Hilarious ‘Book of Mormon’ takes aim at religion, musicals

It’s been called the best musical of 2011, the funniest musical of all time and a crowning achievement.

When “The Book of Mormon” opens Jan. 8 at the Paramount Theatre, we’ll find out if it lives up to the hype.

“The Book of Mormon” was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” fame and Robert Lopez, who co-created the Broaday musical hit, “Avenue Q.”

These creators have been perennially fascinated by Mormonism. So this show not only puts that fascination into play, it lampoons Mormonism as an organized religion and has a little tongue-in-cheek humor left over to poke fun at musicals in general.

The story takes place in a remote village in northern Uganda. There, a horrible warlord is making life miserable for the locals.

Enter two young Mormon missionaries who share an equal amount of optimism and naivete. Though they are on a mission to share their scriptures — which they really don’t know all that well — the locals are more concerned about everyday struggles that are punctuated by poverty, famine, war and AIDS.

The soundtrack is a mixture of over-the-top irreverence and some truly classically sounding Broadway musical tunes.

For instance, the song “Hasa Diga Eebowai” is a bouncy, peppy tune that happens to mention AIDs and female circumcision.

The show-stopping “I Believe” promotes the theme that a “Mormon just believes” in all sorts of weird “beliefs,” as illustrated by this line: “I believe, God has a plan for all of us and part of that plan is me getting my own planet.”

“The Book of Mormon” opens at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 8 and runs at various times through Jan. 20 at the Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle.

A limited number of tickets are available for $150 each at www.BookofMormonTheMusical.com.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; goffredo@heraldnet.com.

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