BWW Reviews: THE BOOK OF MORMON in Cincinnati
Waiting for the lights to dim, I heard a few mumbles of "there's a lot of bad language in this show," "does it bother you?" and even "I've heard some people walk out!" If the standing ovation as bows had barely begun at the end of the show were any indication, not many, if any, walked out and everyone loved the show.
Yes, there's "bad" language and yes, it's not something to take a young child to see. But the Book of Mormon is unique in that I don't feel like it sets out to make fun of the Mormons at the expense of the Mormons. In a way, everything is fair game in this show. There are even a few spoofs to other musicals, including The Lion King and The Sound of Music.
The show opens with the young Mormons preparing for their missionaries. Elder Price is dreaming of his ideal place for his two-year mission: Orlando, Florida. Imagine his shock and awe when he's sent to Uganda, paired with the goofiest boy in the group, Elder Cunningham.
After immediately being robbed at gun-point by a warlord, the Elders find out their' up against the impossible -- a small, poverty-filled village, suffering from AIDS, dysentery, and the ill-informed belief that having sex with virgins (and the only virgins left are babies) is the only way to cure AIDS.
Mark Evans takes on the role of Elder Price with exceptional skill and talent with Christopher John O'Neill as his "buddy," Elder Cunningham. O'Neill brings just the right amount of goofiness to be believable to the role. In fact, the entire ensemble seems perfectly cast. It's a strong group, both vocally and in ability, especially the dancing Mormon boys.
While crude at times, the humor pushes the audience to the limit of acceptability, yet also making you laugh until you cry. The show presents a hard juxtaposition to describe and one you just have to experience to understand.
Playing from now until February 26th, catch the Book of Mormon at the Aronoff Center. Order tickets online at BroadwayinCincinnati.com or by phone 513.621.ARTS