12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A Mormon on The Book of Mormon,
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This review is from: The Book of Mormon (Audio CD)
As a card-carrying, current and lifelong Mormon, returned missionary, and musical theater lover, I love this show! I should say I love the cast recording and look forward to seeing the show. (Make sure you buy the MP3 album with [+Digital Booklet] in the title for photos, story synopsis, and lyrics.)
This is the most sacrilegious and yet spiritually moving musical I have ever experienced. It is wildly creative, brilliant, and hilarious. I kept laughing so hard I was choking with tears running down my face. I wonder if someone who isn't a longtime Mormon and hasn't been a missionary could possibly find this as funny as I did, but I can see this entertaining both Mormons and "Gentiles" ;-D alike.
No, I won't be listening to this with my kids for Family Home Evening. It's not for kids, unless you want to explain how the Mormon missionaries in the show, who are serving in Uganda, respond to such genuine Third World horrors as female genital mutilation, raping babies (since older virgins are getting hard to find) as a "cure" for AIDS, and the villagers giving themselves dysentery by contaminating their own drinking water. But by golly, these guys are there to do good, and they do good, one way or another.
It isn't the deliberately shocking and offensive vulgarity of "Hasa Diga Eebowai" ("FU God") or "Joseph Smith American Moses" that's so funny. The extremities of the in-your-face, envelope-pushing profanity made me queasy. They're obviously trying to make darn good and sure even semi-strait-laced folks are appalled. I respect artistic freedom, but I wish the creators had respected the sensibilities of decent, believing listeners, of any religion, a little more. At least it's the natives, not the missionaries, who are flirting with lightning strikes! In spite of the vulgarity, it's the whole show that's priceless.
Now, just like an uptight Catholic is not going to like Nunsense, an uptight Mormon is not going to like The Book of Mormon. There's a bit of artistic license taken with Mormon beliefs, but at least the affectionate ridicule is fairly accurate. If you're struggling to "just believe," then maybe this isn't the musical for you. On the other hand, if you have thoughtfully and prayerfully considered your questions, walked through the fire of doubt without "turning it off," and emerged with a mature and surer faith, then you may well love this show.
The performances are fantastic. Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells must be the most talented missionary companions ever. And wow, did Nikki M. James deserve the Tony she won for her portrayal of Nabulungi. James's "Sal Tlay Ka Siti" and Gad and James's "Baptize Me" (even immersed in innuendo) are two of the sweetest songs you'll ever hear from a Broadway stage.