Preview: The Book of Mormon

When you grow up fascinated, and occasionally repelled, by the Mormon religion and Broadway musicals, what are you going to do but merge those two obsessions into a Tony Award-winning show? And not just one Tony—make that nine, including Best Musical, in 2011.

That's what Trey Parker and Matt Stone did with the mega-hit The Book of Mormon, opening next week at PlayhouseSquare. This is the duo that made Southpark the nastiest, most offensively hilarious cartoon show on TV.

For Mormon, they teamed up with Avenue Q co-composer and co-lyricist Robert Lopez to fashion this tuneful, comic take on the Church of Latter Day Saints and its ways.

It starts fast, with the opening number "Hello!" showing Mormon missionaries who are ringing doorbells trying to convert unsuspecting people. Then we follow Elders Price and Cunningham as they journey to their overseas missionary assignment in the garden spot of Uganda.

Upon landing, they are robbed by the henchmen of warlord General Butt-Fucking-Naked. Things go downhill from there. Loaded with great songs and tons of irreverent humor, The Book of Mormon has proven insanely popular. So much so, tickets on Broadway have been hard to score.

And similarly, this touring production has been inundated with ticket requests. However, there are still ducats remaining, mostly during the week of July 1-7.

Also, good news for procrastinators: There will be a ticket lottery held before each performance for 16 tickets. Each person whose name is drawn can purchase up to two tickets for $20 each. Interested ticket seekers can sign up in-person for the lottery 2½ hours before each performance, and the drawing will be held a half-hour later.

So good luck, and fasten your seat belts.

About The Author

Christine Howey

Christine Howey has been reviewing theater since 1997, first at Cleveland Free Times and then for other publications including City Pages in Minneapolis, MN and The Plain Dealer. Her blog, Rave and Pan, also features her play reviews. Christine is a former stage actor and director, primarily at Dobama Theatre...
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