THEATER OF THRILLS AND HIGH ADVENTURE!

"Judith of the Jungle's Hanukkah Story!"

                                                               by Richard Nathan

Note:  In this sketch, it is necessary to refer to three movie stars - a hero, a love interest, and a villain.  In this version, I use Tom Cruise, Naomi Watts and Alan Rickman.  Feel free to replace these names with other stars.

 

Before the lights come up, a voice introduces the story:

                                                            VOICE
                                    At age twenty-five, Judith Weinberger was
                                    one of the most promising creative executives
                                    in Hollywood.  Then a script she passed on 
                                    became a mega-blockbuster at another
                                    studio.  Scorned by the people she thought
                                    were her friends, Judith Weinberger left
                                    Hollywood, never to be seen at the studios
                                    again.  But now, ten years later, in Africa, she
                                    is a legend!  She is... JUDITH OF THE
                                    JUNGLE! 

Lights come up on JUDITH  OF THE JUNGLE in her jungle home.  Enter a WARDEN from Judith's private animal sanctuary.  

                                                            WARDEN
                                    Judith of the Jungle!  Thank goodness I found
                                    you!

                                                            JUDITH
                                    Oy!  So what's the mishegoss now?  Poachers?  An  
                                    attack by one of my old enemies?

                                                            WARDEN
                                    No.  It's sunset!  You wanted me to remind you
                                    to light your candles! 

                                                            JUDITH
                                    That's right!  It's the first night of Hanukkah!

Judith takes out a menorah.  She puts in to candles (the one in the middle and one on the far side.  She lights the middle candle, takes it out of the menorah and uses it to light the candle on the side, and then puts the middle candle back in its place in the middle of the menorah. 

                                                            JUDITH
                                    Barukh atah Adonai Eloheinu whatever whatever. 
                                    There.  All done.

                                                            WARDEN
                                    I have heard of Hanukkah, but I do not remember
                                    the story behind it.  Isn't it something about an oil
                                    shortage?

                                                            JUDITH
                                    Sure, that's part of it.  But it's mostly like an action
                                    picture!

                                                            WARDEN
                                    An action picture?

                                                            JUDITH
                                    Certainly!  I'll tell you the whole magilah.  The hero is 
                                    Judah Maccabee, a real mensch.  Think Tom Cruise.    
                                    The villain is a Greek tyrant named Anticochus, a momzer!  
                                    Think Alan Rickman.  So in the first ten minutes, we 
                                    introduce Cruise and Rickman.

                                                            WARDEN
                                    Ten minutes?

                                                            JUDITH
                                    Everyone knows you have to get the story started in the 
                                    first ten minutes.  Otherwise you lose your audience.

                                                            WARDEN
                                    Why are you telling me in terms of movies?  I thought you  
                                    left the movie business.

                                                            JUDITH
                                    No!  The movie business left me!  So Rickman's a Greek 
                                    who heads the Syrian army, which is besieging Israel.  Why 
                                    a Greek is heading the Syrian army, don't ask me.  Anyway,
                                    Rickman thinks Tom Cruise is a nebbish, and he just laughs
                                    at him, but secretly Cruise is the Hammer, a costumed
                                    warrior who battles to keep Israel free.   

                                                            WARDEN
                                    Hanukkah is about a costumed hero?  I never heard that
                                    before!

                                                            JUDITH
                                    That's because you never heard it from me before!  So 
                                    at the half hour mark, things have to start going bad.  Like 
                                    maybe Rickman gets something on Cruise's girlfriend.  Maybe 
                                    he's blackmailing her father.

                                                            WARDEN
                                    Girlfriend? 

                                                            JUDITH
                                    Of course girlfriend.  There's always a girlfriend.  A shana
                                    maidel.

                                                            WARDEN
                                    What is her name?

                                                            JUDITH
                                    Naomi Watts.  So Naomi asks Cruise for help.  He rushes to
                                    help her, but that means he needs to go to Syria.  And while he's
                                    gone, Rickman takes over Israel.  So now we're ninety minutes 
                                    into the movie, and things are as bad as they can be for Cruise. 
                                    He's in the belly of the beast. 

                                                            WARDEN
                                    What beast?

                                                            JUDITH
                                    It's just how they talk in Hollywood.  It means farblongjid.  So
                                    even though Cruise has lost everything, Naomi says she still
                                    believes in him.  Cruise sneaks back into Israel and breaks
                                    into Rickman's castle.  Rickman finds Cruise, and they have a
                                    sword fight like you've never seen!  Rickman knocks Cruise's
                                    sword away, and he's about to kill Cruise, but Cruise grabs a 
                                    great big dreidel and bashes Rickman's on the head with it, and
                                    Rickman drops dead!  And Cruise opens the gates and his
                                    army comes in and drives the Syrians out of Israel. 

                                                            WARDEN
                                    What about the oil shortage?

                                                            JUDITH
                                    I'm coming to that.  The Syrians left the Temple a mess.  Cruise
                                    has to clean it up for his marriage ceremony with Naomi Watts. 
                                    But the cleaning ceremony requires that they burn the sacred
                                    oil for eight nights.  But there's not enough oil.  Tom holds Naomi 
                                    in his arms and gives her the bad news.  The wedding is off.  She
                                    tells him their love will find a way.  And lo - God was moved
                                    by Tom's love for Naomi, and He made the oil last for eight nights. 
                                    And that's why we celebrate Hanukkah!

 

BLACKOUT!

THE END

 

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2005 by Richard Nathan.  All rights reserved

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