Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Whole Megillah Beatles Style

Last night the Purim Players at Temple Micah once again enacted the epic story of Queen Esther and Mordecai saving the Jewish people. This year the story was told with the beat of the Beatles and it was the best ever. Audience participation was at its highest because “hey mon”– we grew up with that music.

Here are some clips from the music that propelled us through the evening:

Estherday...

Hey Jews, you can’t refuse. This is Purim your special day.

When I find myself in times of trouble Manewith she comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

We all pray in a mellow synagogue.

Oy Va Voy, Oy Va Voy.

Shekel Lane...

And did I mention that everyone dressed up? There were these 4 guys who looked a lot like the Beatles, but upon closer inspection were actually Teddy, Toby, Meryl, and Debra. There was an interloper Sergeant Pepper in a bright red jacket (David) and I was Lovely Rita, with my little book ready to give anyone a ticket who crossed me. The tiny Queen Esthers were too numerous to count. And there was a random Winnie-the-Poo, court jester, you name it, whatever first appeared in the attic costume supply.


Interspersed between the scenes of the play were readings from the Megillah, the place where the story of Esther is recorded. We didn’t actually chant “the whole Megillah”, but in fact a good part of it. There were 12 of us who took on the task of learning the special trope (music) that is used for this once-a-year reading. It’s always a little unnerving to hear yourself sing, but the players had set the stage with a degree of levity that banished stagefright.

The play was actually directed by two old pros at drama. Michael and David are hams who love to act and sing and they passed along this attitude to the cast who rose to the occasion. The adults were great, but the children stole the show. My vote for the best of show would be Laila (who is 10) and Jordi (who is 7 and is a born actor).

No event at Temple Micah would be complete without food. Everyone enjoyed traditional hamantaschen afterwards.

The good news for me was I noticed on the way home that the headache I had been carrying around for days was absolutely gone. A lunch and shopping with my best friend and an evening of fun had simply cured it!

9 Comments:

Anonymous David said...

You really captured the evening. It was fun chanting from the Megillah once I had learned my part. You were terrific at it. Oh, and nice costume too.

10:49 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Sounds like a great night! Thanks for sharing.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

David -- Thanks to you for making me Lovely Rita. I especially liked the hat!

Kristin -- Yes, it was a lot of fun. Who ever thought religion could be entertaining?

By the way, for those who don't know, the 4 Beatles are the bigshots at TM, including the rabbi, the cantor, the music director, and the director of religious education. I won't dare divulge how they managed to come by the matching Beatles garb...

12:54 PM  
Blogger Golden Silence said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! A good way to bring creativity into it.

5:26 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

That is so cool! I would have loved that! (I'm a bit of a ham but my David is not so much!)
I heard this guy interviewed on radio here, and he was really doing something cool and different with Jewish prayers - he was singing them gospel style! It sounded fabulous! Can't remember his name!

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Teddy said...

Barbara - thanks for the great post. The evening was like a Magical Mystery Tour!

As one of the "bigshots" at Micah, I'd like to ask the "mother of invention" if the gospel singing was just for Purim, or is it all year long? Perhaps it was Joshua Nelson?

6:25 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

GoldenSilence -- Purim is definitely the most fun Jewish holiday.

MOI -- I have this dream about combining our choir with a gospel choir and doing a concert. Of course, I'm not sure what we'd sing since we don't exactly have a lot in common, but I could see us singing some things from each religion.

Teddy -- Your efforts were a great part of why this was so successful. You come at everything full tilt and it pays off.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

Barbara - just read your description. Thanks for the compliment to my boy! The whole cast had a blast, with David and Teddy and Michael leading the way.

Choir with gospel: sing "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," by U2, with gospel echo. I arranged it for our a cappella group in law school.

11:00 AM  
Blogger steve said...

This sounds like a total bam bam blast!
Did they do "I am the Matzo"...that would be my favorite...
Goo-goo goojoob!

11:12 AM  

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