Some Chaw for your Nukah

So, we wrote a little show some year’s back. We wrote it in about the exact amount of time it takes to perform it. It’s ridiculous.

And I think… I mean, it’s hard to say, you never can say you have a *favorite* show because they’re all different. Like snowflakes. But the thing is, now that I have two kids, I can tell you – what your parents said about not having a favorite? That’s bullshit. They do. And if you think it’s you, it probably is, if you’re not sure, then you aren’t it.

All of the pictures are just terrible, but this isn't TOO fuzzy

So, yeah, I think The First Annual St. Ignatius Chanukah Pageant is my favorite of our shows – *in a way*. It definitely has had the biggest pay off for the least sweat. Everything we did seemed funny to us, and almost all of it was funny to an audience, and now, years later, it all still seems funny as hell.

The basic idea is that Cricket Creek, North Dakota has a Christmas Pageant, put on by the local community theater every year, but this year the completely batshit insane woman who runs the troupe has discovered that the new dentist and his family, the Rosenblums, are actually Jewish. Caught up in a mad desire to make them feel included, she writes a Chanukah pageant, playing for one night only, the night before the Christmas pageant opens. Using the same cast. Including the youngest Rosenblum.

Ah, this show cracks me up. I was responsible for the most depressing aspect, the rip-off tunes, inartfully crafted by Arlene, the woman who runs the community theater, and also the terrible computer accompaniments that she created on her iMac. But the actual story, the utter misunderstanding of Chanukah, the effortless anti-semitism, the bizarre middle-America conservative Christian overtones (at one point, Arlene sings a duet comparing the Iraq war with the Greco-Hebrew conflict without realizing that, in her parallel, the Jews are the counter-insurgency…)

Anyway, it’s Chanukah, so I wanted to include a couple of pieces from the show. The show opens with the Maccabee brothers farming in the field. The only thing Jordana, our resident jew, could remember about Chanukah was the father’s name, Matithias, and his five sons, Eliezer, Simon, John, Johnathan and Judah. Yes, John and Johnathan. Mac and I nearly lost our shit when she told us that. So, we made one of the actors obsessed with puppetry, and gave the puppet some solos as Johnathan. In this first song, the puppet – THE PUPPET – has a lasso solo. (Also, the actor playing Simon, a girl, was obviously wearing the Tiny Tim costume from A Christmas Carol. Everything about this show slays me)


Second piece is is Judah Macabee and his love interest Tracy (Oh my god, I’m cracking up as I write this. It goes without saying, there’s no love interest “Tracy” in the Torah) (And Jordana came up with the brilliant idea of having the character named “Tracy” and the girl playing the part named “Rebecca”…) are singing about the conflict they are experiencing. Except, of course, that Arlene is such a god-awful playwright that she has forgotten to include any conflict, so their love song is called “What Could Possibly Go Wrong”…

What Could Go Wrong_

Of course, at the end of the song, King Antiocus comes in, set to savage the temple. This is the conversation I had with Rob Hoyt, the guy we wanted to cast as Antiocus.

Me: Hey, Dude. Can you sing a high B?

Rob: Who is this?

Me: It’s Sean. Can you sing a high B?

Rob: Yes, I can. Sean Who?

Me: Sean Me! Sean! Are you free this coming December?

Rob: You mean, like, in three days?

Me: That’s the one!

Rob: Better make it a B flat…

And this might be some of my favorite lyrical work by Jordana. The backing vocals make me want to crap myself. “He really means it. He’s anti-semitic…” If nobody, not a single person, ever laughed at this show, it wouldn’t have mattered to me. I’m on cloud nine just remembering these guys.


I’m not gonna do the whole show for you. I’m not gonna include the gospel number “Burn Eight Times”. I’m not gonna actually play the incredible “Chome for Chanukah” about Iraq and Israel. I’ll just include the rallying cry, the moment that the Jews decide that they will fight on, here in the 2nd Century BC, apparently inspired by Matt Lauer and Ira Gershwin.

Jews Fight Back

Okay. There’s no way anyone read this far, or listened to the songs, but it’s Chanukah, so I figured I’d do my part. Merry Chanukah, and have a happy fifth night, when you get socks and pencils. At least, according to my friend Seth.