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The Book Of Mormon
At the Eugene O'Neill Theatre opens on March 24, 2011 and runs for 2 1/2 hours.
The Book Of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint. It was first published in 1830 by Joseph Smith. The golden plates with the narrative was bestowed to Smith from an angel named Moroni in 1827. Smith said he found the plates Moroni buried in a stone box, along with other ancient artifacts in a near a hill by his house in Manchester, N. Y.
The musical opens as the students have completed their missionary studies. They are being assigned partners and countries they will be assigned to,
Elder Price (Andrew Runnells) is in the top of his class. He's been paired with the weakest student Elder Cinnington (Josh Gad). Their assignment is Uganda .Price had hoped he was going Orlando, Florida.
Their journey to Africa to covert the inhabitants in one tribe has it's trails and tribulations.
Which leads us into some funny versions of the history of the Mormon faith and how it was founded.
I found the skits light comical approach to theMormons, funnny and not melodramatic. The audience did not stop laughing. The creator of South Park Matt Stone and Trey Park andRobert Lopea of Ave Q wrote the musical. I wonder if you have to be a fan of South Park in order to have an appreciation for the humor. Although I found it funny it wasn't as funny as the audience did. They made gaiety of the Mormon faith, Jesus and Jews without being insulting.
Some scences such as Elder Price thinks he has gone to hell was funny. Among the inhabinants are Hilter and cups Of Starbuck coffee. Every one is in a red devil costume. Another cute scence is where they are taught to surpress any negative feelings they have that would interfer with their doctrine. They clap their hands the lights go out, clap and there back on again, like their emotions on then off.
The scence I found most offensive was when Elder Cunnington is going to baptize Nahaluagi (Niki M. James). Tthe actions and words have a sexual underline. As if both are having sex for the first time.
The music serves a purpose to tell a story but nothing else. There no tunes you leave humming. The cast is good. Andrew Runnel has great voice. Josh Gad has a good comedy sense.
Hats off to the scenic design Scott Pask. The set is wonderful. The curtain have clouds reaching the universe surrounded by planets as if your near God. On the edge of the stage to the the top is a church like structure with stain glass giving you the feeling you are in a church.
The dance routines done by Casey Nicholaw are well done. He was nominated for a Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for the Drowsy Chaperone in 2006 and for Spamelot in 2005.
I saw John Lithglow before the show started. After when I was waiting for the cast to come out he went in the stage door. When came out I wanted to ask his opinion of the show. He ignored me when i called his name. i guess he didn't have an opinion.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Anazor