A Review of “The Book of Mormon”
Unconventionally, I went with my family to see the Book of Mormon. Granted we’re all eighteen or over, this seemed at least somewhat appropriate. Going in, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I have heard about the musical both from friends and the internet, but I didn’t know exactly how I felt seeing it with my parents. So I took them out for drinks before hand and then we made out way in. I thought the play started out strong, my favourite song was the first one, “Hello!” I think what is the most interesting part of this play is the mere fact that someone had to come up with it. The creators of this play (and it’s broadcast everywhere) also were writers of South Park, which actually says a lot about the play as a whole. Actually, to have an entire musical, full length, dedicated (for lack of better word) to a religion is genius. Although the musical might be titled “The Book of Mormon” I have found that Mormonism can be switched with any other faith and the themes remain. The Latter-day Saints have their own beliefs and sure, the play tends to poke fun at them, but the writers over-do it enough for even Mormons themselves to find it ridiculous.
There are harsh themes in this play. For one, it addressing religion head on and it shows how people can quickly fall in and out of faith, something that is relatable to many people. It also shows, in a lighter tone, the realities of life in the third-world country of Uganda. As assumed, these misfortunes are told through song and dance and colourful costume. The two main characters, Elder Price and Cunningham are an ‘odd couple’ but they somehow make it work out, even though Price doesn’t really want to be in Uganda for his mission. So there’s that concept of how opposites attracting even though they have little in common (besides the fact that they’re both Mormons). My only critique of the play is that the characterisation gets lost in what is happening around them. The writers could’ve really delved deep into the minds of the characters, but then it wouldn’t have been as funny. But from the very start, we get an idea of who they are: Kevin Price being an uptight, devout Mormon and Cunningham being a lovable, but misguided, outcast. Even the supporting characters are eccentric, adding a sense of depth to the story.
Something that was really well-done in this play was the music. There were several songs that were memorable and fun, while also telling the story in a witty and unique way. The clever lyrics and the wonderful tap number in (“Turn It Off”) sold it for me. I also think the actors themselves sold the story as realistic and their acting was on point. Of course, this play is off-colour and audience members have to be 18 or older, due to its mature humour. It doesn’taccurately depict Mormonism (so I’m told) or the lives of the Ugandans. But the play is humorous and quite entertaining. There are trials and turmoils as can be expected, but it has some heart in there too. It will make you feel good and it is worth spending a night watching.