While the Spider-Man musical has been struggling along with all the momentum of an elderly man wearing roller skates trying to go up Lombard Hill after it has been covered with lard, another nerd-derived Broadway musical has opened with the fanfare of a million angels playing Handel’s Water Music while flying over a burning fireworks factory.

The Book of Mormon, by South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q’s Robert Lopez, is being hailed as a f•••ing masterpiece. The guy from the NY Timesjust about passed out from excitement, and reveals that the show even takes on their arachnid composer down the street:

But Mr. Gad remains likable and funny (especially doing Bono in a number called “I Am Africa”), while Mr. Rannells makes brilliant use of his character’s narcissism, which isn’t so far from the impulse that animates musical stage stars. As Nabulungi, the smart, dewy village girl who dreams of Salt Lake City, the sweet but savvy Nikki M. James gives a lovely, funny performance, never winking at her character’s earnestness. And for combining polish, enthusiasm and individuality, the ensemble is the best in a musical since Susan Stroman’s team for “The Producers.”

Everyone who has seen the show, from Jon Stewert to Andrew Sullivan, is going nuts:

It is the best thing they have ever done – musically, theatrically, comically. They are slowly becoming the Hogarths and Swifts of our time – because by trashing the world with anarchic humor and biting commentary, they are obviously also intent on saving it. And loving it regardless.

Yeah boys, we knew you had it in you all along, even if you are kind of pussies now.

The only problem now is why the F didn’t we get Book of Mormon tickets when we had a chance?



  1. I saw it in previews.

    Butt F’ing Naked awesome! It is a traditional Broadway show (ballads, dream song, chorus number) warped by Parker, Stone, and Lopez.

    It helps if you know something about Mormonism (start with Mike Allred’s “Golden Plates”). But there’s enough to entertain the neophyte as well.

    Oh, and splurge on orchestra seats if available. The sets are great, and you need to see the cast’s expressions. (I was up in the nosebleed section.)

    Of course, since this is the Eugene O’Neill Theatre, there is a bar (very expensive), and drinking and eating is allowed in the seats. The theater is small, so at intermission, walk towards Eighth Avenue… there’s a juice/internet cafe a few doors down. Buy some snacks, use the restrooms. No line!

  2. Saw both shows while in NYC with the missus over the weekend. Saw Spider-Man first and it was absolutely abysmal — the biggest applause of the night was when a glitch delayed the performance for a couple minutes. At this point I think the audience is half-hoping for some non-lethal mishap just so they can say they were part of the train wreck the show has become. I know my main motivation for attending was a morbid curiosity to find out firsthand just how bad the show was in case the whole thing shuts down before it ever officially opens.

    But Book of Mormon was sheer joy — what a difference a strong story, charismatic cast, catchy tunes, and focused artistic direction can make!