Sure, you can spend your nights listening to classical music, or crying yourself to sleep to the Les Miserables soundtrack, and probably score some points for you sensitive side. Where’s the fun in that? The fun, my friends, resides in the highly offensive, absurdly hilarious The Book of Mormon.
If you don’t know, The Book of Mormon is the brainchild of Denver’s favorite delinquents, South Park’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker. Oh boys, thank you so much for creating this freak of nature. The music could still make you cry at night, but from choking, as you try and catch your breath between laughing fits.
I ventured out of CO to frolic around in New York City, but mostly to satisfy my curiosity of how the same men that introduced us to Mr. Hanky could write a Tony Award-winning musical—it won nine! It probably helped that co-writer Robert Lopez was responsible for another Broadway comedic gem, Avenue Q.
I assumed it would be a musical satire—dialogue-driven with a leaping Mormon spectacle in bike shorts set to a pleasing but not miraculous, score. I should have known better. Not only was the script fantastic, but the musical performances left me speechless and snorting. Parker and Stone have always had a flair for clever lyrics, as seen in both South Park the movie and the show, but this was taken to a new, wickedly wrong, level. There was even some homage to classic musicals, parody of course, but none the less delightful. It was a serious musical that didn’t take itself too seriously, but I guess you really can’t with a plot that revolves around Mormon and AIDS jokes.
The leads were phenomenal vocalists. Andrew Rannells won a Tony for his portrayal of Elder Price, one of the two Mormon missionaries sent to Africa only to realize it is nothing like Lion King. I freaked when I saw Josh Gad from the movie The Rocker prancing around on stage. As one of the Mormon missionaries. The creepy one. The one you would run into in the back alley of a Comic Book Convention dressed as Princess Leah leading his imaginary friends into battle against the unenlightened and unbaptized Orcs.
He was great, and man can he sing. His range was incredible, going from the high-pitched, girly, nerd voice he sported all night to deep opera-like booms, to nailing a hard rock number. However, my favorite numbers were the ones performed by the chorus. The songs incorporated some of the darker, and consequently funnier lyrics. Unfortunately, these songs, like “Turn it Off” and “Hasa Diga Eebowai,” are ferociously catchy, and I have to remind myself to try not to belt them out too loudly in public so I don’t get beat up or get things thrown at my head. Worth it.
If you can find tickets, and happen to be cruising around in New York City, don’t miss this show. If not, just grab a copy of the soundtrack and fill in the blanks yourself. You don’t have to see the show to imagine what could possibly be going on. Who knows, maybe your version will be funnier. Maybe. Here is what to expect.
Cheers to Matt Stone and Trey Parker for once again proving that they are possibly the greatest and most demented minds ever to come from the Mile High City. And that you are never too old to laugh so hard you pee a little.