Another Passover? Another Seder?
The Lerner kids, Benjamin and Ariel, think it’s the most boring holiday ever. That’s until their Bubbe finds a magical, musical way to tell them the story that every Jew around the world tells at their Passover table and has for thousands of years. So begins Matzah & Miracles, a one-hour family musical geared towards elementary school children debuting at the Philipstown Depot Theatre in Garrison at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 25. The Lerner kids and audience members alike will experience the story of Passover as they travel back in time to ancient Egypt and will forever remember the meaning behind its holiday traditions.
The show’s writer and director is January Akselrad, a Cold Spring resident and award-winning composer of over 100 musicals and plays for children. A former drama teacher at the Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, Akselrad originally created Matzah & Miracles to amuse, enchant and educate her own children at the family Seder. She next performed the show as a tzedakah (charity) event to raise money for a local Jewish community center.
In 2009, Ms. Akselrad and Jennifer Young co-founded See The Wish, a company based in Cold Spring. The two lifelong educators and creative artists hold storytelling as key to expressing the company’s mission of educating through diverse and entertaining products. Since telling the story of Moses and Pharaoh and the Exodus of the Hebrews from slavery in Egypt is central to the Passover holiday, Matzah & Miracles became a natural choice for development. See The Wish has presented two other productions to the Philipstown community, Lost In The Library and Hour To Imagine, Wish and Dream, but this is their debut performance on the Philipstown Depot stage.
“Matzah & Miracles is bound to have kids singing their way through the Seder, reliving the story and making it their own” says Ellie Aronowitz, past president of the Jewish Communal Service Association of North America. But you don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate the biblical story of standing up for what is right and triumphing over slavery. Reverend Shane Scott-Hamblen of St. Mary’s Church in Cold Spring agrees, “A delightful and fresh retelling of the ancient story… Matzah & Miracles is a marvelous resource for both Christian and Jewish families where we can read, mark and inwardly digest our common history in a lively way.”
Immediately following the performance, there will be a signing of the Matzah & Miracles chapter book co-authored by Akselrad and Young. The book includes the complete musical on CD and dramatic play activities for the Seder. For more details, visit seethewish.com. Tickets are $12 and can be purchased online at brownpapertickets or by calling the Depot Theatre box office at 845-424-3900.