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Review of the Musical The Book of Mormon

July 18, 2013

The Book of Mormon is taking the US by storm; it is difficult to get tickets both on Broadway, on tour and in the UK. We were lucky enough to book early and get tickets while they were on tour in Washington DC showing at the Kennedy Center. The tickets were incredibly expensive, and for not amazing seats, so we were hoping it wasn’t all hype and was going to be a good night out.

The Book of Mormon has been created and written by the creators of South Park Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and also Robert Lopez, who had co-created Avenue Q, another comedic musical. I went in expecting laughs and having seen South Park some very rude parts. We arrived at the Kennedy Center by the shuttle bus from the metro, which I think is a fantastic idea, although it is a short walk, the heat makes the shuttle bus very welcome, and it is free. The center itself is massive, and is fairly impressive, like most other buildings in DC. There was a free performance before the musical began, a gift shop and an area to get something to snack on during the show.

The musical was based on Mormon’s, and two particular young Mormon men who are sent off to spread the word of the Book of Mormon. Elder Price, the star Mormon wants to go to Orlando, but instead is paired with Elder Cunningham and they are sent together to Uganda, which is not to Price’s liking. They have many issues to overcome in Africa, but will they pull together as a pair to be a success in this country in the eyes of God, Jesus and of course the Mormon Mission President? We shall see, and through the medium of song and dance.

The songs are great, the music is catchy and the dancers and singers are fantastic, the acting is great as well. Moving onto the comedic value of the musical, which of course is its main pull.

The comedy was far less tame than South Park, but I think to appeal to a wider audience it has to be, most of the people in the audience at the theatre were older and probably not too familiar with South Park. It was still funny, with the occasional F-word and some good traditional potty humour. The first half was not as funny as I had expected, but the second half had me laughing out loud, as were many other members of the audience. The last few songs in particular were very clever and very funny.

I think that this musical appeals to a wide variety of people, young and old will enjoy the humour, songs and dancing. South Park watchers can spot the similarities to the show and those who have not seen South Park don’t need to worry. Most of all, the musical makes you think not just about the Mormon religion, but about Christianity and religion as a whole, and I would find it interesting to see what people take from this musical, especially the differences between those who are religious and those who are not.

If you are lucky enough to get tickets, I would go, and expect an evening of fun and laughter with some songs along the way.

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