Oriental Theatre
The Book of Mormon
November 20 – December 2, 2018.

Jacques Smith, Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is an international sensation that has won 9 Tony Awards and is considered the funniest musical of all times; it is the first Broadway Musical by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the Creators of South Park. This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the Good Word!
Let’s Play had the pleasure of talking candidly with Jacques Smith, one of the stars of this hilarious, uncompromising musical!
LP: You have been a trailblazer in many theatre productions over your career. How did you get your start?   
JS: Probably the first time that I ever performed in front of an audience would have been in church when I was really young. However, I credit my drama experience at Thornton Township High School in Harvey as the beginning of my acting journey. I was given great foundational training, and I was provided with exposure to wonderful dramatic literature there. Although, I didn’t consider pursuing acting as a career until my final year at Princeton, I decided that I would apply to graduate Acting Programs in order to get an M.F.A. in acting. From there, I began working professionally.
LP: You graduated from Thornton Township High School and then went to Princeton University. Can you please provide some words of wisdom that can benefit a student from your school and your community about what it means to be successful?
JS: I would tell any student from my community or alma mater that any of his/her dreams, even when they are told that they’re far-fetched, can become a reality. The key is hard work and perseverance. Most pathways to success include some obstacles or failures. So, it’s imperative to forge through the difficult moments and keep striving toward your dreams.
LP: Tell us about your role in BOM, as Mafala Hatimbi?
JS: Mafala is the father of the main female character in the show. He also serves as a father figure to his community. At times, the community looks to him or uses him as a gauge to assess how they should react to some of the new circumstances with which they are presented during the show. He is a realist who also provides some humor, as most characters in the show do.
LP: In your words, please tell our readers why they should come to see The Book of Mormon?
JS: If they like Broadway musicals, The Book of Mormon has all of the classic Broadway elements. It’s the winner of 9 Tony awards, including Best Musical. The show is playing presently in Australia and the West End, which highlights its worldwide appeal. Plus, it features the humor of Matt Stone and Trey Parker (The creators of “South Park”). It’s an incredibly fun night at the theater.
LP: Is there anything, in particular, you are looking forward to in coming home to Chicago?
 JS: I always love performing in my hometown. Many friends and former teachers will be able to see me perform. Also, fortunately, our schedule has made it such that we get to be in Chicago during Thanksgiving week. So I’m looking forward to spending time with my family during the Thanksgiving season. Being on tour usually means not being with family during holidays. So this time is truly special. Being here at this time also means I’ll be able to have my mother’s sweet potato pie – can’t beat that for Thanksgiving!
Brenda and Rick McCain

Let’s Play would like to thank Margie Korshak, Inc. for access to this interview.

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