Now playing at The Princess in Melbourne is The Book of Mormon – the mammoth Broadway hit we’ve been looking forward to arriving in Australia for some six years. There are endless reasons to see the show, and if you’re a fan of South Park or Avenue Q – the creators of which are behind this production – you probably already know that you’re going to see it. But their involvement is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are seven reasons everyone needs to see this show:
1. The References
Fans of Broadway Musicals like Wicked and The Lion King will love the references scattered throughout the clever production. We will let you discover these references for yourself: think of it as a reward for being a musical nerd.
2. Risqué Humour (for the intellectual mind)
Do your friends always tell you you’re head is in the gutter? Well then, this is the show for you. This show is filled with plenty of non-PC jokes, and naughty language (a family show it is not) – and just wait until you learn what “Hasa Diga Eebowai” means. But it’s also one of the most acclaimed and successful Broadway Musicals in history – so your head might be in the gutter, but it’s a critically lauded gutter, sparkling in the glitters of Broadway. An intellectual gutter, if there ever was one.
3. The Creative Team
As we alluded to in the introduction, Mormon is written by the creative minds behind South Park (Trey Parker and Matt Stone), while the co-creator of Avenue Q, Robert Lopez, helped ensure it was perfectly crafted for the stage – so you’re in safe hands. Fans of South Park, meanwhile, will be happy to know the creators make a cameo – listen out for it!
4. This show was the Hamilton of 2011
The show that took New York City by storm and was sold out for years in advance, before Hamilton, was The Book of Mormon. Even to this day it remains one of the hottest tickets in town. Not Hamilton “I paid $2,000 to see the show” hot, but people still want to see it on its original stage, and its ticket sales reflect this. And now you can see it on the not-original stage. In Melbourne! And it seems not much has changed: The Book of Mormon has already broken the house record for the highest selling on sale period of any production in the Princess Theatre’s 159-year history.
5. A cast to be celebrated
Ryan Bondy and A.J. Holmes – who play Elder Price and Elder Cunningham – come to the Australian production straight from the US company, and they’re accompanied by one of the best Australian casts we’ve seen: Zahara Newman, Bert Labonte, Rowan Witt, Andrew Broadbent, Augustin Aziz Tchantcho (who has played Mufasa in The Lion King – which will make some of the references even more enjoyable) and many more.
6. Even Mormons love it…
You don’t have to be a Mormon – or any type of religious worshipper for that matter – to see or enjoy this show. But if you are, you shouldn’t let any pre-conceptions keep you away – apparently most Mormon’s actually enjoy the show, with the USA Today saying that many attending the show found it “surprisingly sweet”, with one Mormon Mother saying, “It’s not G-rated, but they treated us with affection. And they did their homework.” So while you’re going to get some foul language, don’t expect to leave the theatre thinking anything differently of the religion that you already did. If you thought its teachings were ridiculous, you probably still will. If you live to its word – you still will. And there’s something to be said for that.
7. A workout for the laughter muscles
You wouldn’t think a night out at the theatre would be an excellent way to work out but trust us when we say this show will have you in fits of laughter and leaving with the best abs you’ve ever had. The Book of Mormon is, in a word, hilarious.
The Book of Mormon is currently playing at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne, with tickets on sale through May. For tickets and more details head HERE.
Photos of Australian production by Jeff Busby.
Contributions to this article from Kara Bertoncini