After waiting for months, we finally made it down to see “The Book of Mormon” in Chicago. Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame and starring the dorky roommate from Pitch Perfect, “The Book of Mormon” tells the story of two missionaries who are sent to Uganda to spread the word of Joseph Smith and Mormonism. But as you would expect from Matt and Trey, this isn’t your typical musical, it’s much better. From beginning to end, this musical kept me completely engaged and entertained in a way that most movies these days can’t even do. I don’t know if it’s the fact that it’s a live performance, and I don’t go to many of those, or if it’s just the fact that it was that entertaining that kept me enthralled the whole time.
The musical definitely has moments where it seems almost like a live action South Park episode, but then it reminds you that it’s much, much more. The acting was superb, the songs were amazing, and the story itself was genius. The way things flowed and the way things played out were just as smart as they were funny, just like South Park. I would put this on par with some of the best episodes of South Park, even though that’s not really a fair comparison since this isn’t South Park, but it’s the same humor and same wit that makes South Park so great, mashed into an amazing musical about a totally different topic. For those that aren’t aware, the South Park movie that came out years ago, is a musical, but since it’s cartoon characters, it was easier to make the musical into a movie rather than a broadway play. But it’s no secret that Matt and Trey would have done well had they decided to make it an actual live play.
But back to “The Book of Mormon”. I went into it with pretty high expectations after reading a few reviews and hearing how great it was from a few friends, so when we got there I was actually expecting it to not live up to those expectations, because they were so high. I was wrong. I loved every minute of it, and I normally don’t like plays/musicals. It exceeded my high expectations and then some. I actually want to go see it again as there were definitely little things happening all over the stage that I missed because I was paying attention to something else. I mean, while I was watching a demon go down on Adolf Hitler, I was missing someone else getting raped in hell… And while it sounds raunchy and not something you expect from the theater, it works and it’s amazing.
So if you get a chance to go see “The Book of Mormon” wherever it’s playing, do yourself a favor and go check it out. Even if you get the cheap tickets way up in the balcony, like we did, you can still see almost everything and still enjoy the show. The only things we were able to see all of were satan and a few other characters when they stand up on a raised stage in the back of the main floor, but other than that the view is just fine. My only warning is that if you’re super religious and are easily offended, then you might want to give this a second thought. There are a couple songs that might be offensive and make heavy use of the F word, the C word and the G-D word, so I’m sure you can figure out the tone of that little number. But I didn’t think it was distasteful in any way, it actually fit with the story very well. Just keep that in mind before you invite your grandmother to go see the show with you.