Mike had enjoyed watching The Ten Commandments at Easter/Passover before I met him, but I think it took the addition of me and our friend Julianna to turn this event into performance art. From the pompous introduction by Cecil B. DeMille to the reference to the Lost Ark of the Covenant at the end, this movie is one, long, participatory celebration for us. We eagerly await our favorite lines, delivered with gusto by this cast of brilliant hams. We cheer as Yul Brynner flourishes his cape, as Anne Baxter slinks and purrs and rages. We love how Charlton Heston over-pronounces his consonants when he says "God" (sounds like "ihGGahDDuh"). By the time we reach the Exodus, we're exhausted from laughter, and we usually watch much of the rest of the movie on fast forward. We pay no attention at all to the actual delivery of the 10 commandments; for us, the movie is effectively over when Rameses returns from the Red Sea, and instead of killing Nefretiri, drops into his throne, and the two stare blankly forward, defeated.
In 1995, Julianna showed up with a theme dessert: a Red Sea of Jello and Cool Whip, parted by a paper Moses standing at one end. The Jello creation immediately became the centerpiece of our holiday tradition. Most of these have been photographed,* so I have used them to create my first Flickr set. The exhibit is best viewed by scrolling to the bottom of the page and working your way up. Enjoy!
*Sadly, no photographic record remains of 2001's creation of the Hounds and Jackals board game, or of 1997, our one departure from "The Ten Commandments" to watch "Ben Hur" (Julianna created, of course, the chariot race in Jello).