Nine-time Tony Award winner The Book of Mormon is definitely not your traditional musical. The show is often raunchy, condescending, and sweet—but always hilarious, as long as one can get past the cursing and perversion. Which I can and have . . . three times now!
The Book of Mormon is satire at its best although it definitely doesn’t take itself—or any other religion—too seriously. The show opens with the poster child for Mormonism, Elder Price, finishing up at Missionary Training Center as he prepares to go off on his two-year mission. His dreams of converting the people of Orlando are waylaid when he is assigned to a village in Uganda. And to make matters worse, he’s been paired with the awkward liar, Elder Cunningham.
From there everything goes from bad to worse. Elder Price’s views are shaken as he suffers indignity and the shock that nobody quite believes that his religion can save them. Elder Cunningham is pulled in multiple directions as he tries to follow the rules he doesn’t quite understand (seeing as how he hasn’t actually read the Book of Mormon). He then takes matters into his own hands, creating his own version of Mormonism—which is shockingly more relevant even though it includes references to popular science fiction and fantasy—to sway the natives into being baptized.
If you’re not easily offended, the dialogue will have you laughing and several of the songs will have you gasping for air. They are that funny. And wrong! Favorite pieces are Turn it Off, All American Prophet, Man Up, and Spooky Mormon Hell Dream. Once you know the lyrics, it’s hard not to want to sing along!
This touring version of the show—starring Liam Tobin as Elder Price and Jordan Matthew Brown as Elder Cunningham—lived up to the other versions I’ve seen although the standout for me was newcomer Alyah Chanelle Scott as Nabulungi.
If you haven’t seen The Book of Mormon, I suggest seeing it if it passes through (check the schedule here) or you make a trip to New York. If you have seen it . . . I suggest seeing it again. I catch something new every time!
Photo Credit: Julieta Cervantes