Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Book of Mormon

The Book of Mormon is the biggest thing to hit Broadway since The Producers over ten years ago.  It has received rapturous reviews everywhere, so I decided it was time to pony up the big bucks to see what all the fuss was about.   The show is funny, clever and wildly fun.  It is also incredibly vulgar, but what did you expect from the South Park gang?  I enjoyed every minute of it while it lasted and then like a great meal it was digested in hours.  

I understand all the critical hosannas especially those heralding the show as an attempt to bring in a younger demographic to the Great Gray Way.  I am not a big fan of the Broadway musical past or present though I am a fan of Stephen Sondheim.  This is not Sunday in The Park With George.  It says something about the state of Broadway, that The Book of Mormon is seen a the greatest show of  the new millennium.  It probably is.  I wouldn't know.  But I haven't enjoyed a musical this much since the first 40 minutes of Rent.  I guess I wonder why very good shows are so rare.  I'm still not even sure if it was worth the $225 a seat.  

For all its iconoclasm, the show comes down decidedly on the side of religion as a goofy, silly but somehow necessary, understandable thing.  This is not the position that Sam Harris or Richard Dawkins (or I) would take but it makes sense at the Box Office.   So the South Park guys get to have it both ways--you are all nuts to believe in any supernatural being, but life is hard so knock yourselves out if  believing makes you feel good.

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