Courtesy of Julieta Cervantes
Ever since its original premier in 2011, I have heard nothing but rave reviews about THE BOOK OF MORMON. It has been on my bucket list of musicals and when I saw it was coming to the SAFE Credit Union Performing Art’s Center, I waited with eager anticipation. The night leading up to the performance, I was expecting a play that was funny, absurd…and a little offensive. THE BOOK OF MORMON gave me all that and a whole lot more.
Take a journey with Elder Price (Sam McLellan) and Elder Cunningham (Sam Nackman) as they embark on their mission to Uganda. Elder Price is seen as the perfect missionary and is determined to do something incredible, a determination which often causes him to get in his own way. Elder Cunningham is a compulsive liar, but ultimately just wants to be a good Mormon. The mismatched missionaries are challenged in various ways on their mission, all of which lead to hilarious and sometimes outrageous situations.
The songs vary quite a bit in the material that is cover with “Hasa Diga Eebowai,” “All-American Prophet,” and “Joseph Smith American Moses” having the more risqué material some of which I can’t even type out. Even with the shocking topics, the actors added amazing facial expressions and body language while singing that made each situation very comical. It also helps that the songs are so catchy you can’t help but have a smile on your face.
I had listened to the soundtrack many times in the past, so while I was prepared for the songs, I wasn’t prepared for the incredible dancing that came with it! Each dance was very precise and fit with the songs perfectly. Some parts even had some goofy dancing which added another layer of comedy to the scene. I was even more surprised when some numbers, like “Turn It Off” and “Man Up” had costume changes to go with it. The dance numbers paired with the songs, acting, and scenery made the whole experience a delight to see.
While THE BOOK OF MORMON is filled with obscene antics, there are many touching moments to the show that give it a softer light. It challenges the ideas of organized religion and the white savior complex while showing that faith can make a difference not only in people’s lives but within the community.
With all that said, I highly recommend saying Hello! to THE BOOK OF MORMON at the SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center playing through Sunday November 13th! Learn more about it here.