Wednesday, December 11, 2013

"Book of Mormon," eh.

Sorry I've been slacking off here; I've been busy.

We went to see "Book of Mormon" at the Orpheum.  The problem with going to see BOM is that it is so wildly overhyped at this point that it was bound to be disappointing.  I mean, when Penn Jillette says it's better than The Clash, the Sex Pistols, and George Carlin, if you don't LITERALLY orgasm during the performance, it's a letdown.  (Penn Jillette orgasm video via Generic, thx.)

I didn't literally orgasm.

Here's why I think it's so popular:  it marries conventional musical structure to a mildly subversive plot (Mormon missionaries go to Uganda and encounter benighted brown people; Mormon religion exposed as ridiculous) and transgressive language ("Fuck you, God, in the ass, mouth and cunt").  It gives people permission to laugh at things they normally couldn't laugh at, like someone else's religion, AIDS, Africans, and female genital mutilation.  People like to be shocked, and it's (sort of) shocking.  And it's occasionally funny; not as funny as most episodes of "South Park," but it has its moments.

For me, it was about a half-hour too long.  It really drags at the end of the first act and beginning of the second, and then wraps up far too quickly and neatly.  The songs all sound roughly the same - like someone was trying to write songs that sounded like they were From a Musical, which I guess is actually true.  And there is the whole race problem which I won't get into here but other people have taken a look at.  I guess go see it if you love musicals and think "I have maggots in my scrotum" is hilarious.


Civic Center said...

Thanks for the cautionary tale and the great link to the person who had some racial issues with the depiction of Uganda. Loved both of Stone/Parker's movie musicals, "Bigger, Longer, Uncut" and "Team America," but something's kept me away from BOM, and not just the inflated ticket prices.

Stoney said...

Keep in mind that Penn Jillette might be biased towards his fellow "libertarians," Stone and Parker.

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