Ticket Type: Balcony – Limited Leg Room (didn’t make much of a difference for us), Viewing Angle: Reasonably far back stage-right – could still see everything. Price: $69 from the box office Location: Eugene O’Neill Theatre
The Book of Mormon is the funniest show I saw on Broadway. Trey Parker, Matt Stone & Robert Lopez take the best aspects of humour from South Park and apply it to a musical about two young Mormon missionaries who head to Africa in an attempt to get as many baptisms possible. It doesn’t take long for you
to figure out whether or not the humour is too confronting, if you’re laughing for the first 20 mins or to the end of the song “Hasa Diga Eebowai” (The comedic highlight) without the urge to leave you’ll love the show.
The tone of the show embraces the stage musical and yet never takes itself too seriously. Interestingly, the message doesn’t seem to target/criticise Mormons as much as you’d expect, but more so man’s ability to manipulate religion to their will and control people at points of desperation. It does somehow criticise religion as much as it compliments it by appreciating the guidance it provides but criticises specific denominations as a concept.
Ben Platt of Pitch Perfect fame makes the role of Elder Cunningham his own and incredibly likeable, a difficult task after Josh Gad originated the role. He pays more of the weird sentiments and gawky socially awkward motivations while Nic Rouleau (Elder Price) is adequately preppy in the role.
The choreography is perfectly cheesy, yet complicated. It’s not choreography for choreography’s sake, it adds to the story, characterisation and the whole experience of the show. The set remains pretty static for the whole show, predominately being set in an African Village, with the only major scene change occurring for the visual delight of “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream”.
This is a great show, prepare to be offended, prepare to laugh your ass off! The best way to describe it is as the best humour from South Park put in to songs in a more accessible way.