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Mark Wigmore on The Book of Mormon

Wednesday, 01 October 2014 16:30

It’s the most talked about Broadway show in Toronto: The Book of Mormon.

Whether you have seen the show yourself, or you know someone who has; the word on everyone’s tongue is ‘hilarious’, another might be ‘offensive’. Going in, you should know that your moral sensibilities will be challenged.

Mormon is an equal opportunity offender, and so there is something for everyone to cringe over, and perhaps that is the appeal. The show has just been extended through November 30th and is being staged once again by Mirvish at the Princess of Wales Theatre.

Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez are the men behind the controversial production. Stone and Parker are the genius creators of the long running adult cartoon Southpark, and Lopez is the man responsible for the edgy puppet musical, Avenue Q.

The show initially won 9 Tony Awards and even picked up a Grammy award for best musical theatre album. This is the second run for Mormon in Toronto, and it’s a hot ticket.
The story follows two young Mormon Missionaries who are paired up to spread the good word in Uganda. Elder Kevin and Elder Arnold are a true odd couple. Kevin is tall, handsome, sporty and popular; while Arnold is insecure, stout and not the sharpest tool in the shed.

Upon the duo’s arrival to Uganda, the setting leaves both a little confused and terrified. The locals are oppressed, impoverished and not exactly interested in a couple of kids from Utah spouting off about the finer points of Mormonism. This culture clash sets-up much of the razor wit found in the show.

One of the hilarious numbers in the show is when the Ugandan locals attempt to recreate the Mormon doctrine that young Arnold has fabricated in a short musical of their own. It will have everyone who witnesses it boiling over in both laughter and a host of other emotions.

There is no denying that Book of Mormon will continue to wow audiences around the world for many years to come. While it pushes every boundary, it still follows the basic principles of storytelling and uses the classic musical arcs used in Broadway musical theatre.

Religion, race, gender, politics and more... get ready for a ride.

The Book of Mormon runs through November 30th at the Princess of Wales. Check out for details.

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