I gasped aloud when Book of Mormon was announced at the Marcus Center season announcement last year; it was by far my most anticipated show of the year, arguably the most buzzed about musical of my generation, and I’m happy to say it 100% lived up to my expectations!
It seems a little bit ridiculous to call a musical with a whole song devoted to saying “fuck you” to God and the phrase “rape a baby” used multiple times traditional, but in a lot of ways, Book of Mormon is a very classic musical, which I love. It has belting, over the top production numbers, tap dancing…all the things that musical fans alongside the raunchy humor. The adherence to classic tropes and structures definitely strengthens the satire. The stylistic similarities to South Park abound, but I thought that the humor in Book of Mormon was (…slightly) more restrained, which it benefited from. Although I will say that one of the highlights of the show was the “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” number which I can practically see animated in my head. It was a true moment of cartoons come alive, and it was awesome.
The cast was great (we actually had an actor change at intermission, but both of the Elder Prices did a wonderful job!), very cool set design, and the entire crowd was cracking up throughout the show. What more could you want? I highly recommend anyone who is on the fence about going just go for it. The ticket lottery even gives you an awesome opportunity to see the show for just $25!
Not really relevant to the show, but I found it very interesting that there were (actual, I assume) Mormons outside the theater talking to people and the playbill was full of advertisements for Mormonism. It’s definitely a bold marketing strategy…when will people be more intrigued in learning more about the actual facts of Mormonism, after all? I was not personally moved to pick up a Book of Mormon, but as a marketer, I was definitely intrigued by that initiative!
Book of Mormon runs through May 31 at the Marcus Center for Performing Arts.