Hunter Intro to Theatre

The Book of Mormon reviewed by Rosan

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    Rosan Patel

    Theater 101-1D02

    Professor Ryan Donovan

    23 February 2015

    Performance Reflection 1

    For my performance reflection assignment, I decided to go watch The Book of Mormon Broadway musical. The Book of Mormon is a religious satire musical. Winner of nine Tony awards, including Best Musical, this show did not disappoint. The musical is first of its kind; no other Broadway musical has stirred up this much controversy before. It was extremely vulgar. It was a refreshing change from the usual musicals that include love stories, fantasies, and re-imagined versions of children’s stories. This musical was entirely created for adults with a sense of humor that are not easily offended. Some parts of the show were definitely jaw dropping when it came to the jokes said by the actors.

    The Book Of Mormon is a musical that focuses on two young Mormon missionaries, Elder Kevin Price, and his sidekick, Elder Arnold Cunningham. Elder Price is praying that he gets sent to Orlando as a missionary but ends up being sent to Uganda instead with Elder Cunningham by the Mission President. There, they have trouble trying to preach and convert the locals of the remote village into Mormonism. The locals are more concerned with the disease, famine, war, and poverty than about religion. Elder Price is very strict and follows the scripture in his everyday life, however the events in the musical leads him to believe that there is more to religion than just scripture.

    The musical pokes fun at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, sexuality, race, and culture. It is a lot to take in; it attacks almost all of the sensitive topics that can cause much offense and anger amongst the public. However, the play is not only about religion. It also makes fun of the other plays as well. One example is when Elder Price says that Uganda is “nothing like The Lion King.” The show makes fun of everything in its way, including star wars and other sci-fi elements. The jokes were witty without being too complex. They were easily interpretable by anyone, which is probably one of the reasons for its major success. Another reason for its major success is that the play focused on many issues that exist in the world today. It was highly relatable to the youth because it focused on issues like religion and sexuality, which is a debate that is starting to gain more attention in recent years. Even though the play is making fun of these ideas and issues, it is also in a way, advocating the support to fix these issues. It is a smart way to gain awareness for what is really going on, like disease, war, and famine in not only Uganda but also other nations all over the world. And the issue of religion and homosexuality, which is, again, a growing debate. I wondered why the creators of the musical decided to use the Mormon religion instead of another religion. The play is definitely offensive to some groups of people and I wonder how it is still able to go on without being shut down. This show generated a lot of controversy. Many critics loved the musical but many were also highly offended by it. As the show was going on you can hear people laughing but there were a few people that were clearly offended and were disappointed at some of the jokes they made. It did make the experience a bit uncomfortable, especially the part about the “maggots in the scrotum,” but still very entertaining. It had me at the edge of my seat, wanting more of these jokes for some reason.

    The play overall was very entertaining. The actors and actresses are very talented. It was amazing too see how much in character they really were especially during some of the scenes where the jokes were just too funny. If I were on stage I would have lost character several times and started laughing. I did think though that the theater was quite small for the show. The audience was totally packed, which I shouldn’t be surprised about since this show was a major success and is a favorite among many people.

    The Book of Mormon was an amazing show. It was very fun to see something so fresh on Broadway. It was a very different experience compared to the usual Broadway shows. The show was extremely vulgar but still had a bit of sweetness to it. It gave a very restless and uncomfortable vibe but that feeling left me wanting for more. Act 1 was the funniest part of the play, as the plot developed the play started to get a bit boring but was still funny nonetheless. Some musical numbers were absolutely jaw dropping, like the scene where the cast was singing “HASA DIGA EEBOWAI,” when Elder Price and Elder Cunningham arrived to Uganda. This musical was one of the best I have ever seen. I am very glad I chose this musical to see.

     

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