[title size=”1 to 6″ style=”options: default, sidebar”]Letter Grade: A[/title]
What happens when you take the guys responsible for one of our generation’s greatest cultural phenomenon in South Park and have them create a Broadway musical? Well, hilarity, for one. But in addition to a scathing satirical wit, Book of Mormon also offers visual and musical delight in what many are calling the funniest stage play in recent years. Having visited Omaha for ten straight days, Midwestern audiences were finally able to learn the rich history of the Church of the Latter Day Saints.
The musical focuses on two evangelists, the successful and driven Elder Price and the obnoxious Elder Cunningham, as they are sent to Uganda to spread the good word of the Mormon church. When they arrive in Africa, however, they experience quite the culture shock as they come face to face with disease, poverty, and a warlord hellbent on terrorizing local villages. That all may sound pretty dark and cumbersome for a comedic musical but in the classic style of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, these serious topics are given a unique comedic spin that audiences can’t help but laugh at.
Perhaps the best part about the play is how masterful the stage production is. Book of Mormon truly utilizes every aspect the medium of stage musicals has to offer, and there is rarely ever a moment that the audience isn’t entertained. On top of that, the acting was top notch, and it felt like every actor truly adopted the persona of their characters. Additionally, the musical score is stellar. Shelling out a few bucks for the soundtrack is more than a worthwhile investment, one that not even the stingiest penny pincher could argue against.
What makes Book of Mormon so great in the end is that it never seems to attack the Mormon faith. Instead, Trey Parker and Matt Stone have chosen to juxtapose two entirely different cultures, deriving the humor for the interactions of those two groups. Even though the play does occasionally poke fun at the Mormon faith, there is never an instance where it is over-the-top cruel or insensitive, which makes it an endearing story for audiences of any belief system.
Book of Mormon is one of those things that you just can’t pass up seeing. Twenty years from now, you will want to be able to say you saw Book of Mormon on stage, and even though it may be too late to see it in Nebraska in the near future, you can always travel to the next state to host the show, which is pretty good excuse for any type of trip.