9.22.2013

A Mormon's Review on The Book of Mormon Musical

This past week, Breck and and I flew to Chicago

It was a busy trip, but let's chat about our experience Thursday night when we went to see the infamous Book of Mormon Musical. 

Deciding to get the tickets was an interesting process. When I asked Breck if he wanted to go, his only response was, "Uh, I don't think your mom would like that." As always, he was right:

But it made me curious. I actually google searched, "What do Mormons think about the Book of Mormon Musical" and the only thing that came up were members that:

1. Were vehemently against it. 

2. Had never actually seen it. 

So I decided to go. If I was going to make a stand against something, I wanted to be informed. 

And I have a lot of feelings about it. 

First, an overview of the plot:
The play centers around Elder Price and Elder Cunningham, two missionaries sent to labor in Africa. Elder Price is what we would call "AP Material" while Elder Cunningham is the companion you just try to survive. The people in their mission are unresponsive to their teachings, so they go to extreme lengths to relate the topics in the BOM to the trials they are experiencing. 

Let's start off with an easy question. Would I recommend it? 
Nope.

But NOT because of what it says about Mormons. Honestly, when it came to the content that actually reflected on our religion, Breck and I were probably laughing harder than anyone else. They talked about stuff that we already make fun of ourselves for, or things that we acknowledge are hard to accept at face value.

For example, one song is called "I Believe." Take a listen:


Sure, it pokes fun at Mormons. But it's a satire! Did they get all the facts right? Definitely not. However, I never felt a vindictive attitude from the cast or audience. And although the plot revolves around LDS characters, it's not like the writers spared anyone. Christians, Africans, Jews, Asians... they threw just about everyone under the bus. If you can laugh at yourself, that part of the play was a breeze.

The music is great! The humor is spot on! The cast is wonderful!
So... why wouldn't I recommend it?

MY GOSH. It is so, so, so vulgar. There were 2 or 3 songs that made me (and trust me, I don't get bothered by pretty much anything) cringe, look away, and seriously consider leaving.

You can be at ease knowing none of these moments specifically related to LDS teachings or beliefs, but they were there, they were in your face, and it tainted the rest of the play.

Beyond the glamour, the lights, the talent, the most fascinating thing about the show was the reaction of the crowd. At intermission, the audience was just buzzing around us. Everyone was asking each other questions about Mormons and pulling out their phones to figure out what a particular joke meant. How brilliant is it that the church took out ad space in the playbill and put in these ads?

As we rode the train home that night and discussed the play, I think Breck hit it right on the head when he said, "I don't think it's a conversion tool by any means, but I can guarantee that everyone in that theater will be more willing to open the door to the next missionary that comes by."
End Scene. 

3 comments:

  1. I have been so curious! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Loved this review! So many good points.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for sharing. It is nice to hear a review from a mormon who has seen it.
    Hope all is well.

    ReplyDelete