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The Braid's Zoom Fall Party Show, Welcome Back(ish), Kicks Off New Season Of Performances and Surprises

Featuring original stories about returning to life post-COVID will premiere at The Braid's Fall Party live Zoom event.

The Braid's Zoom Fall Party Show, Welcome Back(ish), Kicks Off New Season Of Performances and Surprises

As the days grow shorter and the leaves begin to change color, people are yearning to return to their normal, pre-COVID lives and traditions. One of the most anticipated of these is always the Fall Party hosted each year by The Braid. This celebration announces the organization's plans for the coming year. The event will be full of new stories, favorite actors and writers, and great surprises. Thanks to Zoom, everyone, everywhere can be there to share the excitement.

The Braid's Fall Party will feature an entirely new show, Welcome Back(ish), performed by a great cast that includes two of The Braid's most beloved artists, Monica Piper (Not That Jewish) and Joshua Silverstein.

Tickets begin at $10 for students, $36 for general admission, and a special Angel Ticket Package, which includes a rehearsal sneak peek and 20 raffle tickets, for $100. Raffle tickets begin at 3 for $10, with hundreds of dollars in gift-card prizes for Amazon, Apple, and Williams-Sonoma. To purchase and for additional information, visit: the-braid.org/fallparty.

The Braid's Zoom audience will be treated to a program of new stories that explore what it means to "come back." Viewers will meet a "COVID agoraphobic" who ventures out to the movies for the first time in 16 months and discovers he has forgotten his movie etiquette, might actually miss his pandemic routines, and probably isn't quite ready to return to normal.

They will hear from an older single mother who tells a funny tale about reawakening to passion after years of being focused on motherhood.

A "part Black and part Jewish" young woman recounts how she discovered her heritage with a little help from an encounter with a virulent anti-Semite. To her surprise, the encounter inspires her to return to Judaism.

Another woman finds that her 93-year-old mother suffered from the pandemic's isolation, "losing her words." Together they learn the importance of conversation after two years of silence. Yet another story brings the audience into the world of a housebound cook whose kitchen is filled with the voices and wisdom of her female ancestors as she prepares her chicken soup, matzoh balls, and rugelach.

Welcome Back(ish) features new stories written and performed by Monica Piper and Joshua Silverstein, as well as original works by Courtenay Edelhart, Suzanna Kaplan, Marissa Tiamfook Gee, Shawn Goodman, and award-winning writer Susan Baskin. The cast includes Nadège August, Lisa Cirincione, and Kate Zentall, with songs performed by The Braid's assistant artistic director Andrew Fromer and USC student Tali Green, who is also The Braid's new social media specialist. Susan Morgenstern, The Braid's producing director, directs the show.

"The stories are absolutely on point about this particular moment in our lives and shared experiences, so the material is very fresh and exciting," says Morgenstern. "And it's always a joy to put together a different ensemble of our Braid actors, each of whom can move you to tears or make you howl with laughter."

Lynne Himelstein, co-chair of this year's Fall Party, says, "This year we are delighted to be able to welcome not only our local friends and supporters but also the many friends we have made around the country and the world."

Co-chair Gail Israel adds, "We've created an exciting program for our guests, including a new performance focusing on coming back-to love, to family, to community. And for the first time, we will have a special Zoom-raffle."

Two other features of the Fall Party will be the honoring of The Braid's new charter members of the Legacy Society and the induction of new Abby Freeman Artists-in-Residence. The latter program honors excellence in artistic talent and recognizes commitment to the ideals of The Braid's first employee, Abby Freeman, who passed away from breast cancer at the age of 37.

New Abby Freeman Artists-in-Residence are actors Brie Eley, Kimberly Green, Niloo Khodadadeh, Heidi Mendez, Pontea (actor/songwriter), and Rick Zieff; writers Courtenay Edelhart, Marissa Tiamfook Gee, Robin Uriel Russin, Ruth Behar, Betty Goldstein, Barbara Mujica, Chef Rossi, and Libby Schwartz; and stage manager Amanda Horowitz.

For four years in a row, The Braid has been voted one of the Best Live Theatres of the Westside in The Argonaut's annual awards contest and won The Santa Monica Daily Press award for "Most Loved" in the live-theatre category. It presents inspiring Jewish stories, art, and other programming that highlights Jewish contributions to contemporary life. Now beginning its 14th season, The Braid's salon theatre of original dramatic shows, each written to a specific theme, displays the diverse and eclectic community of writers, artists, and creators who celebrate Jewish life, one story at a time.

Learn more about The Braid and purchase tickets for the Fall Party and the premiere of Welcome Back(ish) at: the-braid.org/fallparty.



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