“THE BOOK OF MORMON”–TOURING COMPANY REVIEW   Leave a comment


November 26, 2013, I went see “The Book of Mormon” touring company in the Broward Performing Arts Center in Fort Lauderdale and wondered how this show could command and get $500 for a premium seat. Last night I went to the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami and a year later, with a new cast, I saw why the show has now been running on Broadway for 3 1/2 years to sell out crowds.

The story is basically of Elder Cunningham, a liar and loser, played by Cody Jamison Strand and Elder Price, played by David Larson, who just knows he was born for greatness. They are sent on a two year mission as ‘companions’ to convert people to the Mormon church. Elder Price just knows he is going to Orlando because he has prayed to be sent there. As it is Elder Cunningham and Elder Price are sent to Uganda and we follow their adventures with the natives and 4 other pairs of missionaries.

From the moment Cody Jamison Strand came on stage to do the opening number, “Hello”, with some of the ensemble, you could just see the joy this man feels being on stage and he seems to energize the whole cast. He does all the comedy asked of him plus more and even uses a deep voice now and then to get another laugh whether talking or singing. David Larsen sings, with a voice that reaches the last row in the balcony, his themes of “I Believe” and “Orlando” and has chemistry with Strand. Denee Benton as a native of Uganda and a love interest to one of the boys, is beautiful and has a gorgeous voice. Another standout is Pierce Cassedy who plays several roles, including Elder McKinley, and almost stops the show in a couple of numbers.

The cast of 36 is beautifully directed by Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker with the former also doing the choreography and has never seen a Broadway dance step that he didn’t like. Along with an orchestra of 12 members most of the musical numbers are winners.

The book, along with the music and lyrics, was written by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone who love teenage raucous potty humor using jokes and satire to deal with AIDS, (though it seems to me they cut back on this from last year), sex with children and frogs, Gays, circumcision of women and religion, among many other subjects. This is definitely not for children.

The production is first rate with Cody Jamison Strand adding that something extra special that makes this “the Book of Mormon” definitely worth seeing and for a lot less than $500 for the best seats!

 

Posted December 8, 2014 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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