If there has been one statement we’ve gotten a little tired of hearing it’s been “you guys haven’t seen Book of Mormon yet??”. No, no we haven’t. And for no particular reason really. We had the money, we had the time since you had to buy the tickets about 6 months out, but we never got the motivation to just go buy them.
Then one day Val’s sister, who I think has never seen a musical in her life, got free tickets to see it in St Louis. Then it got to the point of “well if she’s seen it we have to go now!”. And I’m glad we did since I had just discovered the news that it was leaving Chicago soon. So I went to the box office and scored two balcony seats within the next month by not being too picky and Val and I would have to sit one behind the other (which actually, the people next to me never showed so the second half we got to sit together!)
Now, onto the actual show. Elder Price is usually played by Nic Rouleau, but like most matinees, we got the understudy of Stephen Mark Lukas. I don’t know of Rouleau and haven’t heard anything fantastic about him as the Elder, but Lukas was not fantastic. It took him a few beats to find the pitch. His voice didn’t make it through “I Believe”. And he was just dull. Now, that being said, having not seen Mormon before this could be how they all act (dull, not off pitch) but I could have cared less about the character.
So Elder Cunningham helps the show out. That’s how it is? The Elder Cunninghams in NYC and West End are usually the ones I hear about. And now look at Josh Gad on TV! In any case, this Cunningham was play by Ben Platt, who if you’re a music nerd like us, you’ll remember as the Star Wars nerd from the (amazingly funny) movie Pitch Perfect. He played Cunningham as a bit mentally challenged it seemed. He got a ton of laughs. His voice, also not strong, but still better than Lukas’. I think he did the character very well and it was nice to have someone that didn’t sound exactly like the original cast recording.
Now, having been listening to the cast recording for about two years now, and knowing every single line, I was set up for disappointment. But I wasn’t in the end. It didn’t blow me away at all, but it was one of the most highly entertaining shows I’ve ever seen. Seeing it finally in person was even funnier than listening to the recording or watching clips from the Tony Awards. The set was really detailed for a touring show, the costumes are basic though. One thing that we both enjoyed is that every character plays several minor characters in the show. I can only imagine the costume changes going on backstage during those times!
Though we weren’t impressed with Lucas, and I liked Platt while Val was meh about him, the one we both loved was the kid that played Elder McKinley, Pierce Cassedy. He lit up the stage as the closeted gay Elder. His singing was more decent than his cast mates. And all around with his dancing and acting skills, he was a delight to watch. Also, we want to now be BFF’s with him. I thought about asking when passing him in the theater hall with his Broadway Cares bucket.
I’m SO happy we finally saw this show. There is nothing like looking over on a Sunday at 2pm and seeing 70 year old people laughing at jokes about clits being cut off, maggots in scrotum and AIDS. It’s something I can’t imagine ever experiencing again. It’s not a show you come out feeling renewed in humanity or found you learned a valuable lesson. But in the end you laughed your ass off and it was worth it. Don’t go for amazing singing – go to have fun. Because I was crying several times and I know every word to the music in this show. They did a great job bringing these interesting characters to light for sure!
Man, talk about right timing. So the rumors are going this week Book of Mormon is about to be done with it’s course here in Chicago. THIS was a very well put together article in the Tribune today as to why they think so.
I loved having Wicked in Chicago as a semi-permanent staple, but the really neat thing was hearing how many people knew someone actually in the show. BoM is a touring show, so these people aren’t Chicago actors.
So I breathe a sigh of relief knowing my tickets are hanging on the refrigerator and will finally see it in a week. It was a great gift for Chicago to get the extended run. I’m also almost relived we’re seeing it so we don’t get asked why haven’t we seen it yet?? I feel like I know the soundtrack so well already that I’m not going to LOVE it like I should but I have a bit of hope since I keep hearing how well Ben Platt is doing as the role of Elder Cunningham. He did great on Pitch Perfect, so we shall see!
But time for Book of Mormon to move on and something else to roll into the Bank of America theater!
….and in two weeks the day will finally be here. We’re finally going to see Book of Mormon here in Chicago.
|Any theater ticket that has “Explicit Language” is okay by me
|Marquee of Chicago’s Bank of America Theater
Almost every single person we know, whether they enjoy musicals or not, has seen this show, and the two who based their wedding on musicals because they love them so much? Yeah, haven’t gotten around to it just yet. I finally found a random matinee a month out that had two not-so-high balcony seats with one seat on the aisle and another single one behind it. We don’t need to talk during the show, so that worked out just fine – and much cheaper than the inflated floor seats (NOT saying it’s not worth it though).
|Entrance to Book of Mormon Chicago
In any case, I have a fear that it won’t live up to my expectations. And it might not. It might be like Les Miserables and the two tries we’ve given it now. But at least we’re fortunate enough to live in the next major city for Broadway theater and Book of Mormon decided to stay here for awhile instead of just a two week engagement.
And it’s at my least favorite theater of course. Groan. But we shall persevere and say “Hello!” to Book of Mormon Chicago soon!
In a season of Chicago theater that included oddities such as Pinkalicious, Colin Quinn and Love, Lost and What I Wore, I was scared and excited to hear what Broadway in Chicago might bring to the table this time. I was wishing for two things that I knew would be touring: Sister Act, American Idiot, and Book of Mormon. Mainly Book of Mormon.
In fact the night before, Val and I were discussing an upcoming trip to NYC for the sole reason of seeing this production. Which at earliest was going to be April, considering all other tickets were gone. The following morning I’m on my Twitter feed and see a breaking news announcement. I couldn’t believe it. Chicago got Book of Mormon to start the second leg of their tours! Thank goodness we didn’t book that trip. Though April 2012 is closer than December of 2012, but I’ll take it!
The following day, BIC decided to announce their spring season of shows. And I read the article and finished thinking about when I wrote that we were no longer BIC subscribers (which we aren’t) but now, we might have to be again. Here’s what Chicago can look forward to for the Spring 2012 season:
Bring It On
In the Heights
And then Book of Mormon for the holiday season. American Idiot I’ve been wanting to see just for something different in the Broadway world besides remakes of old shows. And being a Green Day listener since ‘Dookie’ I tend to listen to their newer albums. The first time I heard American Idiot, I thought it was quite powerful, so I wasn’t surprised when it took to the stage. It wasn’t something I was going to make a trip for, but now that it will be here, that’s easy!
Fela! always has sounded fun, emotional and powerful. Though most of what I’ve seen was on TV, I think it will be enjoyable. Bring It On, well, this one I’m not sure of. The movie I adore in all it’s cheesy campy style. The musical? I’m not sold, but I won’t turn it down. I kind of want to down a bottle of wine before hand to make it funny. But who knows? On it’s own it might be. Also, seeing the cheer-leading competition going on on stage could be interesting, right? Well, we’ll see!
The latter shows, are some I’m not enthused about but there’s only one I don’t want to see and that’s Cats. But then I think, am I a bad theater goer since I’ve never seen it’s stage production and only viewed it on DVD? I loathe that music though, and the whole concept seems silly. So I suppose, if it’s in the package, fine, I’ll suffer through, but let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. In The Heights is one I would like to see the most. Lin-Manuel is brilliant (as seen with his fine writing below for the 2011 Tony Awards, NPH’s great rap written on the fly) and this show looks edgy and gritty with well written music.
So Chicago, which show(s) are you most looking forward to? Of course everyone in the Theater Loop is abuzz about Book of Mormon. Heck, we’re getting 15 of our closest friends to get the earliest tickets available I think! But, do you agree that this Spring season makes up for the Fall of 2011? Though….I will miss those awesome Bank of America seats we had when we canceled our subscription….*sigh*