Zachary Canter - TRW
I have very few complaints about the hit musical “The Book of Mormon.” In fact, my main complaint is that it made my face hurt from constantly smiling and laughing throughout the show. The musical won nine Tony Awards and a Grammy, starred on Broadway and the West End and toured the country twice.
Now, “The Book of Mormon” is playing in Baltimore until November 15 at the Hippodrome Theater. The musical manages to be just as funny as it is thought-provoking on topics like humanity, religion and doubt.
The musical tells the story of two Mormon missionaries: one who is heading out and at the top of his class, the other is a bumbling-misfit that has a habit of making things up. They are paired up in what would be an unlikely friendship and are sent to a Ugandan village terrorized by a warlord who enjoys murdering people while he is naked.
While this was hilarious, the one actual complaint that I have about the musical is that the story seems very generic and overdone. Additionally, since “The Book of Mormon” was written by the creators of South Park, anyone planning on seeing the show should be prepared for profanity, juvenile humor about larva in male-genital areas, threats of female circumcision and religious humor that, without a doubt, could offend some viewers.
Funny moments were jam-packed into the show and rarely did a 10-second period go by without the entire audience laughing together in unison. This musical isn’t just a big joke, though. Parker, Stone and Lopez use the platform to make observations about religion – at the expense of the Mormons who, being good sports, have a number of advertisements in the show’s playbill – that show the viewer how everyone experiences religion and life in different ways.
This theme even goes so far as to observe the range of human experience and how, at the root of it all, the lives of a Mormon in Salt Lake City might not be that far from that of a villager in Uganda.
The music in the show can only be described as phenomenal. The opening number “Hello!” has been stuck in my head for days. “Baptize Me,” a ballad between two characters about one baptizing the other and “bathing her in God’s glory,” has such strong sexual overtones that the audience couldn’t help but cracking up at something that should otherwise be a serious religious ceremony.
Every song in the musical has it’s own personality that will grow on each individual member of the audience. At the very least, if you don’t have a chance to go out to see the musical, check out the soundtrack — you won’t regret it.