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The Book of Mormon: magnificent, musical, Melbourne mayhem
The Book of Mormon is a funny, frenetic, fictitious fantasy from the creative duo behind South Park (Matt Stone and Trey Parker)—with Robert Lopez—about two young Mormons and their adventures in Uganda . The show is like a cleverly choreographed episode of South Park: complete nonsense whose purpose is to amuse and ridicule in equal parts.
The performers are hyperactive caricatures in overdrive. Ryan Bondy as dreamboat Elder Kevin Price is the epitome of ambition without a cause. He can't make any more sense of the Book of Mormon than the rest of us but he's gonna make his parents proud and blitz those Ugandans and their pagan ways.
AJ Holmes as Elder Arnold Cunningham, his smitten partner in the conversion venture, is just the right mix of sycophantic and simple, with a pinch of pathos. Their classic mismatch is just the start of the problems they face in deepest, darkest Africa, accompanied by the chirpiest bunch of failed Mormon baptists you're likely to meet in a month of Sundays.
Special mention must be made of Rowan Witt as Elder McKinley, the not-so-closet gay with the twinkle toes and eyes to match, Zahra Newman as African love interest Nabulungi/Neutrogena/Nutella and Andrew Broadbent as Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon faith.
If you're thinking of boycotting this show on religious grounds, don't (unless you're a practising Mormon, in which case I would recommend you stay away.) The Book of Mormon is not a recruitment tool for the religion. It's a rollicking, irreverent, blasphemous celebration of sublime song and silliness, with a sting in its tail aimed squarely at mindless belief systems. Don't miss it.