A lot has been said about The Book of Mormon in the last few years, so I knew going into it that I should expect a hilarious show. What I wasn't expecting was the level of excellence across the board. The catchy songs, the choreography and the actual performances by the actors were all wonderful. Yes, it's a show written by the creators of "South Park," but it's also a Broadway musical and includes everything that you would expect from something of that genre.
We're introduced to two Mormon missionaries who are traveling to Uganda. The odd couple have the classic characteristics of any opposites buddy comedy. Christopher John O'Neill is particularly entertaining in the quirky sidekick role of Elder Cunningham. Mark Evans plays his counterpart, the earnest Elder Price with unfettered enthusiasm. The two naive missionaries find themselves in the midst of a tiny village which is being attacked by everything from AIDS to militants armed with machine guns.
The Book of Mormon has gotten a reputation for offending traditional Broadway lovers. This is an incredibly easy situation to avoid. The show has quite a few plot points and uses language that some people are going to find inappropriate. If bad language in any format offends you, don't go see this show. There were patrons who left at the intermission, something that probably happens at every performance. Don't buy tickets if you're worried about the content offending you, just wait for the next musical that comes through town.
If, on the other hand, you know what to expect and it sounds like it's right up your alley, you're only going to be impressed by what you fine. The songs are great, the plot moves quickly, social commentary and sarcasm are woven into every scene, and the overall production is well done. The show dances within the normal Broadway bounds, while putting its own unique spin on the traditions. For example, they'll use a tap number, like "Turn It Off" but make it their own and it works beautifully.
This was absolutely one of the highlights of the Broadway across America season and I don't doubt they will have no trouble selling out at each show. If you're interested in seeing it check immediately for any available tickets. This isn't going to be a show with a lot of open seats in the final day.
Don't Miss the Show
The show runs until Sunday, June 22 at the Old National Centre (Murat Theatre) so hurry to get tickets. Tickets can be purchased at Clowes Memorial Hall, The Murat Theatre, by calling (800)-982-2787 or online here. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Photos courtesy of Broadway Across America