Break a Leg

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#470: “Break a Leg”
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[[:Category:{{{genre}}} Episodes| {{{genre}}}]]

Numbers 10:29-32

29Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We are setting out for the place about which the LORD said, 'I will give it to you.' Come with us and we will treat you well, for the LORD has promised good things to Israel."

30He answered, "No, I will not go; I am going back to my own land and my own people." 31But Moses said, "Please do not leave us. You know where we should camp in the desert, and you can be our eyes.

32If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good things the LORD gives us."

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Break a Leg

“Break a Leg” is episode #470 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written by Nathan Hoobler, and originally aired on May 12, 2001.


In an unfortunate accident, Cal Jordan loses control of his bike. He crashes into Walter Shakespeare, whose leg is broken as a result.



It's the end of another performance at the Harlequin Theatre and Edwin Blackgaard has bigger problems than the pathetic number of people who turned out for the show. They're in financial trouble as usual and their array of "public events" (free performances in the park, at the Harlequin) hasn't motivated the citizens of Odyssey to embrace their theater. Shakespeare has a sure-fire plan-a bike race for the youth of Odyssey. Edwin dismisses the idea as terribly unprofessional, but is persuaded when only one person attends his next show. Weeks later, Shakespeare is trying to balance his schedule of busily preparing for the race and waiting on Edwin hand and foot. The two of them leave to get the registration forms for the race and to correct a poster of the race (Edwin's picture isn't big enough).

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, a school day has ended. Alex Jefferson tells his cousin Cal Jordan about a bike race in McAlister Park this coming Saturday. Cal is excited because he doesn't like his bike. Alex challenges Cal to a preliminary race and the two of them take off across town. Meanwhile, Shakespeare and Edwin are approaching Mr. Gantry's Printing. Just as they round the corner, Cal turns onto the sidewalk for a shortcut. Then he sees Shakespeare ahead! He can't stop! There is a grueling crash as the two of them collide.

Later at the hospital, a doctor tells Shakespeare he'll have to be on crutches for six weeks. Edwin is panic-stricken; he had expected Shakespeare to do all the work for the bike race. Back at the Harlequin, Edwin tries to do things for himself-make tea, mop the floor, even call local radio stations, but the results are nothing short of painful. Cal arrives at the Theater to apologize to Shakespeare, but Edwin puts him to work showing him how to use a stopwatch and asking if he's any good with microwave ovens.

The day of the race arrives. Cryin' Bryan Dern is sarcastically announcing the proceedings as Edwin haltingly conducts the throngs of kids through signing their registration slips. Cal is there to cheer for Alex, but he's still very disappointed about his bike. Finally, the race begins, but Dern cuts to a station break. We're back and the race is almost over. Alex narrowly beats David Straussberg for the prize! When Cal comes over to "congratulate" him, Alex says he has a problem - he has two bikes now. Then he sees the solution-Cal can have his old bike! Cal is shocked, but thanks Alex for the gift.

Hours later, Edwin arrives back at the Theater and presents Shakespeare with a gift - a nameplate for vice-president! Shakespeare is amazed, but Edwin tells him there is one condition-he must get better soon!

Discussion Questions

  1. Why did Cal want to win the race so much?
    • Why was the race important to Edwin?
  2. Edwin said that without Shakespeare, he felt like he'd lost his right hand. What do you think he meant?
  3. It's important to appreciate everything you have. Can you think of anything that God has given you that you haven't been thankful for?
    • How can you start appreciating it?


Heard in episode

Role Voice Actor
Alex Jefferson Travis Tedford
Bart Rathbone Walker Edmiston
Bryan Dern Corey Burton
Cal Jordan Adam Pavlakovich
Edwin Blackgaard Earl Boen
Dr. Franklin Corey Burton
Marty (c) Dave Arnold
Walter Shakespeare Corey Burton

Mentioned in episode

Character Mentioned By
Mr. Gantry Walter Shakespeare
Melvin Steward Edwin Blackgaard
Rachel Jefferson Alex Jefferson
David Straussberg Bryan Dern
Mr. Jefferson Alex Jefferson


VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] Five minutes were cut from the broadcast version of this show that were put back in for the album. These include a scene where Edwin tries his best to make some tea (and causes a major mess in the kitchen) and a scene where Edwin brings tea up to a resting Shakespeare. The opening two scenes between Edwin and Shakespeare are also extended.

  • This episode marks the second 1-on-1 bike race on the program that begins with a character bragging about taking an early lead and ends in an injury-causing crash—the first episode being #337: “W-O-R-R-Y”, with Sam Johnson and Erica Clark.
  • This is also the second episode in which Edwin slips on a freshly-waxed floor—the first being #359: “The Merchant of Odyssey”.
  • Bryan Dern's quote in this episode about wanting someone to knock him out was previously heard in #313: “Top This!” as he is forced to play polka music on the air.
  • A Stingray bike would also be a prize in #600: “The Nudge”.
  • This episode's cast and characters are all male, a frequent occurrence in Edwin-centric episodes.
  • The lines Edwin performs in the opening scene come from Othello.


Edwin Blackgaard: I'll... call a cab. ...Precisely how do you call a cab, Shakespeare?
Walter Shakespeare: With a phone, sir.

Walter Shakespeare: Perhaps if we promote the theater in more innovative ways, people will come to our productions.
Edwin Blackgaard: Innovative? Say you're not thinking about those tacky little pins with our names printed along the edge or a pot holder with my face on it. I have no desire to have hot pans pressed against my face, Shakespeare!

Edwin Blackgaard: Go on, go on! Read what's on it!
Walter Shakespeare: Made in Taiwan.
Edwin Blackgaard: The other side.

Edwin Blackgaard: I found myself doing "to be or not to be" in rap!
Walter Shakespeare: It... drew a crowd, sir.
Edwin Blackgaard: Only because I threw out my back doing the hand gestures!

Edwin Blackgaard: I'd have to have my brain replaced with a broccoli sprout to agree to such a thing!

Edwin Blackgaard: The doctor said you need a break!
Walter Shakespeare: Already have one, sir.

Edwin Blackgaard: I hadn't realized how much I depend on Shakespeare until now. It seems that without him, I've... lost my right hand!
Alex Jefferson: Gross!
Cal Jordan: Cool!