I'm just a girl who cain't say no...

Somehow, at tonight's religion committee meeting, I got hornswoggled into orchestrating our Purimspiel.

We had just established that we're going to eschew an evening reading of the  whole megillah (which we'll do the following morning at services anyway) in favor of a Purimspiel which retells the Purim story in dramatic form. We agreed that the script should both stick to the source and be funny, and that the action should periodically be broken up by short comedy routines, knock-knock joke contests, a kids' costume parade, and other appropriately irreverent ways of keeping little people entertained until the exciting part where they get to gnash their gragers.* I was industriously taking notes when Jeff slyly noted that his real plan was for someone new to run the Purimspiel this year: get some new blood and new ideas, see what kind of spin somebody new might put on it. Somebody like, oh, me. 

I never turn down the chance to make a holiday happen, and though Purim and I haven't had much to do with each other in the last few decades, I figure we can renew our acquaintance in time for March 24th. I like to write. I herd cats reasonably well. Naturally I said yes.

Only one problem.  The Purimspiel is supposed to be funny. Comedy? Not my strength. Which is why I'm seeking help. The first thing I did when I got home was email  Seth Brown, lord of the House of the Rising Pun, because he's a funny guy and I have high hopes that he'll help me out. But I'm not stopping there; I'm hoping y'all will help, too.

I feel fairly confident that I can retell the Purim story in a vernacular that's clear and timely. But I'd love suggestions of jokes, songs, sketch routines: ways I can keep the wee ones amused and paying attention before the part where they get to make lots of noise. If you've ever been to (or been part of) a great Purimspiel, tell me what made it work. If you have a script (or some links) that you'd be willing to share, that's grand too. Somebody out there has to have lyrics for the Big Bad Broadway Megillah, right?   

Technorati tags: ,

*Tradition dictates that we make lots of noise -- usually with noisemakers called gragers -- whenever Haman's name is mentioned. Kids usually love it. Adults usually bring aspirin. Or maybe that's because of the Talmudic injunction to drink until we can't distinguish between "cursed be Haman" and "blessed be Mordechai"...