The Book of Mormon
November 1, 2013
The musical, I mean. This is the hardest ticket to land in Denver right now. Apparently, it’s easier to find Book of Mormon tickets in London than it is here. This is the second time the touring show has come to Denver, and it still sold out within hours. The national tour opened in Denver a couple of years ago — sold out in minutes. I expect this is because Parker and Stone are locals. They’re ours. We claim them.
I put myself on spoiler blackout for this like three years ago when I first got an inkling of the thing’s existence, and when I heard the first song posted online: “Hello” on youtube. I loved this so much, and I decided I didn’t want to hear anything else about the show, the songs, or anything, until I could actually see the thing live myself. I have been waiting three years for this.
Mom landed the toughest tickets to get in Denver, because she’s just that good. We saw it Wednesday after a great dinner and two bottles of wine between the five of us who went, which is exactly the way to do it. We dressed up. The theater. Awesome.
The show: Parker and Stone (and Robert Lopez of Avenue Q) are pretty much the greatest satirists working right now, and this was like seeing a live action version of one of the better episodes of South Park. It’s crass, rude, horrible, and wonderful, and as a long-time fan of musical theater, I never thought I’d see a Broadway show that had female genital mutilation as a plot point and made it work. As a fan of South Park, I knew what I was getting into. But I wonder how many people in the audience were only there because this is the biggest musical of the last ten years and it won the Tony and well, they liked The Lion King so maybe this’ll be good too… Oy!
Between all the grossness and profanity, these writers know exactly what they’re doing and have tough, meaty issues under the sensationalism. The Book of Mormon isn’t about profanity or wild caricatures of both Mormon missionaries and western perceptions of Africa. It’s about how faith and religion are not the same thing, and one should never be mistaken for the other. This is awesome.
Plus, one of the main characters is a serious science fiction geek and they nailed it. Glorious, to see that on stage, and I’m so glad I didn’t know about that ahead of time because discovering Elder Cunningham was delightful.