Monday, March 9, 2015

The Persian Academy Awards - A Purim Shpiel

The Persian Academy Awards
A Purim Shpiel


REUVEN SEACREST:             Welcome to the Persian Academy Awards! I’m Reuven Seacrest. Tonight we pay tribute to the most influential movers and shakers of the Megillat Esther. We honor the bravest, the brightest, the hottest, the cleverest, and the most talented. We applaud audacity, tenacity, veracity, and mendacity.

But first, who is that coming down the red carpet! It’s Queen Esther herself? Esther, can we get a word from you?

ESTHER:                     Sure!

REUVEN SEACREST: Can we get more than one word from you?

ESTHER:                     You bet!

REUVEN SEACREST: So, Esther. You are up for Best Female Protagonist in a Leading Role. Some say you are a shoe-in for your bravery and the fact that you may have saved the entire Persian Jewish population from annihilation. The word on the street is that your cunning, quick thinking, and self-sacrifice prevented one of the worst massacres of our time.

ESTHER:                     Gosh! Thank you.

REUVEN SEACREST: So, naturally, I have to ask you...who are you wearing?

ESTHER:                     Well, naturally when I realized that my life meant nothing if my people were destroyed, I knew I had to act and…what? Wearing? Oh, uh, this is a gown by Elishava, the hot new designer from Ethiopia. Note the strands of ebony and gold sequins that highlight the stripes of black and white.

REUVEN SEACREST: Black and white? Really, I would have said blue and orange. Well, no matter. Look over there! It’s Haman, the former primer minister of the Persian Empire, second only to the big man Ahasuerus himself. Haman, can we have a word with you?

HAMAN:                      No.

REUVEN SEACREST: Wonderful! So, tell me Haman, you are up for Best Villain in a Leading Role. The tabloids are buzzing with the sheer audacity of your plan to bamboozle a king and eliminate an entire people, solely because of a centuries old clan war. Some say the intricacy of your scheme is only matched by your sheer hatred of Jews. So naturally, I have to ask…who are you wearing?

HAMAN:                      No one. I don’t have anyone’s skin wrapped around me. Yet.

REUVEN SEACREST: Sure. but I mean that hat you’re wearing. That’s quite an interesting hat? What can you tell us about it?

HAMAN:                      It has three corners. Duh. Otherwise it wouldn’t be mine.

REUVEN SEACREST: Of course! Oh, and it sounds like the show is about to start. Let’s send it over to Shpiel Pinchas Harris.

SHPIEL PINCHAS HARRIS: Thank you Reuven. Welcome everyone to the 1st Annual Persian Academy Awards. I’m your host Shpiel Pinchas Harris. Welcome to the show where we honor the best and goyist…uh whitest…uh brightest! I am excited, delighted, and thrilled to announce the winners of our most respected and revered award, The Ahasher. Tonight we honor the bravest heroes, the nastiest villains, and in a previously taped segment that will never see the light of day, all the artists, editors, composers, and writers who actually made the Megillah happen. But who cares about them? On with the show!

                                                Chag Purim, Chag Purim, Chag gadol hu la y’hudim
                                                Masechot, ra’ashanim, z’mirot rikudim
                                                Havah narishah Rash! Rash! Rash!
                                                Havah narishah Rash! Rash! Rash!
                                                Havah narishah Rash! Rash! Rash!

SHPIEL PINCHAS HARRIS: Here to announce our first award is Memucan, King Ahasuerus’s personal advisor.

MEMUCAN: Thank you, Shpiel. The award for Best Male Protagonist in a Leading Role goes to the man who most influenced the story of Purim. The first nominee for this award is King Ahahasuerus, the most powerful of kings, the most awesome of leaders, whose reign stretches to one hundred and twenty-seven provinces as far as Persia and Media. The second nominee is Mordechai, some Jewish guy from Shushan. And the Ahasher goes to…what? Mordechai, the Jewish guy!

AHASUERUS:              Awesome, dude! Like I am so stoked about winning this award. This is most excellent, and I…

MEMUCAN:                Uh, sire?

AHASUERUS:              What, man? Why are you ruining my speech? That’s like, totally heinous.

MEMUCAN:                Um, uh, it was Mordechai who won. The, uh, academy chose Mordechai.

AHASUERUS:              Bogus, man.

MORDECHAI:             Thank you, I’ll take that award. I’d like to thank the Academy. I’d like to thank Esther, my cousin, whose bravery was an inspiration to all of us. I’d like to thank my father Jair, son of Shimei, son of Kish. And I’d like to thank my mother Sally. I’d like to thank all the people of Shushan for believing in me, for believing in my dream of a united Persia between all peoples…

ORCHESTRA:              (Humming any Purim tune) La la la la la la!

 SHPIEL PINCHAS HARRIS: Aaaand, we’re back. Here to announce the second award is Hegai, the king’s eunuch. Boy, talk about a job I would never ever want to get.

HEGAI:                        It’s not so bad, really.


HEGAI:                        No, I lie. It stinks. Anyway, the first nominee for Best Female Protagonist in a Leading Role is Queen Esther, the brave, beautiful young lady who risked it all to save her people. The second nominee is Queen Vashti, the now banished queen who turned refusal of a king’s order into a feminist rallying cry. And the Ahasher goes to…Queen Esther!

VASHTI:                      Typical.

AHASUERUS:              So, like, I’d like to thank the Academy, and…what? Aw, man, again? That’s totally gnarly, man.

VASHTI:                      Sisters unite! Fight the patriarchy! Fight the establishment! Fight the real enemy! I should have been the winner, not some obsequious little brat. I stick my neck out,  and I get banished. She sticks her neck out, and she gets half the kingdom. Is that fair?

ESTHER:                     Thank you, everyone. Thank you. I’d like to thank the Academy, and I’d like to thank my handsome king, and I’d like to thank my cousin Mordechai, and I’d like to thank Hegai the eunuch who did wonders for my hair and wardrobe, and…and…and, I’d like to thank all the little people back in Shushan who I’m sure played their little role in all of this, and I’d like…

ORCHESTRA:              (Humming any Purim tune) La la la la la la!

SHPIEL PINCHAS HARRIS: Oh, I could listen to that woman talk all night. And we almost did. Well, here to announce our final award are Bigthan and Teresh, the king’s most disreputable and evil guards.

BIGTHAN:                   Oh, you’re gonna make me blush. But enough about me. The first nominee for Best Villain is Haman, the former prime minister of all Persia who lied about the Jews to the king and plotted their complete annihilation. The second nominee is Zeresh, Haman’s greedy wife who…

TERESH:                     It should have been us, you know. We should have received a nomination.

BIGTHAN:                   What?

TERESH:                     I mean, we were going to kill the king. How amazingly bad is that, right? But no, we don’t get a nomination because we weren’t even considered important enough to have any lines. We plot to kill the king, and we don’t get any lines.

BIGTHAN:                   Well, you’re sure talking now. Can I read the winner yet?

TERESH:                     Sure. Go ahead. Do what you got to do.

BIGTHAN:                   And the Ahasher goes to…Haman, the most evil man in the entire Purim story!

HAMAN:                      I’d like to thank the Academy…

ORCHESTRA:              (Humming any Purim tune) La la la la la la!

HAMAN:                      Hey, I wasn’t done…

ORCHESTRA:              (Humming louder) La la la la la la!!!

HAMAN:                      Fine.

SHPIEL PINCHAS HARRIS: Good night, everyone, and thank you for joining us!

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