What's it about?
It’s the Book of Mormon. It's South Park on stage, with a lot more singing and dancing to go with the satire.
What I experienced?
If this show were a Tumblr post, it would have to come with so many trigger warnings.
These characters didn't seem real when I watched this show. No way someone could be as oblivious as Elder Price, or as clumsy as Elder Cunningham. I first thought they were almost caricatures! But in time, even though they stereotyped Mormons a bit, it wasn't too offensive, at least to me. I was unaware before attending that the creators of this show had worked on South Park, but it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Crude is an understatement. It was cringe worthy one moment and then unabashedly profane the next. I was laughing for almost the entirety of this play but also wincing from time to time at it all.
I am not a particularly religious person, so things that I hold dear weren’t on stage to be teased and made fun of, which undoubtedly affected my viewing of the show. I thought the bumbling characters of Elder Price and Elder Cunningham were just hilarious. I usually don’t seek out comedies when I go to see a show, but maybe I should more. I hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time, and in today’s political climate (plus as someone fresh out of college and on the job grind) a little laugh can really go a long way.
When they translated “Hasa Diga Eebowai” to mean “fuck you, God”, I was in tears! And when they did the song “Turn It Off” – oh my god, I could barely keep from laughing. I was amazed at how all these pretty serious issues - famine and AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, or closeted homosexuality among strict conservative congregations – were suddenly hilarious! I don’t know if I should have felt bad for laughing or not.
Actually, I think that was my prevailing thought for the entirety of this show. “Is it okay that I find all of this hilarious? Is my laughter offensive?” I still am not sure what the answer is, but I don’t feel bad for laughing, because this show was the funniest thing I have seen in a long time.
I wish I had something more insightful or profound to say, but really, this show was just plain funny. Maybe if I was in a different mood on that day, I’d have been thinking about the religious themes, or the political situation in Uganda. But on that night, I laughed and laughed. And sometimes, that’s all you need.