Firstly, there were no bro downs. Secondly, there were no subliminal messages to the females in the audience (South Park fans, you know what I mean)… There. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s crack on with the review! 😉
The tale of The Book of Mormon follows Elder Price and Elder Cunningham, two fresh-faced teenagers who are excited to embark upon their first mission together to “spread the word of Jesus Christ”. What magical land could they possibly be enlisted to help? Friendly Canada? Sunny Orlando? War-torn Uganda? Wait…what was that last option again?
Before the duo knows what’s hit them, they’re whisked away to a remote village in Northen Uganda, naive and optimistic that this quest will be a piece of cake. That is, until they meet the brutal warlord threatening the village with violence and fear. Now this may sound like a bit of a downer but this musical is completely the opposite, with high-energy songs of positivity and the resulting hilarity ensuing from their extreme idealism meeting with, well, grim reality!
Considering that Trey Parker and Matt Stone have always been the masters of satire, I expected the usual brand of humour I have come to expect from them in South Park. I figured the South Park episode, Broadway Bro Down, would be a good indicator of what to expect from the musical (especially as The Book of Mormon’s third collaborator, Robert Lopez, was also involved) but the episode’s songs were a different product with more “out there” humour, while The Book of Mormon nicely balances its sarcastic tone with more genuine moments.
Musically, The Book of Mormon is pure theatre. All the songs are in the classic musical format – very extravagant, grand numbers with bold lighting and energetic choreography. I must admit, despite enjoying each song, I was at a loss to recollect the melody of any of the songs of the evening on the train ride home. If you hear the songs a second time on the soundtrack, however, I guarantee you won’t regret it and you’ll have Hasa Diga Eebowai stuck in your head for days (think Hakuna Matata, but with more swearing)! 😛
Regarding the set and lighting design, I have two words for you. HELL YEAH! They obviously took the attitude of “We either go big or go home” because, well, wow. Just wow. The set design is pure excellence, showing us the majesty of the heavens one minute to the depths of hellfire and brimstone in the next. The set changes in each scene are quick and flawless, leaving you asking yourself “How’d they do that so fast!?” As for the lighting, the stained glass stage frame lighting complimented each scene’s background perfectly. Not to mention that they placed disco balls close to the audience, so when the light hit them the entire theatre would become awash in dynamic colours accompanying the rhythm of each song. Hell yeah!
I recommend that all musical lovers and South Park lovers should check this gem out! So long as you’re not too sensitive in your tastes in humour, it has something for everybody – music, laughs, great stage design and the comfort of knowing you’re not the only one out there who fears that Jesus might secretly think you’re a dick. Two and a half hours of fantastic entertainment, I give this one a 10/10! ❤
Take care, keep happy and I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week ladies and germs!
A new comic strip will be out in the next few days, stay tuned. 😀