Thursday, 1 March 2012

Leap Day treat: The Book of Mormon

When The Doctor tried to book tickets for the Book of Mormon on Broadway as my Christmas present, he found the show was pretty well sold out for the forseeable future. But then, amazingly, one day popped up as having spare seats- February 29th. Our guess is that the original calendar for the show hadn't taken into account the Leap Year, so this date suddenly became available. The tickets were still outrageously expensive, but then, this is the hottest show on Broadway - and I got to see it yesterday as a Leap Day treat.

I've wanted to see the show ever since I read an amazingly good review in the New York Times last year. In fact, I wanted to see it anyway - I love anything by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and particularly loved their take on musicals in the film South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut. They can be absolutely shocking, but I have huge admiration for their black, irreverent humour and the way they are not afraid to skewer any sacred cows.

The production did not disappoint. The story of two naive Mormon missionaries who are sent to Uganda, it is a glorious pisstake not only of Mormonism (and let's face it, we urgently need this when Mitt Romney, a Mormon, could become the next President of the USA) but of all religion, and, like quite a lot of Parker and Stone's other stuff, also neatly satirizes how America sees the world. But it's also a fabulous show - it's got great song and dance numbers, hilariously funny characters, and even a (sort of) moral. And, if you're a fan or otherwise of musical theatre, you'll appreciate in particular how the songs reference a number of well-known musicals, including The Lion King and Les Miserables.

This is very edgy, foul-mouthed comedy and whether or not you'd get away with putting this show on anywhere outside New York (or perhaps California) I don't know. I'm sure swathes of Middle America would hate it, but the Manhattan audience absolutely loved it - and the fact that tickets are so hard to come by says it all. I hear it's coming to London soon, so UK readers, watch out for a West End production. Don't go and see it if you're a) a Mormon, b) easily shocked or c) would not like a song whose main lyrics translate as 'F*** God. Do go and see if you a) like black, black humor b) love South Park, and c) have ever been to Orlando.

6 comments:

Michelloui | The American Resident said...

This sounds FANTASTIC! This is a great review. I've read something recently on The Book of Mormon and thought 'yeah, prob ok' but reading this makes me really want to see it.

MsCaroline said...

I'm a huge SP fan and would love to see this show! I actually heard something on NPR to the effect that Mormons are not particularly offended by this show and many actually like it! I seriously doubt we'll get a chance to see it while we're in Seoul...maybe when we move back to the US. Lucky you - hurrah, Leap Year!

Knackered Mother said...

Love that, I'd not heard anything about it! Sounds brilliant..

Suburban Princess said...

What a great way to spend your bonus day!

About Last Weekend said...

I will definitely book this when we next visit there. I am always so wary of musicals, but this one sounds fun and cynical which I love. Yes scary prospect of Mitt being in the White House...As David Sedaris says this is when you're so happy not to be a proper American and reponsible for this nonsense..

nappy valley girl said...

Michelloui - thanks! And yes, it was definitely worth the astronomical price of the tickets.

Ms Caroline - I think I heard the same NPR report, but I find it hard to believe Mormons wouldn't be a little bit offended...it does seriously make fun of their beliefs.

KM - it was!

Suburban Princes - I know! Maybe we should make it a tradition...

ALW - I know, so scary. Although Rick Santorum is even scarier....