By: James Neyer ~Staff Writer~
Have you ever wondered what Mormons believe? Are you curious about how two 19-yearold kids would try to convert people in Uganda? Do you want to watch a musical composed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of “South Park” and “Team America: World Police?” Your prayers have been answered, as “The Book of Mormon” will soon return to Cincinnati.
This play follows Elders Price and Cunningham, two young Mormon missionaries, who are sent to Uganda. They try their best being thrown into a new setting with harsh new challenges. These challenges come in the form of a brutal warlord and the difficulties of relating to people suffering from famine, poverty, clitoridectomies and AIDS.
This is not a musical for the faint of heart, as there is liberal use of profanity, vulgarity and sacrilegious humor. There is even a song dedicated to giving God the middle finger. Though they mock the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its religion through-out the play, the writers do not hate it. Instead, Parker and Stone describe “The Book of Mormon”as an “atheist love letter to religion.”
The play pokes fun at what they consider the more ridiculous parts about Mormonism, such as the Garden of Eden being in Jackson county Missouri, “turning off ” ones feelings and the Jewish flight to America, which allegedly happened in the 6th century BC. Although they poke fun at religion, they do not express any hate for it.
Parker and Stone worked closely on the play with songwriter Robert Lopez. Lopez has won many awards for his work on “Frozen,” “Avenue Q” and the “Scrub’s” episode “My Musical.” The musical won nine Tony awards, including Best Musical and a Grammy award for Best Musical Theater Album.
The show, which The New York Times dubbed “the best musical of this century,” runs from Mar. 29-Apr. 3 in the Aronoff Center. Tickets are on sale now with prices starting at $44. Though it’s costly, it’s worthwhile to see, even though, according to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “the book is always better.”