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Play Review: "The Book of Mormon"

The Book of Mormon is a musical comedy written by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez that has received widespread acclaim and numerous awards since its debut in 2011. A satirical take on the beliefs and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the play follows the journey of two young Mormon missionaries as they try to spread their faith in a small village in Uganda. With catchy tunes, clever humor, and an endearing message about the power of friendship and belief, The Book of Mormon has captivated audiences and critics alike. In this review, we'll delve into the various elements of the play and explore what makes it such a beloved and enduring hit.

Throughout the play, the characters encounter a range of humorous and absurd situations, all while singing and dancing to catchy tunes that satirize the beliefs and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The play also explores themes of friendship, belief, and the power of imagination and storytelling.

The set design for The Book of Mormon is minimalistic, with a limited number of sets that are reused for multiple scenes. For example, the set for Uganda is used for a number of different scenes throughout the play, with only slight variations to indicate different locations within the village. While this approach works well with the satirical and humorous tone of the play, it can also feel somewhat repetitive and unengaging at times.

One of the most interesting and visually striking set pieces is the hell dream sequence, which features a completely different look and feel from the rest of the play. This scene effectively incorporates special effects and imaginative set pieces to create a unique and memorable visual experience.

The set design for The Book of Mormon is effective in conveying the humorous and absurd nature of the play, but it could benefit from a greater variety of sets and more immersive visual elements to fully engage the audience.

The lighting design for The Book of Mormon played a significant role in the overall impact of the play. This was particularly evident during scenes in which certain characters had monologues, as the use of spotlights helped to focus the audience's attention on these moments. Additionally, the use of starry lights that moved around the room helped to enhance the sense of Elder Price's imagination and inner thoughts as he prepared to embark on his mission.

The sound design for the play was not particularly technical, but it was effective in ensuring that all of the actors were well heard and that the volume was sufficient to reach all parts of the theater. However, some audience members may have found that the songs in the play all had a similar "formula" and did not vary much from one another, which may have made them feel somewhat indistinguishable from one another. Despite this, the songs were still enjoyable and added to the overall energy and humor of the play.

The costumes for The Book of Mormon were impeccably designed and perfectly suited for each scene and time period depicted in the play. The play's costume designers made sure to include different costumes for the moments when the characters discussed the origins of the Book of Mormon, and these costumes reflected the modern-day look of Mormon characters. 

The costumes worn by the Ugandan characters were also well-matched to the set pieces and the "home" setting of the village. The Ugandan women had a variety of different outfit pieces, while the men had different accessories that conveyed their individual styles, which differed from those of the Mormon characters. The costumes for the hell dream sequence were particularly noteworthy, as many of the characters were dressed as their true selves and there were costumes that clearly resembled historical figures. These costumes were a standout element of the play, and added an extra layer of visual interest to the performance.

The actors were cast pretty well in my opinion; they all fit their roles and personalities. The Ugandan people were not very believable since the whole play is satire and meant to be exaggerating stereotypes. Elder Cunningham was the stand-out actor since his voice was very unique and he became a main part of the play towards the end. The jokes he made were very charismatic and hilarious. 

Nabulungi was also a stand-out since she had great lines that showed how naive and gullible her character is. Her actor had an incredible voice that captivated the audience’s attention every time. The accent her character has is also present in her singing, which makes for funny pronunciation within the solos. The chemistry between the actors who play Elder Cunningham and Nabulungi was amazing and their interactions were arguably the best part of the play, especially with the innuendos between them.

I was able to understand all the characters the whole time and all the actors spoke very clearly. They made sure to hit the punchline for jokes so the audience could understand the sarcastic undertones. They all acted great as an ensemble and had many scenes where they all sang and interacted throughout musical bits with each other. It was hilarious seeing the Ugandans resist against the Mormons and the dialogue in some songs made it ridiculous in a good way.

Overall, this play was a funny and entertaining performance, but it did not personally resonate with me as I do not focus on religion in my everyday life. I did not initially have any desire to see the play, but the opportunity arose and I was able to watch and discuss it. The ending, which featured the theater accepting donations for charity, was a nice touch and added to the overall positive experience. However, I do feel that the play relies on outdated stereotypes and beliefs and may not need to continue being performed. 


The Book of Mormon is a clever and entertaining production that combines sharp humor, catchy music, and a heartwarming message to create a truly memorable experience. It has received widespread acclaim and numerous awards since its debut, and continues to be a popular choice for theatergoers around the world.

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