By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com
One of the Great White Way’s best musicals made a huge splash in Kansas City!
The nine-time Tony-winning Book of Mormon is currently winding down its two- week engagement at the Music Hall and if you want to see this show, tickets are vanishing faster than a trip to “Sal Tlay Ka Siti.”
The Book of Mormon follows the journey of an Odd Couple-like duo: the pompous, but devout Elder Price and the hopeless, but well-intentioned Elder Cunningham as they travel to Uganda for their two-year mission.
Along the way, they encounter a village that suffers from multiple abysmal living conditions such as AIDS and famine and are ruled by a vicious general named General Butt-Fucking Naked, who terrorizes them with constant threats of female circumcision. Both Elder Price and Elder Cunningham have quite the challenge to convert the village from their “Hasa Diga Eebowai” ideology to Mormonism.
This current Book of Mormon touring cast is filled with rising superstars that could take over the theatre world in the very possible future. I could not stop watching Billy Harrigan Tighe’s Elder Price. His perfect captivating portrayal of the sly and over-the-top Elder was outstanding. In addition, A.J. Holmes’ Elder Cunningham was filled of layers that made the audience sympathize and laugh out loud simultaneously. I really hope that these West End veterans are given the chance to reprise their roles on Broadway, because their infectious hate-love chemistry will not only amuse, but also bring the Eugene O’Neill Theatre audiences to their feet.
When my family and I saw this particular performance, Carole Denise Jones portrayed Nabulungi. She did an astonishing job stepping up to the plate as The Book of Mormon’s heroine and won the crowd with her moving take on “Sal Tlay Ka Siti.” In addition, Brian Beach (Elder McKinley/Moroni), Josh Breckenridge (Doctor) & Ron Bohmer (Joseph Smith/Various) round out the standout cast with their hysterical supporting roles.
In addition to the performers, The Book of Mormon offers several hysterical showstoppers that will make you laugh like a hyena. “Hasa Diga Eebowai,” “ Making Things Up Again” and “Joseph Smith American Moses” are just some of the delightful, but raunchy ear candy that were brilliantly cooked up by the trio of Trey Parker and Matt Stone (South Park) and Robert Lopez (Frozen).
Final thoughts & grade: The Book of Mormon is a superior show that hysterically tackles controversial issues, but will make audiences laugh, cry and cheer during its two-and-a-half hour presentation. A