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BWW Review: Book It! THE BOOK OF MORMON Soars - by Guest Critic Anne Shoemaker

The Book of Mormon comes back to Baltimore by popular demand, and its not hard to understand why. The brainchild of South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q's Robert Lopez is the hottest ticket on Broadway. While definitely not for the easily offended, this show is uproariously funny and fun, surprisingly touching and poignant, and the touring company gracing the Hippodrome Theatre does not dissapoint. In truth, I haven't enjoyed myself so much at a musical in a very, very long time.

Leads David Larsen (Elder Price) and Cody Jamison Strand (Elder Cunningham) are equally captivating in their own right, and female lead Candace Quarrels (Nabulungi) does an amazing job, particularly in her solo "Salt Lake City." Daxton Bloomquist steals the spotlight in "Turn it Off" as Elder McKinley and James Vincent Meredith is fantastic as Mafala Hatimbi. The set is incredible; truly the spectacle a musical should be. What makes the show a must see, however, is the ensemble, and how tight the cast works as a unit. Each big number was precise and polished. Most importantly, the fun everyone had on stage was apparent, and infectious.

Some very slight issues with volume/mics on the leads in Act II, but if that's what I have to complain about, I must be reaching. Don't miss this one, it's worth it and then some. I smiled and laughed so much my face hurt.

The Tony Award-winning musical is now at The Hippodrome Theatre, 12 North Eutaw Street in downtown Baltimore, through Nov. 15th. Call 410.837.7400 or visit http://baltimore.broadway.com/shows/book-mormon-baa-ss/ for more information. -- Guest Critic, Anne Shoemaker



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