To celebrate the recent birthday of our favorite Swede, PA Jessie and I went with our menfolk to a recent performance of the musical The Book of Mormon. Long-time fans of Matt Parker and Trey Stone’s various creative endeavors, we were pretty jazzed to see what kind of hilarity would ensue when they collaborated with Avenue Q creator Bobby Lopez. The tickets were muy expensivo and we had to plan WAY in advance to get them. So basically our expectations were VERY high.
Happily the musical was everything we could have hoped for and more! By the fourth song I was crying unstoppable tears of laughter. The show is in parts charming, earnest, shocking, and thought-provoking. It uses a comedic send-up of the Mormon faith as a vehicle for questioning religion in general, and yet it is light-hearted enough so as not to offend people who are religious. Striking that balance is truly an amazing accomplishment. One song’s title, “Hasa Diga Eebowai,” translates to “F**k you, God” and yet it’s not offensive in the least–seriously (and the song is about AIDS, female circumcision, and a general frustration with organized religion’s lack of concrete solutions to problems). What!?!? Yes, and it’s downright cheery.
Check out The Book of Mormon on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neill Theater. Due to the recent 14 Tony award nominations the show received, you’ll have to plan pretty far in advance to snag tickets under $100. But really, you should get yourself to this show ASAP, because it is awesome. I think even people who don’t love musicals would love this show. You can listen to the original cast recording of the show streaming at NPR.org, but I really think you should wait to see the show before you listen to it. I loved being surprised by the small twists of the plot, and listening to it would just spoil some of the joy you will experience when you are surprised IRL by the jokes.
p.s. At the show we were lucky enough to see the one and only Kristen Stewart AKA Bella Swan in the audience! She was adorably grubby and tiny and pretty (she was in town for the Met’s Costume Institute Gala). Also in the audience we spied John Corbett, and he was a very handsome, very tall drink of water. If you follow BookofMormonBWY on Twitter you can see what other celebs are checking out the show. Because you are a stalker? No, because it is fun.