Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Book of Mormon: A Raucous Good Time

A few weeks ago, I went to see The Book of Mormon with my boss and her family. That should tell you everything you need to know about my relationship with my boss. This show premiered in 2011 and four years later, I finally saw what all the fuss is about. If you have been dithering about seeing this musical, stop procrastinating and get on over to the Eugene O'Neill Theater.

The show follows Elder Price and Elder Cunningham, young Mormon missionaries who have just completed their training and are eager to get their assignment for their first mission. Price is the over-achieving all-star, the perfect Mormon who has read all the books, knows all the material, and is ready to go forth and proselytize. He is secretly hoping to get posted in his favorite place in the world: Orlando. Cunningham is the weird schlub of the group, the unpopular, ADD kid who is full of enthusiasm, but is a bit of an embarrassment and just can't seem to get it together. So he is delighted when his posting is announced and he has been paired with Elder Price to go to Uganda. Understandably, Price is less than thrilled.

The two of them arrive in Uganda to find a village besieged by murderous army generals and ravaged by AIDS. They meet their fellow missionaries at the Mormon outpost and find a group of men who are depressed about still not having successfully baptized any of the villagers, but who are also adept at earnestly masking their disappointment (and other unacceptable feelings) through some cheery song and dance. Be warned, The Book of Mormon is filled with some of the cheeriest and filthiest songs you will hear on Broadway. You will be humming them to yourself for days but the lyrics are more than a little NSFW.

The show is such a lot of fun that I am loath to go into any more detail about the plot. Suffice to say, there are crises of faith, a lot of religious satire, hilarious twists and turns, and several over-the-top shenanigans and dream sequences that feature the Devil and Hitler, if things weren't wild enough for you. It is a spectacularly silly and wonderful musical, hugely offensive to anyone without a sense of humor, but wildly entertaining otherwise. Written by the creators of South Park, it was never meant to be everyone's cup of tea but if you love satire, profanity, and grand musical numbers, you need to check out The Book of Mormon. If you don't care for such things, all I can say is Hasa Diga.

No comments:

Post a Comment