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Review: The Book of Mormon

Review: The Book of Mormon

Review: The Book of Mormon
August 22
17:05 2014

Have you heard the most amazing news?

The Book of Mormon came to the INB Performing Arts Center in Spokane through the miracle of WestCoast Entertainment’s Best of Broadway series—and Proud Times’ Dean Ellerbusch experienced it in all its glory!

The house lights lowered and two huge disco balls hanging from the ceiling started spinning and sparkling. Then, behold! In the opening scene of The Book of Mormon, we learned that Jesus Christ made an appearance in Upper New York State shortly after his crucifixion and dropped off the Gold Plates that are the basis of Mormonism. After that, it was all uphill and downhill on a roller coaster ride of hilarity and reality-based escapades. We were taken on an unbelievable journey into the world of this religion—as translated by writers Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park fame.

One of the funniest phrases of the evening was reminiscent of The Lion King’s “Hakuna Matata.” “Hasa diga eebowai” has a slightly different meaning from the happy-go-lucky Disney expression, and you will have to hear it in context in order to get it’s full effect. Let’s just say that living in Uganda—where gay people are killed, where girls and women are mutilated with circumcision, where AIDS is still decimating the population, and people live with an ever-present fear of soldiers wiping out their entire village—the three word English translation provides us with an honest human reaction to the world in which they live.

On a lighter note, we learned that character Elder McKinley has a proclivity for the homosexual lifestyle (of course, as a Mormon, he would just have to stuff those feelings into an imaginary box and smash it!) But, I couldn’t help but wonder how anyone could pick out the one Gay in each of the fabulously choreographed production numbers peppered with pink-sequined vests, high kicks, and wrists bending in every conceivable direction. As one of the Elders had exclaimed, “O.M. Gosh!”

One of my favorite lines in the performance was, “This book will change your life.” I might add, “This musical will change your life.” But, it is a production not for the faint-hearted easily offended by cursing, or the even more sacrilegious cursing of God. If you do get the chance to see The Book of Mormon, keep in mind something one smiling gentleman said as he passed by me at intermission, “It’s just a little bit irreverent.”

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