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The Book of Mormon

  • Comedy
  • Recommended
The Book of Mormon
Photograph: Courtesy Julieta Cervantes

Time Out says

Whether you’ve gone in cold or the soundtrack has never left your Spotify rotation, you’ll likely find yourself crying with laughter through the first few songs of The Book of Mormon. Nearly a decade on, the story of a forced-together pair of Mormon missionaries in Africa—with music, lyrics and book by South Park co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, as well as Robert Lopez (known then for Avenue Q, now for Frozen)—is just as catchy, witty and gleefully filthy as ever. (If you’ve never seen the musical before, however vulgar you think it is, it’s magnitudes more obscene, and all the better for it.)

For the touring production’s stop at the Ahmanson, Liam Tobin nails the strapping overconfidence of Elder Price, while Jordan Matthew Brown sells every moment of the clingy, naively inventive Elder Cunningham.

Might its AIDS jokes and over-the-top portrayal of impoverished Africans make you squirm a bit more now in 2020? The occasional groans in the crowd say yes. But the show should make you feel uncomfortable; it eases you in with silly-smart parodies of musical theater, god-given planets and golden plates, but by the time a choir of straight-laced–but–fabulous missionaries proclaim “Africans are African but we are Africa,” The Book of Mormon has transformed into a no-holds-barred takedown of the white savior complex, homophobia and all religions—still delivered with scatological grace, of course.

Looking to score tickets on the cheap? The production holds a pre-show lottery (unfortunately the old-school way: at the box office, not online) for $25 tickets. Simply head to the box office starting two and a half hours before each show and fill out your name and how many tickets (one or two) you’d like to purchase. Then two hours before the show, names will be drawn at random.

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano


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