Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
NOT for the "faint of heart"!
on July 10, 2014
The Book of Mormon made quite a splash when it first appeared on Broadway. On paper, there is no way that this musical should have worked, but through the genius of Matt Stone & Trey Parker, it does. They have the gift of being able to take a controversial subject and mock it almost to the point of being offensive without actually crossing the line. They do so here with abandon.
This version includes not only the original Broadway cast recording, but also a digital e-book. For fans of the show, it is a fun resource to have. it includes photos from the original Broadway production, a full synopsis of the show and songs, all the lyrics to all the songs, and an introduction by Frank Rich, notable former theater critic and columnist for the New York Times, currently with New York Magazine. Rich gives an even-handed, objective analysis of the show, comparing its themes to other, more familiar Broadway works of times gone by.
For those who are not familiar with this show, the plot involves a group of young Mormon men who are being sent out into the world for their two year "mission." The opening song, "Hello," shows them practicing their technique for going door-to-door with the intent of introducing people to their religion. In "Two By Two," the young men discover not only who their missionary partner will be for the next two years, but also their destinations. When the lead character, Elder Price, discovers he has been paired with Elder Cunningham, he assures Elder Cunningham that Price will carry most of the missionary burden in "You And Me (But Mostly Me)."
Things go awry when the pair arrives in the Ugandan village they are charged with converting. It is also at this point that the lyrics of the show take a distinctly adult turn, including explicit language and themes that are DEFINITELY considered offensive by some. The Ugandans have a saying that they use in times of trouble - "Hasa Diga Eebowai" - that is NOT in line with any Mormon teaching, but gives the young missionaries an idea of what they are up against in this village. Ironically, anyone who has made it this far into the show is hooked and will stay along for the rest of the ride.
This show is fun, irreverent, and side-splittingly funny. It does give a convoluted interpretation of the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but that is one of the things Matt Stone and Trey Parker do best - take something with well-established boundaries and beliefs and skew them beyond all recognition without crossing the satirical line into offense.
If you are a fan of this show, I would highly recommend picking up this version of the cast recording with the digital booklet.
A fuller account of the entire show, along with a detailed song synopsis can be found on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Mormon_(musical)).