The Book or Mormon goes where no musical has gone before as pop culture references abound in the most surprising places. It seems that no subject (really, NO subject) is off-limits and before you have time to think “can they even say that…?” – we are whisked off to the next scene. Musical numbers are totally catchy and will have you smiling so broadly, you’ll be ready to ring a doorbell or two yourself.
The supremely talented duo of Nyk Bielak as Elder Cunningham (nerdy boy) and Blake Bowden as Elder Price (entitled boy) are the perfect odd couple in their missionary quest to take the word of Mormon to far flung Uganda. Their ultimate goal is to seek converts in a poor, remote village in which God is the least of their problems.
Victorian performer Tigist Strode excels in playing Nabulungi, the love interest/catalyst for the village. Also, keep a watch out for Joel Granger – a fantastically effervescent Elder McKinley, Tyson Jennette as Mafala, the sceptical father and Augustin Aziz Tchantcho as the tyrannical General.
As an audience, The Book of Mormon looks effortless but behind the scenes, it takes a small village to create this musical masterpiece. Everything falls into place on the night with exemplary production values.
The set design is simply amazing and with the expert sound, lighting, costumes, direction, choreography and scene changes, we are treated to a whole lot of Big Broadway musical fun. This ensemble cast is truly outstanding and an absolute joy to watch. Stunning vocals, excellent comic timing and the dance numbers are dynamic and full of life.
Written by the people who created South Park, the script is dotted with innuendo, some bad language, some heresy, some references to The Lion King, and wait… did I hear a few bars from The Sound of Music? There are so many great songs: Spooky Mormon Hell Dream, Turn It Off and I Believe are among the faves. You don’t need to know anything about musicals or Mormons to enjoy this show but just as a heads up, there are also mentions of highly taboo subjects.
The Book of Mormon is a fast-paced, musical comedy that will have you cheering hooray instead of hallelujah. Make sure to get your ticket and respect your “Elders” – for they are outrageously talented and fully entertaining.
The Book of Mormon
Festival Theatre – Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Road, Adelaide
Performance: Saturday 29 June 2019 – 7.30pm
Season continues to 18 August 2019
Information and Bookings: www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au
Following the Adelaide season, The Book of Mormon will play Crown Theatre, Perth from 3 September 2019, and returns to QPAC Lyric Theatre, Brisbane from 3 January 2020. For more information, visit: www.bookofmormonmusical.com.au for details.
Image: Shauntelle Benjamin, Blake Bowden and Nyk Bielak in The Book of Mormon – photo by Jeff Busby
Review: Colleen Farrelly