So here’s the scoop on “The Book of Mormon.” It’s fabulous! I was so excited that I was able to get tickets that I hardly had time to think about if it would meet my expectations or not. And boy did it meet them! Hilarious, a little over-the-top and mildly offensive at times, but overall lots of fun, with some great songs to dance along to.
The story is a simple one. Two “of age” Mormon men, Arnold and Kevin, get shipped off on their mission to Uganda to try and convert the local people to the “true faith.” Kevin is the Mormon “golden boy.” Handsome, smart, and a leader, his dream is to bring the Mormon faith to the people of Orlando, FL. Sorry Kevin.. Instead he is paired with Arnold, the overweight, frizzy haired, Jonah-Hill-meets-Seth-Rogen-type character with a lying problem. From this beginning, this story takes a lot of hilarious twists and turns, ultimately having Kevin confront an African warlord and Arnold making up the Book of Mormon (which he apparently has never read) and preaching it to the local villagers. With songs like, “A Mormon Just Believes,” “Baptize Me,” and “Man Up,” you know they are going to be funny, but what was pleasantly surprising was that the songs were extremely catchy and fun to dance to (dancing strictly limited to my chair, unfortunately).
Something that I noticed throughout the play is that there were no white women in the cast. In every scene where a white woman was needed, there was instead a member of the male ensemble dressed in drag. I don’t know if this was supposed to be a subliminal message (I could tell all the way in the back row but my friend next to me needed some convincing) or just another level of humor, but it was interesting nonetheless.
I have to say, that along with the funny script and the quirky and catchy songs, the stage and costumes and energy in the play really made it quite a spectacle. Everyone in the audience knew (or at least I hope they knew) what they were getting into and that made the audience very responsive to what was going on onstage. Flashy costumes with glittery vests for the ensemble during a number, costumes of hobbits, Darth Vader, and many other sci-fi characters that Arnold loved, colorful native African clothes, it all added so much to the performance.
The actors themselves, not to be done out by their costumes, were amazingly funny and super talented. Most were great dancers and all had perfect comedic timing. Sometimes I wonder how they could keep a straight face during scenes, but they persevered.
I think my favorite part of the play is the metaphor at the end. In the beginning of the play, the missionaries come out in their black and white Mormon “uniform” with a white shirt and black tie, ringing doorbells trying to convert people. By the end, the Africans have joined in and everyone wears different multi-colored ties and there are women missionaries too. Even though “BOM” might be making fun of everyone and everything in this play, the end really captures a more accepting tone then a rejecting one. I loved this play and I would definitely recommend it to all my friends!
**Disclaimer: material and language is for a mature audience. I wouldn’t recommend for younger audiences**
Can’t believe the semester is coming so quickly to an end! Talk soon readers!