Avery Russell: “The Book of Mormon” Shockingly and Inappropriately Genius

blogprofileMorrison Center executive director James Patrick promised that this season would build on last year’s landmark run of “Wicked” with more blockbuster shows, according to the Idaho Statesman. “Wicked” ran  from April 16 for a 24-show run, the longest run of a Broadway show in the center’s history.

He delivered.

The 2014-15 season brings two of the biggest tours on the road today, headlined by the nine-time Tony Award winner “The Book of Mormon,” one of the most talked about shows in the past two decades from “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Robert Lopez of “Avenue Q.” It’s still one of the hottest — and hardest to get — tickets on Broadway. Here is a review of the show by Avery Russell.

The creators of “South Park” sure knew what they were doing when they wrote “The Book of Mormon.” Geared toward Mormons and non-Mormons alike, the goal of the musical is to hilariously offend you and it certainly does.

If you cannot take things with a grain of salt or chuckle at some inappropriate gags, I can guarantee that this show is not for you; to say that it is not for the politically correct would be an extreme understatement.

The musical combines dance, brilliant song, and crude humor that definitely keep the audience on their toes and laughing for the entire two and a half hour performance. Its witty banter and wild narrative makes it a show you do not want to miss.

It is a great “coming of age” story in which you follow the lives of two young men who get assigned to spend their Mormon missionary time period in Uganda, far from the desired Orlando, Florida they were hoping for. Elder Price seeks to do something extra “incredible” on his journey to change the world and is portrayed as the perfect Mormon missionary… at least to start. Elder Cunningham is the quirky yet intriguing companion of Price who teaches the village some outlandish tales about the history of the LDS church once he finally decides it’s time to “man up.”

Together these two men run into their fair share of interesting problems during their outreach to the people of Uganda but in the end prove to help the village despite not following the exact teachings the church had trained them to use.

“The Book of Mormon” is not exactly like the Mormon religion and there are many examples of this throughout the musical. Elder Price understands that Uganda is nothing like Florida and Africa cannot be compared to the cookie cutter version of “The Lion King.”

Although the prB O Mofanity, sexual innuendos, and load of Mormon jokes may come off as offensive and vulgar to some, it is a genius magical production to many others. It touches on religion, love, growing up, and many different aspects of what it means to live life.

However, what really makes the show a winner are the amazing cast and crew who display a wide array of talent and awe. No matter your feelings about the jokes behind the Mormon faith or the sacrilegious humor throughout the storyline, I’m sure that many can agree about the incredible show put on by the company behind “The Book of Mormon.”

In the end, throughout all of the classic Mormon jokes and all of the shocking “did he just say what I think he said?” moments, there is a lesson to learn and that is that you can change the world even if you do it your way and break some of the rules.

The show came to a close with a standing ovation and a huge roar from the Boise crowd; it’s safe to say that the audience was pleased with the performance. Don’t be surprised weeks from now when you cannot get those hilarious satirical songs out of your head.

Avery — Originally from Grangeville, studied English and history at Northwest Nazarene University where she graduated this May with her B.A. She now works as a content marketing specialist for an eCommerce company in Meridian. In her free time she loves to write, read, and explore Boise.

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