An Independent View on “The Book of Mormon”
A satirical show about a couple of Mormon missionaries created by Trey Parker and Matt Stones in 2011 still demonstrates its vitality on Broadway. Let alone the 9 Tony Awards the musical got before, now it keeps having a huge impact on theathergoers and just random people. The play is being put on in many regions of the country but now one of the touring productions came back to the Madison and is running the performance at Overture Hall, you can buy tickets to The Book of Mormon here.
Creators of the famous “South Park” probably didn’t expect that their “The Book of Mormon” will keep a bar on a high level for so long time. This massive hit stroked the audience to the heart on Wednesday night: after the show many viewers have discussed its vulgarity and wondered how it can be real. The other visitors were amused by its comical component and found it very sweet.
The protagonists of the show are young Mormon missionaries dressed all in formal wear – white shirt and thin ties are included. While the original roles are played by Gabe Gibbs as Elder Price and Josh Gad as Elder Cunningham, in the Wednesday’s show we can see another actors on their places. Kevin Clay and Conner Pierson do the job not as well as the main actors; although Pierson were very close to display a Cunningham’s character.
These two guys were headed south to Uganda where they realized that dreams not always work out. They try in vain to draw the locals’ attention to the Mormonism but all their good intention could not stand against the grim reality of life in Africa. People here are struggling with diseases, suffering from genital mutilations and are still under control of cruel warlords. The tribe have their own “Hakuna Matata” if refer to the “Lion King”.
It is very funny to watch confusions which appear between the locals and the missionaries during the last ones stay in Uganda. A huge gap between cultures leads to emergence of ridiculous mishaps and wakes the interest how the characters are going to deal with it. Every little thing happening on the stage raises a chuckle: sometimes you will be surprised with your sudden laughter outbreaks. The satire in the musical is unbeatable, those comic payoffs are seems to be topical forever.
In the second act you will see an unexpected twist in a plot: the Ugandans will change the Mormon story as much as the Mormons affected the original Christian history.
It worth noting, the pranks about both Mormons and Africans are not meant to offend somebody. While the highly-religious people are not recommended to watch the play, the main moral to this story is the peculiarities of human nature. The musical is about humans in general, not about some categories of people whether it be worshippers or members of any nationality.
Even if you are easily-offended person, the energetic dances and high-spirited songs soften the mockery. Nobody leave the show aggrieved: the atmosphere of a nice party will melt you. Look at P.J Adzima as Elder Mckinley – the leading dancer of missionaries. He resembles a teenager from an old documentary about a good hygiene.
A memorable scene is also “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” that makes us thrown into the tensions of the inner world of Elder Price and his darkest fears. You will visit the Hades where Satan, Jeffrey Dahmer and Johnny Cochrane perform their composition. Pierson’s and Robinson’s (who obtained the role of Ugandan girl Nabulungi) contribute a punch line into the show.
Of course, “The Book of Mormon” musical is not propaganda of LDS Church and it’s unlikely, that somebody will make a decision to join it after watching it. Moreover, it is full of skepticism and will be hardly greeted by church members. The artistic value of this performance is huge: it demonstrates the powerful combination of song’s beauty and brilliant acting. If the run in Madison is already sold out, participate in Overture’s lottery or search for the ticket on secondary services. Such event may never happen again.