The CJN Magazine Summer 2022

Page 26

Ilana Zackon as Isabelle and Jahlani Knorren as Patrick in Mazel Tov. (Photo credit: Maxime Boisvert)

Ilana Zackon explains her return to the stage The CJN’s nomadic columnist and Bonjour Chai podcaster is also a multidisciplinary performer—who scored her first major role since the pandemic fell in a different kind of Jewish play. 26


ourning the end of a play’s run is kind of like mourning a person—only you don’t sit shiva for seven days and no one says,“Sorry for your loss.” I spent six weeks this spring immersed in Infinitheatre’s production of Mazel Tov. It’s a dark comedy, or some would say drama with comedic undertones (when I say dark I mean dark), written by French-Canadian playwright Marc-André Thibeault. Why would a Quebecois write a play about Jews? Good question!

Thibeault was working on some plays in the Jewish community, and this led him to writing what is now the play’s first scene. He initially thought of it as a short performance and then kept asking himself, “And then what? And then what?” Next thing he knew, the notion of a 15-minute play became a full-length show. My director, Jewish Montreal local Ellen David, saw its 2017 premiere at Theatre Prospero. It was then a French play called Mazal Tov. (The original French production