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‘Book of Mormon’ brings its adult-themed hilarity to Columbus

Phyre Hawkins, Mark Evans, and Christopher John O'Neill in the 'Book of Mormon' national tour, playing Columbus through May 25
Phyre Hawkins, Mark Evans, and Christopher John O'Neill in the 'Book of Mormon' national tour, playing Columbus through May 25
Joan Marcus

The Book of Mormon the Musical

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The title might seem innocent enough, but The Book of Mormon is full of off-the-wall hilarity. Brought to stage by the same people who brought us such shows as South Park, Book of Mormon is pretty much only fit for mature audiences, but you won’t hear me complaining.

Book of Mormon tells the story of two young Mormon boys, Elder Price and Elder Cunningham, who are paired together for their mission in Uganda. The first problem is that the boys couldn’t be any more different – Elder Price is ambitious and well-studied in his religion, where Elder Cunningham has an overactive imagination and a childlike excitement. The second problem is that the small village they end up in isn’t quite what they imagined. The villagers are cynical and can’t bring themselves to believe in any benevolent God that lets terrible things happen to them, but the two Mormons are determined to convert them.

It might not sound like much of a laugh, but trust me when I say it is. The humor dances just along the line, one joke away from being straight-out offensive, but never quite crossing it. The antics that happen on stage are numerous – from a dancing Jesus in a light-up robe to various iconic figures from pop culture and nearly everything in between. Some of the running gags might get old after a while, but the jokes keep the audience on their toes, never quite knowing for sure when the gag will happen again.

The cast has perfected its comedic timing, and the ensemble is perfection. They have an amazing amount of talent, knocking out what must be complicated choreography with apparent ease and never growing tired during the quick succession of songs. Of particular note are the leads of the show. Mark Evans plays the idealistic Elder Price, taking the audience on the character’s large arc learning that he can still be incredible even if he’s taking a different path than he planned. Evans has a wonderful voice and great dancing skills, but it’s the ease with which he connects with the audience that is his greatest talent. As Elder Cunningham, Christopher John O’Neill is hilarious and relatable as the expected sidekick – this role gives him the comedic lead, and he steals the show when on stage. Finally, Alexandra Ncube, as Nabulungi, is exceptional as the female lead, and her voice is unparalleled in the show.

All in all, Book of Mormon is a show that is not to be missed. It’s full of catchy and entertaining songs and absolutely amazing choreography. The sets are stunning, the jokes are hilarious, and it just makes for a very fun night out. Take your friends or your date and escape from reality for just a little while into the hilarity that is this musical.