There’s something poetic in the nearly simultaneous launching of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and the holiday of Purim. They both herald times of great revelry and amusement, behavior just outside the norm, and of course, the dutiful consumption of alcoholic beverages. Beyond that, both contain stories of underdogs triumphing over greater powers to ensure their “survival” –whether in bracketology or ancient Shushan. Okay, maybe that pushes it a bit far, but seriously, is there a better time of year? Add to that the fact that three local schools (including George Mason and American) have made it to the big dance, and that one of them, Georgetown, is a decent bet to make it to the Final Four for a second straight year, and these are pretty good times. (In all honesty, I have the Hoyas losing to Memphis in the Finals in one of my brackets. In another, they lie down like dogs to a certain Big Ten school my wife attended.)
But Purim at the 16th Street J is crazier than imagining a Mount St. Mary’s vs. St. Mary’s championship game. We’ve got not one, but two totally cool events happening on Saturday night to help you get your Purim on. First, there is the J on Demand staged reading of The Playdough Golem beginning at 9:00 pm. When a Hebrew School rents space at a Catholic Church the young Jewish boys are predictably attracted to the tartan-clad females of the resident St. Thomas Augustine Cathedral School. Seeing their crushes being swept away from them, a trio of girls, Leah Goldstein, Rebecca Goldman and Abby Goldberg go Kabbalistic on the competition by creating a golem out of Playdoh to mete out justice in the name of endogamy.
Also on Saturday night is the Kurlander Program for Gay and Lesbian Outreach and Engagement’s Purim Party — featuring a schpiel by the members of Bet Mishpachah, entertainment by the DC Kings, a piñata, a deejay and music to dance the night away. Of course, both events will feature ample libations in the spirit of the holiday.
It’s March Madness. Catch it!