I just realized I never posted any reaction to “The Book of Mormon,” the new Broadway musical by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. And, now that I think a about it, I have not written a review because… I can’t. Because there are simply not enough words – in fact, there are no words – to express how much I truly loved this experience. Before the first act was over, I knew this was not only something special – I knew this not only was it the single greatest musical I’ve ever seen on Broadway – I knew it was in fact one of my favorite pieces of entertainment of all time.
I have previously used the term “AweJaw” to express my reactions to some of my favorite things on this planet. It is the sensation one feels after sitting with their jaw wide open in awe and disbelief for 2+ hours. When I exited the Eugene O’Neil theater on March 29, my My AweJaw was so severe I should have headed to a hospital.
The days following, I could not get the songs out of my head. “Hasa Diga Eebowai” was now a regular part of my vocabulary. I tried so hard to replay the rest of the tracks in my mind, but with no original cast recording available there was no choice – I would just have to go back and win the daily lottery and see this thing again.
After doing just that on April 1, enjoying the subtleties of Josh Gad’s performance as a geek who knows more about the mythology of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings than Mormonism, Nikki James’ electric performance as Nabulungi, Andrew Rannells belting out “I Believe,” those amazing Trey Parker/Robert Lopez production numbers with melodies that rival anything from the best of Alan Menken’s Disney catalog… it’s all almost too much good for one piece of entertainment. Every song is “Be Our Guest” in this thing. It’s just an AWEverload that I wasn’t prepared for. I can’t say enough, and I’m avoiding any details about what makes this show so special because it’s better to go in blind and experience the gift of an original story that’s got as much heart as it does hilarity.
Now I’m back in LA going through a sort of withdrawal from this show. Desperately waiting for an announcement on an original cast recording to hold me over until I’m back in NYC this summer. In a way, it’s good for my wallet I’m not there right now — If I still lived in New York I would see this show every night. Now I will have to settle for seeing it at least once every time I go back.
From the four-time Emmy Award-winning creators of “South Park” comes this hilarious Broadway musical about a pair of mismatched Mormon boys sent on a mission to a place that’s about as far from Salt Lake City as you can get.
“The Book of Mormon” is written in collaboration with Robert Lopez, the Tony Award-winning writer of “Avenue Q”, and co-directed by Mr. Parker and three-time Tony nominee Casey Nicholaw (Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone).
Visit the official website to buy tickets: http://bookofmormonbroadway.com
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