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Play review: 'Book of Mormon' an entertaining show ... if you're not offended

“South Park” writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone are at it again. Out to offend as many people as possible, their new musical “The Book of Mormon,” also created by Robert Lopez, focuses on the next target of their signature satire: Mormons.

It’s difficult to describe “The Book of Mormon.” The plot revolves around a young Mormon missionary, Elder Price, played by Billy Tighe, and his forced companion Elder Cunningham, played by A.J. Holmes, and their adventure in Uganda. Their goal, of course, is to convert the indigenous people of Uganda to Mormonism.

To put it simply, this play is the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. Possibly the weirdest thing anyone will ever see.

Coming from someone who hates the offensive and cheap humor of “South Park,” this play was surprisingly fun and entertaining. Full of nerdy-looking men, cheesy acting, sparkly pink vests and scrotum maggots, no one can get bored while watching “The Book of Mormon.”

Disregarding the outrageous plot for a moment, the production itself is something to be proud of. The sets were fantastic, especially a particular starry night scene with Nabulingi, played by Alexandra Ncube, singing about Salt Lake City. The best by far was the “spooky Mormon Hell dream” scene. Lucifer’s costume made the entire play.

Though the quality of the song lyrics is debatable, the vocalists performing them were undoubtedly talented. Ncube has a fantastic voice that beautifully complements the men in the play as well as powerfully stands on its own. The personality in her voice captures the attention of audience members and gives them a great show.

Meanwhile, Tighe spent the entire play proving his vocal abilities with a wide range. No matter how high or low, he never missed a note. Not even while being tossed around by skeletons carrying giant donuts. The voice talents of the cast were chosen excellently.

The message of the musical is a bit murky until the end, but it’s one worth thinking about. Without giving away any spoilers, the second act takes a hilarious plot twist that tells viewers what it all means. Critics of the type of humor found in “South Park” may find it difficult to get through the beginning, but it’s worth sticking around to see the end.

While this musical is worth seeing for a good laugh, those who are easily offended when it comes to religion and racial matters may want to opt for another play. “The Book of Mormon” includes an array of racial and cultural stereotypes, some ludicrous stories about the formation of Mormonism (including a special appearance from Darth Vader) and vast amounts of obscenity, including a song called, “F**k you, God.” Audience members may want to consider leaving their children at home for this one.

“The Book of Mormon” is a ridiculous play that pokes fun at the holes in the logic of Mormon beliefs. It’s got everything you could want in a satirical comedy: violence, profanity, stereotypes and lots of sexual innuendo. For those who aren’t easily offended, the humor of this musical is sure to brighten your day.

“The Book of Mormon” will be shown at Popejoy Hall through Sept. 20. For more information, visit Popejoy’s website.

Skylar Griego is the culture editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at or on Twitter @TDLBooks.

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