Video: The Book of Mormon - Musical Review

The Book of Mormon will be playing at Bass Performance Hall until July 30th, before transitioning to The Music Hall at Fair Park from August 1st-6th! I got the chance to see its premiere on the 28th and you should definitely get the chance to check it out! You can expect a clever, hilariously controversial script that despite its spectacular looney characters, has much heart and real thoughtful messages that could either inspire creative exploration with what you’ve come to believe or maybe step on your toes. Overall, it’s a hoot that will have most audiences laughing from beginning to end.

Two vastly different Mormon missionaries, Elder Price (Sam McLellan) and Elder Cunningham (Sam Nackman) are tasked to go to Uganda but come up against many difficulties as their two personalities clash, they struggle to convert any of the locals who face several conflicts (including disease and tyranny), and Price yearns to be transferred elsewhere (particularly Orlando, due to his love for Disney World).

If all characters are the same it doesn’t allow for much dynamic or interesting interaction, but luckily we have a very entertaining duo to sit with throughout this performance. Penned by South Park Writers Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone; the trio have written two fascinating intriguing characters that contrast each other wonderfully; Cunningham is socially awkward, yearning to be Price’s best friend, while Price finds Cunningham’s outlandish personality downright weird (and he should because Cunningham does act incredibly peculiar, acting like Steve Urkel). Both McLellan and Nackman bring these characters to life, offering contagious personalities and beautiful vocals. Although the standout vocal comes from one of the Uganda locals played by Keke Nesbitt, who sings of her hardships in Africa and how just maybe these Mormons may be the answer to the community's problems.

The stage is gorgeously crafted featuring multiple backdrops with different designs that compliment the various sets. The lighting design also compliments the mostly African environment that the characters stay in. Unfortunately, not one particular track stood out from the set, but most songs were competent broadway pop show tunes, featuring lyrics that were comedic and moved the story along briskly. Despite being a 2 hour and 30 minute performance (with a 20 minute intermission) the narrative feels to move along briskly due to how entertaining the comical story is. The cast recording is 1 hour and 7 minutes (you should preview on Apple Music or Spotify!) so the performance will be just about 50% sung and 50% spoken. It was wonderfully well-balanced.

Go check out The Book of Mormon; there is much explicit language so make it a date night out and find a sitter. Remember, this is the writers of South Park, so there is much explicit language and the performance doesn’t shy away from controversial issues that may raise an eyebrow in regards to how race is discussed and how the Mormon religion is portrayed. As long as your not offended easily, this is a recommendation from me.

Final Verdict:A hoot that will have most audiences laughing from beginning to end!