Broadway…. Usually if you’re a straight male under the age of 50 and you don’t live in New York City, you see that word and you couldn’t give two damns about it…  Well, this show it’s different. If you are a male between the ages of 18-50 and think you will go up in flames like a vampire in sun, when crossing the threshold of a Broadway Theatre, this is the show for you. This show is about as Broadway as a palm tree.

Written by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q) and co directed by Trey Parker and Casey Nicholaw, this show is like Southpark and Avenue Q had a baby and he was bigger, faster, stronger, and a hell of a lot funnier. This may be the funniest musical I have ever seen.

The basic premise is two yong mormons are sent to a small village in Uganda ran by a evil warlord with a name too profane to repeat in public to do mission work… One of the boys, Cunningham (Josh Gadd) likes to make up stories, and Elder Kevin Price  (Andrew Rannells) has an ego big enough to fill the entire country of Uganda. Together the two set off to get their first Mormon baptism in the country, which leads to hijinks never seen on a Broadway stage before (including a book of Mormon getting put somewhere it shouldn’t go). The only time you’re not laughing and/or dancing along to the catchy music is when the “General” is on stage putting fear into the character and audience alike.

Nikki James shines as really the only female character with some substance, and it’s clear watching the show why she earned the Tony for her performance. She does almost a perfect job of being a straight character with a littler naivety and silliness to the craziness going on around her. Without her the show could easily get out of hand, which isnt a bad thing, but sometimes you need to actually hear whats going on on stage so you can know the story. As good as she was though, the real star of the show is Josh Gadd (The Daily Show) who makes you laugh the second he enters stage, and never stops. He is the most memorable character, and he sings some of the best songs (My favorite Man up… With such verses as “Just like Jesus I’m growing a pair” and “Jesus said he’d do it and took it on the chin”. He also does an awesome job making the audience believe his character arc, and his exasperations and story telling telling when he doesn’t know something teeters on genius. Unlike Nikki where although she is good the show wouldn’t be quit the same without Josh. Shame he didnt win a Tony for it. He deserved it.

Andrew was also great, making his character arc incredibly believable as well, and poking fun of the mormon religion with pristine characteristics, and naitivty, that would sound incredibly sarcastic if not done right. He sings that he “believes that in 1978 that God changed his mind about black people  “, and “the ancient jews built boats and sailed to America”. He is so innocent and egotistically stuck in his “Mormon world” that it makes fun of the Mormons to the people who want to make fun of them, and calls out the actually Mormon faith to those who believe.

And if you think its just the dancing and the singing is the only thing that might deter you from seeing it, don’t let it. The songs are sometimes funnier than the book (the non singing part of the script for Musical noobs) and other than a couple of definite huge Broadway solo songs, most of the songs sound like South Park songs, and yes theres some dance numbers, but who doesn’t want see a bunch of fictional characters tap dancing in hell?

I waited in line for 7 hours to get Standing room Only tickets (standing up for the whole show in the back of the theatre), and the majority of the people doing it were college kids and men who have never seen a brodway show before, including this one older man who was from Canada  and ditched his 5 year old daughter and wife to see the show. And not a single person waiting in that line regretted waiting for that long period of time.  If you see one Broadway show in your life, don’t wait until your old lame, GO now…. Especially if you live close to new York…. Go now while the original cast is still there.

It is amazing how Trey Parker and Matt Stone can revitalize the Broadway culture by making it hipper than ever. it has been sold out for over 8 months now, and they dont see an oepn seat until june of 2012, and more than have the people that buy the tickets for each show are under the age of 25, which is a huge growth in that demographic.

But really… Don’t take my word on it, go see the show for yourself and witness the genius of the Book of mormon, and be proud that you get to be a apart of the reemergence of Broadway… And you get to do while watching people sing about having sex with babies and frogs, star trek star wars references, and etc. Mostly Learn a little bit about a “religion” a lot of people know almost nothing about.

 


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