining performances are April 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, and 20 at 8 p.m. and April 7, 14, and 21 at 2 p.m. Theatre NOVA features free parking for patrons, as well as quick access to the city's restaurants, bars, bakeries, and coffee shops.

About the show:

January 1972: Vietnam war protests are at their peak, and newly ex-Beatled John Lennon walks into the office of Leon Wildes, an eminent immigration lawyer. As ultra-laid-back Lennon and straight-laced Wildes navigate Lennon's stormy immigration case, an unlikely and comical kinship unfolds, and both men gain a greater understanding of friendship, personal values, and patriotism. Based on the true story of the Nixon administration's attempt to deport John Lennon.

Directed by Carla Milarch, "Mazel Tov, John Lennon" features Forrest Hejkal and Phil Powers. The production and design team includes Forrest Hejkal (scenic design), Daniel C. Walker (lighting design), Haley Cook (costume design), Diane Hill (sound design), and Alona Shewach (stage manager, props).

Tickets are $22, and Theatre NOVA continues its commitment to making theatre accessible by offering pay-what-you-can tickets for those who need them. For tickets, visit, call 734-635-8450 (Tuesdays through Fridays from noon until 3 p.m.), or buy them in person at the box office one hour before show time.

Theatre NOVA is Ann Arbor's resident professional theatre company. Its mission is to raise awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and playwrights and provide resources for playwrights to develop their craft by importing, exporting, and developing new work.

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