Love South Park? You’ll adore The Book of Mormon!
Ever since I saw Angels in America, I was intrigued by Mormonism, this odd religion known for their strong door-to-door evangelism approach. They are kind people, they do not drink and indulge in sinful coffee like yours truly and definitely do not go on epic journeys of self-discovery like Elder Price and Elder Cunningham do!
This show is hilarious, irreverent and very, very silly. The Book of Mormon was written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who created the popular adult cartoon series South Park, plus Robert Lopez who created the US stage hit Avenue Q. It marks Parker and Stone’s Broadway debut… and what a debut it is!
This is the most critically acclaimed new musical for ages, and has won an impressive nine Tony awards: Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical, Best Scenic Design of a Musical, Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Best Sound Design of a Musical, Best Direction of a Musical and Best Orchestrations. It was also nominated for an outstanding six Outer Critics Circle Awards and twelve Drama Desk Awards, so comes with immaculate stage musical credentials.
The Book of Mormon – The story
In a superbly-written musical masterpiece of religious satire, the story reveals the journey of two Salt Lake City Mormons, Elder Price and Elder Cunningham, who are sent on an important mission to convert the people of Uganda to the Mormon religion. When they turn up in a small village, the natives greet them with hostility and as their beliefs and friendships are challenged, a completely hilarious musical comedy unfolds.
Lots of swearing plus sexual and offensive content
(One of the characters constantly announces: “I have maggots in my scrotum” this is definitely the ticket for you.)
This isn’t a musical for the faint hearted. Expect the full complement of wonderfully foul language, sexual content and crude stuff that could easily offend the easily offended! As such it’s a show for grown- ups aged seventeen plus.
If you’re a fan of razor-sharp scripting, beautiful sets and an excellent musical score, it’s billed to be one of the hottest tickets in town. Sheer satirical magic.
As you might guess, the narrative is largely inconsequential. Rather it offers a platform for a variety of vastly entertaining songs, punctuated by dialogues about the nature of belief and the functions of religion. It gently mocks the Mormon faith, but its practitioners are clearly the good guys. Crucially, the stellar cast ensures that they are enormous fun to be around. Nic Rouleau sparkles as the self-obsessed Elder Price, bringing an irrepressible joie de vivre to the early numbers (“You and Me (But Mostly Me)” and “All-American Prophet” were performed to hilariously egotistical effect) and an amusingly bitter edge to his descent in fortune.
How to React When a Mormon Knocks on Your Door
Even if you do not agree with their beliefs, conversing with a Mormon can help you in the process of exploring God. What should you do when a Mormon approaches you?
• Be gracious. Remember, Mormon missionaries are often treated rudely or completely ignored. Even if you do not want to hear them out, you can still show them respect.
• Listen to their story. Ask them why they believe what they believe. Their personal stories will help you understand how others make these important decisions.
• Ask about history and practices. Mormons have a complex history. This includes historical claims and shifting positions on polygamy, racial issues, and gender roles.7 Conversing with another about the difficult areas of their beliefs will help you articulate your own.
• Compare with the Bible. Though Mormons claim to be Christians, they do rely on a very different set of scriptures. Understanding the similarities and differences will teach you about both Mormonism and orthodox Christianity.
• Decide for yourself. Jesus promises that if you “seek you will find.”8 The process of exploring God can take you to many places. Be open but discerning.