BAJC hosts ‘Purim Palooza’ party with Wanda Jackson, Eugene Uman

BRATTLEBORO — If you didn't get to New Orleans, or missed a local Mardi Gras opportunity to get into costume or masquerade, now you have another chance.

On Saturday, March 23, at the Vermont Jazz Center at Cotton Mill Hill, the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community will host a Purim Palooza party from 7 to 10 p.m. featuring vocalist Wanda Houston accompanied by VJC music director Eugene Uman.

Houston has performed on Broadway stages and in films, recordings, and television, but living on the East Coast has returned her to the roots of her career and music and connected her with musicians who share her joy and belief in the power of its effect on people's hearts.

The evening will also include Cantor Kate Judd singing cabaret/parody songs accompanied by Susan Hollins on piano. The Brattleboro based-duo Vibrant Ensemble with Stephan Brandstatter and Dennis Waring will perform original, culturally inspired world music compositions.

Additionally, professional storyteller Maggid David Arfa will share one or two of his heartwarming and thought-provoking stories. There will be a mask-making station and a costume contest.

Wild costumes and masks are welcome, or participants may come as a character from the Book of Esther, which tells the story of Purim, or they may simply come as they are.

They will act out the story in a Purimshpiel, a comic dramatization of what transpired on Purim and why it has become an important Jewish holiday. Participants will be able to vent their rage at evil and oppression by shaking groggers (noisemakers) at every mention of the name of Haman, evil advisor to the arrogant and self-centered king, and to cheer as one brave undercover Jewish woman saves the whole Jewish people.

Beer and wine will be supplied by Windham Wines, and food and pastries will be available, including hamantaschen, the special Purim delicacy.

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