Theme: The talk around Jerusalem is all about reports that the long awaited Messiah was soon to arrive. Some said as a mighty warrior . . some said as a baby. Some anxiously awaited his arrival, some, such as Herod, feared what this Messiah would mean to them . . . . individually and collectively.
Herod, in desperation, contracts with PI Sam Slade and his associates to find out the truth about the coming of the Messiah. So Slade interviews individuals who seemed to have made contact with the baby: officials in the temple, daughters of the innkeeper, shepherds, an angel (with torn wing ligaments) and Eastern kings.
Three act drama with humor, but with the message.
Bible Reference: Matthew 1-2, Luke 2
Cast: 22 (some actors could do multiple parts, many roles could be male or female)
Sam Slade, PI, old time investigator (including offstage voice)
Sid Shady, PI
Sheeree, secretary for Sam and Sid
Other roles: (Eli & Caiaphas could also play 2 Magi)
Caiaphas, chief priest
Eli, teacher of the law
Abigail, teen daughter of innkeeper
Sarah, teen daughter of innkeeper
Eunice, teen daughter of innkeeper
Naomi, teen daughter of innkeeper
Minor roles: (most could be same actors)
Guards1, 2 & 3
Persons1, 2 &3
Set: could be blank set or dressed up as much as required/desired
Lighting: spots to control act changes if possible
Sound: pre-recorded Sam’s opening for each act
Sound effects: slap and fly buzzing
Costumes: likely traditional for all except Sam, Sid and Sheeree who would be dressed in 50’s kind of clothes
Sample of script:
Act 1 – Slade’s office
At opening the lights are off, voice of Sam
SFX: sound of fly buzzing
SFX: sound of slap
V of Sam: Flies! . . . Like to drive you crazy! . . Makes a man wonder . . why did God even bother creating flies?
SFX: sound of fly buzzing
SFX: sound of slap
V of Sam: I can not take much more of this! . . . Flies . . everywhere!
Reminds me of back in the time . . .
King Caper Case . . . ya that’s what it was . . .
Bet I still have the file around here somewhere. . .
As I recall me and Sid and Sheeree was sittin’ there, waitin’ for business . .
Lights come up slowly. Sam, Sid and Sheeree are on stage, Sam reading a magazine, Sid is sleeping feet on the desk and hat over eyes, Sheeree is filing fingernails and chewing gum
Allow this to play for a while, Sam swats at a fly
Sam: These house flies are like to drivin’ me snakey! . . Sheeree, didn’t I told youse go to the store, get us some sticky fly paper to kill these pesky flies?
Sheeree appears very disinterested as she answers
Sheeree: Yah boss, you did.
Sam, annoyed: And . . . .
Sheeree: And what boss?
Sam: And did youse get the sticky fly paper I told youse to get?
Sheeree: No I didn’t boss.
Sam: OK, so youse didn’t get the sticky fly paper I told youse to get . . . so maybe you will tell me why youse didn’t get the sticky fly paper I told youse to get?
Sheeree: Well boss, I went to the store just like youse told me . . . and I did ask the store guy could he sell me some sticky fly paper.
Sam: I am startin’ to feel as though I’m draggin’ this information from youse. . . What did the store guy tell youse when youse ask him can he sell youse some sticky fly paper?
Herod and 3 guards come on stage, impatiently wait to speak to Sam
Herod: Sam Spade, we wish to speak with you.
Sam: Hold your horses, me I’m talkin’ to my secretary here. . . . Now then Sheeree . . . what did this store guy say to youse?
Sheeree: Store guy says he can’t sell me no sticky fly paper on account of sticky fly paper ain’t gonna be invented for another like 2000 years.
Herod: Spade . . . we do not know what sticky fly paper is and furthermore we do not care, so therefore may we . . .
Sam: What’s with youse man, runnin’ around gettin’ your toga in a knot . . actin’ like youse is the king or some such.
Herod: You idiot . . we are the king of this God-forsaken region . .
Sheeree: I recognize him Sam, . . . this here fella he’s Herod, . . . set hisself up to be King of the Jews.
Herod: Yes we are Herod . . and we expect . . demand . . your attention and respect!
Sam: Ya, ya . . whatever . . so tell me, what can I do for youse?
Herod, angry: We said . . we demand . . respect . . from every one of you!
Herod moves to where Sid is sleeping, throws Sid’s feet to the floor, Sid wakes up
Sid, moves toward Herod:
Hey watch out bud! . . What do youse think youse . . .?
Guard1 moves between Sid and Herod
Guard1: One more step and you die!
Sam moves to protect Sid, Guards 2 & 3 move to Sam, lift him off the floor by his elbows
Guard2: You were going somewhere?
Herod: Now then, we have had enough of this foolishness, are we now ready to get to work?
Sam: Yes sir, your Herodness. . . (looks at Guard 2 & 3) . . . Perhaps if your amazing assistants would care to lower me . . . slowly . . . to the ground level . . .
Herod signals to the guards who lower Sam
Sam: Thanks gents, that for sure was a lifting experience. . . Now then, chairs everyone . .
Sam points to chairs which are covered with magazines, boxes and garbage
Herod: We shall stand . . . there is less chance of us infecting our person if we do not touch anything or anyone. . . . Let us just proceed in order to be out of this . . establishment.
Sam: As you please. . . (to Sheeree) . . . Youse maybe oughta clean up this joint someday soon Sheeree . . . Get rid of the big garbage anyways.
Sheeree: But boss . . . I did a deep cleanin’ around here just last month I think it was . . .
Herod, angry: Would you mind? . . We are Herod . . and our time is far too valuable to dilly dally! Now may we get down to business?
Sam: Absolutely your Herodness! . . . May I introduce to you my able assistant, goes by the name of Sid Shady.
Sid: Pleased to meet up witcha your Herodness! . .
Sam: And my secretary over there, Sheeree, she’s gonna take notes for us.
Sheeree: Oh Sam, I just put on fresh nail polish and they . . .
Sam: Fine then, Sid, youse is gonna take down the notes OK?
Sheeree: I forgot to pick up papyrus this week, sorry boss.
Sid: Likely for the best boss . . . I’m not that good at math.
Herod: We do not believe our eyes and ears! . . Your absurdity is beyond description! . . Now may we get started before I realize I am dealing with amateurs . . . who have no idea what they are doing?
Sam: Just cool down a bit your Herodness. . . . Now tell me, what brings youse all the way from your palace to my humble quarters?
Herod disdainfully looks around the room, runs finger over furniture, blows off imaginary dirt
Herod: To call this dump humble is to give it glory well beyond its worth.
Regardless . . . I am here to enlist your services.
You were recommended as the number one private investigator in an all of Jerusalem.
Which makes us wonder just how bad number two private investigator maybe is.
Sam: Your kind words bring a tear to my eye your Herodness.
Herod: I expect you to find the one who is known as . . . King of the Jews.
Sid: Call me silly your Herodness, . . . but I thought youse was the King of the Jews.
Herod: Yes I am the legitimate King of the Jews. . . But these ridiculous Jewish people have unearthed ancient writings claiming that there will be a new King. . . And it is written that this new King will lead the Jewish nation to victory over all their enemies.
Sam: And you buy their story that this for sure is gonna happen?
Sheeree: A king to walk in here without even an army or nothin’! . . Sounds a bit farfetched you ask me.
Herod: No we don’t believe their story . . . But it’s what the people believe that concerns us. And the fact is that these ancient prophesies seem to indicate that all this will be happening now!
Sam: Now as in . . . right now?
Herod: If there is in fact a king coming I want him found and quietly . . disposed of.
Sid: Youse are a powerful man your Herodness, have big army and all. . . Why do youse want me and Sam Slade here checkin’ all this out?
Herod: These Jewish people are so petty and intolerant! . . . And our superiors in Rome expect that there be harmony here in this region. We must not be seen as believing in these prophesies of a Jewish King . . . yet we cannot be seen as pursuing and disposing of someone promised by the Jewish God. . . . We are in a no win situation!
Sam: Well see, your Herodness . . . us guys here at Sam Slade and Associates, we are real grateful that youse have considered our firm to be looking after things for youse. . . Thing is . . we are kinda slammed . . way busy here . . . so thing is . . we just simply might not have time to spend on your project. . . And if we did somehow manage to scrape up the time . . . we may have to pay out a bunch of overtime . . could be quite expensive for youse.
Herod motions to guards who move to Sam, lift him off the floor by his elbows
Herod: Let’s get some things straight . . Slade and Associates . . . Firstly I happen to know you haven’t had a case in months . . And we are not asking if you wish to take this case .. . we are telling you that you shall! . . . Now do we make ourselves clear?
Sam, scared: Hey . . no problem your Herodness! . . . Us guys would consider it a way out pleasure to take on this case for youse, for sure!
Herod: So nice that you have come around to our way of thinking . . now then let us explain the situation and exactly what you are going to handle this case . . .
Sam: Hey that for sure sounds great to me your Herodness! . . Just maybe if I could make a little suggestion . . . Maybe these fine associates of yours could lower me to floor level again? . . Slowly and in a non-hurtful kinda way, maybe? . . I listen much better when my feet are on solid floors.
Herod motions to guards who set Sam down
Sam: Well done dear friends . . now youse was sayin’ your Herodness . . .
Herod: Our information states that this . . King of the Jews . . will be arriving very soon. . . We must be prepared in case the rumors prove to be true. . . And we want to know how this . . . king . . will appear. . .As a mighty king backed by an army, . . or as some suggest, . . . as a baby.
Sam: Do we have more information . . . Where . . Who . . . When . . How?
Herod: Very sketchy at best . . . You will start by interrogating the chief priests and teachers of the law.
Sam: I don’t have what youse could call a close relationship with that bunch . . . not sure they will level with me that easy.
Herod: I will chat with them . . they will be just fine. . . We shall give them an invitation to our palace . . an invitation they simply can’t refuse.
Sam, takes out appointment book:
Way I see it . . me and my associate Sid can be there a week from Wednesday . .
Herod motions to guards who start toward toward Sam
Sam, scared: However I see a whole buncha slots have just opened up.
Herod motions guards to go back
Herod: You and your associates will appear at our palace . . . immediately.
Sam starts to protest, Herod looks to guards, Sam motions “stop”
Sam: Like I was about to say . . . . We will see youse at your palace . . immediately if not sooner!
Act 2 – Herod’s castle
Sam’s offstage voice is heard
V of Sam: Since Herod he made such a strong request for the services of Sam Slade and Associates, I just figure . . no use to keep the big guy waitin’ . . Know what I mean?
So me and Sid Shady and Sheeree, we get on our speedy shoes and rush right over to the palace.
Fact is this palace is for sure somethin’ else . . . Wall to wall luxury is what!
Not that us guys got to take time to stare, for sure.
Soon as we get inside the palace gates old Herod he hauled us into the great hall and told us what was happenin’ and what he expected from us guys . . .
Lights up slowly
Eli, Caiaphas and other priests and teachers are on stage talking among themselves, mostly facing upstage
Sam, Sid, Sheeree, and Herod are off to the side, supposedly unseen by the rest
Herod: There, the lot assembled for you, go find out all we need to know . .
The loudmouth is the chief priest Caiaphas.
And the one off to the side is Eli, the one who claims to be lead teacher of the law.
Those are the two that will do most of the talking . . . not necessarily the smartest of the lot, definitely the loudest.
Sheeree: Then lets get at it.
Herod: You stay here, women aren’t real welcome in these kind of events.
Sheeree: That smacks of a sexist comment, what happened to women’s rights?
The complete script, plus all 2,000 other DramaShare scripts, are available at no charge to DramaShare members, non-members may purchase the individual script.