Any stage musical that has the balls to have Adolf Hitler, Johnnie Cochran, Genghis Khan, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Starbucks Coffee featured together on stage in a hell dream deserves many critical eyes upon it. The Book Of Mormon, the musical by the masterminds behind television’s South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, is all kinds of outrageous fun. I walked out of the theater not really knowing what I had just watched. It has all the typical elements of a big Broadway show, yet this show features very edgy and over-the-top use of profanity, sexuality, racism and religion. The music, choreography, and execution are very fast-paced and some of the best and most creative that I've seen in quite some time.
The Book Of Mormon took home nine Tony Awards in 2011 including Best Musical. The musical follows two Mormon missionaries as they depart on a 2 year mission to Uganda. Once there, the boys discover that life in Uganda is less than glamorous with the plight of warlords, drought, and AIDS wreaking havoc on life. The Book Of Mormon features many great songs, one of the more memorable is The Lion King-esque “Hasa Diga Eebowai", a whimsical number which translates into “F*
ck you, God!”. From there comes “Turn It Off”, a song about
how the Mormons teach to turn off their inappropriate thoughts. “I Am Africa” had the
white missionaries nonsensically singing about how they are one with Africa.
The show is what you would expect from the South Park boys; witty and edgy humor, thought provoking enough for the highbrow theater crowd, but enough silliness for the lowbrow theatergoers as well. At many points, the show reminded me of the silliness of Stone and Parker's Team America: World Police. The younger and older members of the audience laughed equally at the shows humor and gags. The conservative, older woman sitting a few seats away from me was laughing so hard throughout the performance, almost to the point of choking. Funny enough, the Mormon church has embraced this show with 3 advertisements for the church placed within this shows playbill.
The Book Of Mormon has proven to be so massively popular that tickets for the 2 week Detroit run sold out almost instantly. Broadway In Detroit has been releasing a few additional tickets on each performance day and is also running a lottery for 20 main floor tickets per performance at $29 each. Check Ticketmaster or BroadwayinDetroit's facebook page for more information on tickets. Book Of Mormon runs through March 24 at Detroit's Fisher Theatre!