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Contemporary Stories from The Braid Will Bring Passover from Bible to Your Seder Table

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Featuring Nadège August and AJ Meijer.

Contemporary Stories from The Braid Will Bring Passover from Bible to Your Seder Table

Recognizing the need to come together in new ways, The Braid (formerly Jewish Women's Theatre) will deliver an updated version of its popular salon show "Crossing Our Red Sea" to Passover celebrants all over the world on Thursday, March 25, at 7:00 p.m. PDT.

These stories, from an impressive array of distinguished authors, will be told live by an ensemble of The Braid's most popular and accomplished actors. The stories are designed not only to entertain but to provide seeds for fruitful discussions about what Passover has meant throughout time to members of a diverse, international Jewish community.

Tickets are available from the Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto, which is sponsoring the event. The cost is $18 per view, so the entire family can enjoy the show for the price of a single ticket! For tickets and additional information, visit: https://crossingourredsea.eventbrite.com.

"The Oshman Family JCC in Palo Alto invited The Braid to stage live on Zoom a special Passover show for its members, and then we decided to offer it to audiences throughout the world," says Ronda Spinak, The Braid's artistic director. "Although the pandemic has forced us to close our live theatre, at the same time we learned how to digitally deliver our award-winning content globally. Now audiences from Toronto to Tel Aviv are enjoying our shows and asking for more of them!"

"As a result, we gathered some of our best Passover stories to take viewers to Egypt, the former Soviet Union, Morocco, Poland, and other locations in the 'Old Country.' We think these stories will help make Passover come alive across the generations."

Viewers will meet Rabbi Deborah Silver, who wonders why a modern woman must scrub her oven of hametz just because a bunch of ancient men dictated a search-and-destroy mission for any food that contains even a trace of wheat, barley, rye, or oats. They will also hear from a mother who finds the modern-day version of the lice plague in the hair of her very clean son, and from a Seder guest who recalls how her cousin David's pranks about Elijah are remembered every year, even though David was a victim of World War II violence.

Moving internationally, André Aciman, the celebrated Egyptian-born author of Call Me By Your Name, writes about his last night in Egypt when his family held a seder even though his father lost his factory and was about to be arrested the next day. He wanders the streets of Alexandria and experiences "street fellowship" as his Arab neighbors offer him a forbidden pancake made of almonds, syrup, and raisins. As he debates whether to eat it during Passover, he realizes how much he will miss as his family begins the next chapter of their diaspora.

There is also a story from a Jew formerly living in the Soviet Union, where all religions were outlawed in favor of "state atheism."

And David Suissa, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Jewish Journal in Los Angeles, writes about growing up in Morocco, where Jews and Arabs joined together each year to celebrate Mimouna, the last night of Passover.

And keeping with the theme of diversity, there is a touching story by the father of an autistic son who was not welcome at the family's seder because the other grandchildren did not want their seder to be interrupted. Instead of agreeing to a second night seder of their own, they decide to hold their own seder where all are invited.

Celebrated author Esther Amini adds a story about a synagogue that snubbed her family because of their new immigrant Persian background, which forced them to find another house of worship, where they were truly welcome. And actress/comedian Melanie Chartoff will offer a very personal tale that will add spice to your matzo ball soup.

Finally, there is a new version of Dayenu that will get the whole family singing together.

In addition to these conributions by Aciman, Chartoff, Amini, Silver, and Suissa, there will be stories from M.A. Hosein, Barbara Trainin Blank, Marc Littman, Renee Moilanen, and Shawn Goodman, all accomplished writers.
Live-by-Zoom actors include The Braid favorites and Abby Freeman Artists-in-Residence AJ Meijer, Melanie Chartoff, and Kate Zentall, as well as Nadège August and Tiffany Mualem. They have graced The Braid stage as well as television and film screens and theatres across the country.

For tickets and additional information, visit: https://crossingourredsea.eventbrite.com.


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