A Purim "Schpiel" is a farce based on the story of Purim. I don't use the actual names of characters from I Love Lucy, rather characteristics. If this does not conform to guidelines, I will delete. I was unable to find rules about this type of thing within the guidelines.

To learn about Purim Schpiels, Google the term. Meanwhile, enjoy!

"Babaloo" plays in the background, fades out after a few moments. Vashti enters, dusts a table, straightens chairs. She crosses to a desk, SL, and sees note taped to phone. She reads aloud:

Vashti: Talent show tonight at The Shushan Club. That rat! He didn't tell me about any talent show! (She crumples the note and throws it on the floor.)

Esther enters, SR.

Esther: Girl, what is it? I heard you all the way down the hall.

Vashti: Did you know that there is going to be a talent show at the Shushan Club tonight?

Esther (Evasively): Yes, I did. I thought you knew.

Vashti: (Folds her arms on her chest, sarcastically) You thought I knew. You knew I didn't know, didn't you. You knew. You knew! You know you knew. And now I know. I know that you know what you knew. And I didn't know you knew until just now when I looked at your face and could tell that you knew what you knew all along.

Esther (Shrugs, resigned): Nu?Listen Vashti, I was sworn to secrecy and I'm sorry I didn't tell you. You know how Haman doesn't like you to be in his shows. Especially the shows he produces for Achashverosh!

Vashti: But I wanna be in the show! (Starts crying) I wanna be in the show! (Immediately stops crying, grabs Esther by the shoulders.) And you can help me.

Esther: Now Girl, calm down. Don't get me involved with one of your schemes. You know they always backfire!

Vashti: Backfire?

Esther: Remember the time you tried to part the Red Sea and got water all over the place and Mordy and I had to evacuate the whole building until everything dried up? And the time that you decided to start your own shofar business? I had to chase rams out of my kitchen for two weeks! And what about that freak gefilte fish accident?

Vashti: You promised you'd never bring that up again, Esther! Ohhhh Esther! Just help me out this one time and I'll never ask you to help with another scheme again.

(Esther looks at her, raising her eyebrows, crossing her arms, tilting her head.)

Vashti: I mean I'll never ask you to help me with another scheme for the rest of the week.

Esther: Well…ok. I'll help you. But only if I can be in it, too.

Vashti: Oh yes! I have an idea that will include you, me, and Mordy! (Vashti whispers in Esther's ear and Esther reacts with delight.)

(They exit, SR. Achashverosh and his Producer/Director, Haman, enter SL.)

Haman: I tell you, Achash, this is going to be a great talent show. You'll be able to pick a new queen this way. You'll see the brightest, the most talented, the most wonderful.

Achashverosh: As long as I don't have to pick Vashti. That crazy redhead.

Haman: I'm still recovering from that freak gefilte fish accident. I'm just waiting to see what she comes up with next. I tol' her she better not try to get eento any more of my shohs! Sorry, I get this strange accent whenever I'm upset about something or someone…usually Vashti. And – oh no, what's this? (He crosses SL, sees the note on the floor, picks it up, looks at it.) She saw the note I left on the phone about the show tonight.

Achashverosh: Oh no! Now what are we gonna do?

Haman: I have an idea. You know that Vashti is going to needle her way into the show tonight. And that means that Esther will, too.

Achashverosh: Esther is that nice lady I see in the audience sometimes.

Haman: Yes, and she and her cousin Mordy own the building where we live.

Achashverosh: I'll call The Shushan Club and tell them to be on the lookout for a crazy redhead tonight. We just hired a new guy and I'll have to explain the situation. (Punches keys on the phone, waits for someone to answer on the other end.) Hi Jack! Heh heh, that's right, 'don't say that at the airport!' Ha ha. It's Achashverosh. Achashverosh. A-c-h-a-s, no, "s" as in Sam. Sam! S-a-m. No! Don't call Sam, Sam doesn't work there anymore.

Haman: Here. (Takes the phone from Achashverosh): Jack, be on the lookout tonight for a crazy redhead who is trying to get into the show. Her name is Vashti… Vashti… Vashti! Jus' look for ay crazy redhead an' tell her dat Haman wants her to goh hohm. Hohm. H-o-, oh my goodness, look at the time!

Achashverosh (Yelling into phone): Yes! Look at the time!

Haman: Sorry Jack, I gotta go. Bye! (He hangs up.)

Haman and Achashverosh: Oy.

Achashverosh: Haman, I'd really like to see that Esther in the talent show. But if she's in the show, then Vashti will be, too. That Esther, what a great girl.

Haman: Yes, she's a great girl. Anyway,

Achashverosh: So sweet, so nice.

Haman: Yes, she's sweet and nice. Anyway,

Achashverosh: Such a pleasure to be in her company.

Haman: Yes, it's a pleasure to be in her company. Anyway,

Achashverosh: She's a wonderful girl.

Haman: Will you let me 'splain?

Achashverosh: Ok! Go ahead and 'splain!

Haman: Vashti has this outfit that she loves to wear whenever she tries to get into my shows. I'll steal it from her closet and give it to Mordy to hide. That way, she'll have to wear something less appealing, and it'll be easier for you to choose someone more to your liking.

Achashverosh: Capital idea. Capital.

(They leave, SL)

(Esther, Vashti, and Mordy enter SR)

Vashti: I have an outfit that I always wear whenever I try getting into Haman's shows. If he sees that I'm wearing it, he'll be able to pick me out of the crowd and then my cover is blown! So, Esther, you wear it. And Mordy, you take out that costume you used to wear in that Persian Vaudeville number.

Mordy: The act with all the gefilte fish? The one that caused that freak accident?

Vashti: You promised you'd never bring that up again, Mordy.

Mordy: Ok. Well, I can dig up that costume. I can't wait. (Starts doing his act. Esther and Vashti applaud. Vashti goes to closet and takes out her costume.)

Vashti: This is what I want you to wear, Esther.

(Voices heard offstage. Vashti hides costume behind herself. Haman and Achashverosh enter, SL.)

Haman: Vashti? What is behind your back?

Vashti: Behind my back? Why…why nothing, Dear. Nothing at all.

Haman: Let me see the nothing that is behind your back.

Vashti: How can you see nothing behind my back if nothing is behind my back?

Haman: I want to make sure that there is nothing behind your back and if I see that there is nothing behind your back, then I'll know that there is nothing behind your back.

(Vashti tries handing the costume to Esther. Haman grabs the costume.)

Haman: Vashteeeee? What you are doing with this costume?

Vashti: What I am doing? Uh…uh…Oh Haman! I just wanna be in the show! Why can't I be in the show?

Haman: You have no talent!

(Vashti cries.)

Haman: Now Vashti. Stop crying and give me the costume.

(Cries while handing him the costume.)

Haman (In Persian gibberish):Ih ka cha ra ra be cha duerno cha ka sher.

Achashverosh: Yeah, yeah, I know. Why don't you let Esther hold the costume. So…so…so Vashti won't feel tempted to wear it.

(Achashverosh hands costume to Esther.)

Haman (Taking costume): No, why dun we let Mordy hold the costume. (He hands the costume to Mordy.)

Vashti: No, why dun we let Vashti hold the costume. (She takes costume from Mordy.)

Haman (In Persian gibberish):Ih ka cha ra ra be cha duerno cha ka sher.

Vashti: Yeah, yeah, I know. (Gives the costume to Achashverosh, mimicking Haman.) Why dun you geev dees to Esther so eet won't tempt me.

Achashverosh (Starry-eyed): Yes, why dun vee geev dees to Esther so eet von't tempt Vashti.

Haman: Give it to me. I'll take care of it. You two girls run along. Go on! Go on!

(Esther and Vashti begin to exit SR. They turn back, look at Mordy, and all three do a detailed mime, trying to explain quietly to each other that the costume will be given to Esther, they move their mouths and hands simultaneously and frantically.)

Haman: Go! (Esther and Vashti exit.) Mordy, com'eer. You take the costume. Hide it. You know that Vashti will wear the costume if she sees it. And the last thing we need is for both girls to be in the show. One will upstage the other.

Achashverosh (Still starry-eyed): One will upstage the other. Esther could upstage Vashti. If she wears that costume. Yes. Esther could upstage Vashti.

Haman: No! We don't want either girl in the show!

Achashverosh: No! Ha ha, no! We don't want the girls in the show. No. They can't be in the show. Mordy, hide the costume so the girls don't see it.

(Haman and Achashverosh exit, SL. Mordy looks off L and then off R, looks at the costume, shrugs, and then exits, SR.)

(To show passage of time, a few moments of "Cuban Pete" or another Desi Arnaz song plays and then fades out. Mordy enters, SR, wearing a WWI uniform and holding a trumpet. He looks around, aghast. He motions for Vashti and Esther, who enter SR.)

Mordy: Girls! Girls! This is an all-woman's talent show.

Esther: Well, you're already here. You can't leave now; you're on the program.

Vashti: Who would put a man on the program for an all-women's talent show? Oh wait, I did. Sorry, I didn't see all the women's names. I have an idea.

Mordy and Esther: Oh no!

Esther: Now, Vashti! We can't let them recognize us; they'll kick us out of the show.

Vashti: Look, Esther, you and I have to be in the show unrecognized. And so do you, Mordy.

Mordy (Grumpy): Oh, I don't want to be in an all-women's show!

(Vashti pushes both off SR and leaves with them. Achashverosh and Haman enter, SL, and sit in chairs, one USL, one USR, facing DS in angles where the talent show will be.)

(Vashti soon enters SR, wearing a HUGE hat and a feather boa. She dances very slowly at first and does some business with the boa. Haman knows exactly who it is and claps his hands on his cheeks, opens his mouth, and widens his eyes. Achashverosh is smiling and clapping his hands. She eventually exits SR)

Haman (Mumbling): Well at least there was no gefilte fish this time.

Vashti (Yelling offstage): You promised you'd never bring that up again!

(Mordy enters SR, wearing Vashti's old outfit, a dress with a straw hat, and he dances stiltedly. Haman claps his hands on his cheeks, opens his mouth, and widens his eyes. Achashverosh is smiling and clapping his hands. Mordy eventually exits SR, and then Esther enters SR, wearing Mordy's WWI outfit, holding the trumpet. Haman knows exactly who it is and claps his hands on his cheeks, opens his mouth, and widens his eyes. Achashverosh is smiling and clapping his hands. She puts the trumpet to her lips, takes a breath, does more stalling business at playing the trumpet. She finally puts the trumpet to her lips again and sings)

Esther: La la la. La la la.

(Achashverosh stands abruptly.)

Achashverosh: I thought you were going to play the trumpet and you didn't. Did you see that, Haman? Did you see that? He looked like he was about to play the trumpet, but he sang instead! Didn't you think he was going to play the trumpet? I actually thought he was going to play the trumpet! Ha ha ha! But he sang!

Haman. Yes, Achashverosh, that was part of the act, obviously.

Achashverosh: Oh! Then that adds to the cleverity – the cleverosity – the cleverness. But wait, you look familiar. (He moves closer and stares for a moment.) Esther! It's you! It was a woman! I thought it was a man! It's a woman! It's Esther! Wow, that really adds to the act. You were the best. You win!

Haman(In Persian gibberish):Ih ka cha ra ra be cha duerno cha ka sher.

Everyone but Haman: Yeah, yeah, we know.

(Everyone stands together, facing audience. Esther is in between Achashverosh and Mordy. Haman and Vashti are a few feet away, standing together.)

Everyone: Happy Purim, everyone!

(The "I Love Lucy" theme song plays as the actors leave through the audience.)

9