‘The Book of Mormon,’ as seen by a Norman

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Ryan Feinberg, print editor-in-chief

Since the moment my mother informed me that I would be seeing The Book of Mormon, I was ecstatic. Written by the infamously crude South Park writers Matt Stone, Trey Parker and Robert Lopez, The Book of Mormon would not disappoint. Although it was guaranteed to offend the audience in one way or another, at least the offense would be accompanied with puerile puns and social critique.

Prior to seeing the musical, I was scolded by my Mormon family-friend for supporting a play that “sheds a bad light on Mormons,” and for a brief period of time, I felt extremely conflicted. But I ultimately decided to see the play anyway, because I think social commentary is necessary for society to progress, and those who had seen it said it was utterly hilarious, and who can say no to that? (Besides Mormons, of course.)
The truth is the play was quite offensive, not just to Mormons, but to religion as a whole, but, as predicted, the humor was spot-on. The writers, producers and directors’ ability to seamlessly blend humor into the wonderful music was superb. Although I found the most vulgar lines in the play to be the antithesis of humor, the comedy was redeemed by the unfathomable scenarios, sneaking up on the audience more often than expected. For those who hope to enjoy the full surprise of the play, heed my warning to not read on.

I personally enjoyed the scene in which a main actor and actress sing about the first baptism in the community in which they are living. The scene’s hilarity, though, lies in that the dialogue and lyrics clearly parallel the typical emotions a young adult would go through prior to his/her deflowering. The seemingly genuine anxiety and anticipation of the baptism made the audience sympathize with the nervous players, while too being anxious to discover the outcome of the scene.

As a fair warning, if you are easily and intensely offended by social commentary and/or derogatory religious references, The Book of Mormon is by no means the play for you. Conversely, if you more accepting of such sources of comedy, and thus are willing and hopefully able to go, I strongly encourage you to purchase a ticket and experience The Book of Mormon‘s socioreligious punditry.

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