Oriental Theatre Presents
The Book of Mormon
Features book, music, and lyrics
by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez,
and Matt Stone
Playing Now – December 2, 2018
It’s like the night before Christmas, but this time it’s the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the Oriental Theatre, not one creature was silent, not even a mouse. “The Book of Mormon” had its opening night, and the house was filled with laughter. This play is just ridiculously funny! The best gut laugh of the year.
In 2011, “The Book of Mormon,” a musical comedy opened its door to rave reviews, and the fun continues seven years later to a packed house. This play that pokes fun at the Mormon faith and just about anything and everything that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints practices is one of the funniest performances in theater, television or movies.
Following two Mormon missionaries fresh out of training, they are presented with a two-year mission to cleanse the soul of the sinner and bring them to the salvation of The Lord. They are sent to a remote part of Uganda to convert inhabitants to their faith. One character named Elder Price, who would have preferred Disney World in Orlando as his preferred mission location, is paired with Elder Cunningham, a misfit with a vivid imagination who can’t seem to do anything right.
The start of their missionary trip begins with their luggage being confiscated and villagers who are uninterested in their Jesus who hasn’t done anything for them. Their land is filled with famine, AIDS, oppression and a ruthless ruler. When the missionaries arrive at the place where they will live for the next two years, they are met with several other Mormon missionaries, hoping that their presence will help them convert the stiff-neck
people in Uganda lead by Mafala (Jacques C. Smith) and his enthusiastic daughter Nabulungi (Kayla Pecchioni).
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who are best known as the creators of “South Park,” collaborate with Robert Lopez who co-wrote the music for the musical Avenue Q and for composing the songs for Disney’s films Frozen and Coco, are amazing together. After several years of developing the storyline and lyrics and musical score, the producers make the bold decision to take “The Book of Mormon” straight to the Big Apple, Broadway, which turned out to be a risky but great decision.
This musical continues to pack theaters and receive overwhelmingly positive reviews and has audiences in tears with laughter. How can you not laugh at songs like “Hasa Diga Eebowai,” “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream,” and our favorite “Turn It Off.” Also, the decision to change the Uganda warlord name from General Konvin to General Butt Fu**ing Naked is priceless.
Kevin Clay as Elder Price led the cast of Mormon proselytizers with his ever-cheerful demeanor as a new evangelist for spreading the word. But the night goes to Conner Peirson playing Elder Cunningham; Pierson played the role to perfection and should go down as a legend in “Book of Mormon” history as Elder Cunningham. Special applause also goes to Andy Huntington Jones as Elder McKinley. His role as a Mormon fighting his same-sex feelings with the song “Turn It Off” is to die for.
This show that was awarded nine Tony Awards for Best Musical and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album is a must see, can’t miss performance. We tried not to laugh and keep our usual review face on, but this in your face musical brought out our giggly side.
“The Book of Mormon’s” popularity has reached places like Stockholm, Oslo, and Copenhagen and has grossed over $500 million making it one of the most successful musicals of all time.
This play that makes fun of various Mormon beliefs and practices, in the end, endorses the positive power of love and service, but not necessarily The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ faith-based views.
Let’s Play highly recommends this musical so make sure you pick a day to see this play at The Oriental Theatre.