“Best musical of the century.” Check
"The perfect Broadway musical.” Check
“History is made. The new gold standard for Broadway.” Check.
And here's the awkward part for me: the show playing at The Paramount until Jan. 20 is sold out.
So I could tell you that the show is a glorious, non-stop extravaganza that unleashes all the delicious naughtiness of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and the talent of “Avenue Q” co-creator Robert Lopez but you can't get a ticket.
You might consider flying to Des Moines, Iowa, which is where the touring company performs next.
(OK. I don't really know anything about Des Moines but considering how outrageous this musical is…I mean at one point in the show Jesus calls Elder Price a dick…it might be kind of a hoot to see the musical in the heart of America. Right?)
If you don't want to fly to Iowa you could enter a lottery for a ticket. The production is offering a pre-show lottery for a limited number of cheap tickets per show at The Paramount .
However, there have been upwards of 800 entries per show for lottery tickets selling for $25 a pop, which would be great odds if this were the actual lottery. You have to enter your name at the box office two and a half hours prior to the show and be present at the box office to win.
Other than that you can wait till the next time “Book of Mormon” plays in Seattle. Sigh.
So you can stop reading now or if you want you can read more and I'll share some of my favorite parts of the musical with you. If you have been blessed enough to have seen it, you can compare notes. If you have tickets, consider this a kind of preview.
To recap, “The Book of Mormon” is an over-the-top satirical romp where two naive missionaries head out to Uganda to get converts but discover the population is too overcome with real-life poverty, AIDS, famine and a maniacal warlord to care about Mormonism.
That said, my first favorite part of the Seattle show was the casting. Absolutely spot on. The two naive missionaries are Elder Price and Elder Cunningham played by Mark Evans and Christopher John O'Neill.
Evans was phenomenal in his “whiteness” – his exaggerated facial expressions, his body language, his dream of being a missionary in Orlando. And Evans' voice was pure heaven.
Unbelievably, O'Neill is making his professional debut here playing the pudgy, goofball who hasn't even read the Book of Mormon – “It's sooooo borrrring!!” – but lets his imagination fill in the blanks in the story.
With musical direction by Cian McCarthy, the score for BOM is bodacious, bawdy and brilliant.
The song “You And Me (But Mostly Me)” really highlights the talents of Evans and O'Neill. The money song “I Believe” got in my head and I liked it; “Turn It Off” is a nostalgic song and tap-dance number that harkens back to the old days of Broadway musicals while giddily singing the praises of suppressing non-Mormon thoughts (another debut by Grey Henson who was awesome as Elder McKinley). “Man Up” is hard rock with O'Neill busting out lines like this: “Just like Jesus, I'm growing a pair.”
Lastly, for all its shredding of Mormonism, naughtiness and profanity, “The Book of Mormon” really delivers a profound message in the end.
It's a true testament to the genius of Parker and Stone who have been lampooning Jesus Christ and religion since their first short movie “The Spirit of Christmas” when they were just young smolts in the world of satire.
So stand in line for the lottery. Wait impatiently for the next time the show comes to town. Hop a plane. Pay big bucks. Celebrate great theater that crosses all the boundaries and makes you laugh till your ribs hurt.
But see “The Book of Mormon.”
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