Music by Scott Martin

SM Blog

7/7/2013: Book of Mormon at Playhouse Square


There was a time many, many years ago when I was involved in a musical stage production. I enjoyed the experience for what it was, but after doing that particular show I felt like it was out of my system. I still enjoy performing music in front of an audience, but I just don’t have that burning desire to act and dance while I sing.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy seeing the occasional stage production. Having done it once, I know how much effort and energy go into making it happen. And I can appreciate a professional cast performing in a well-designed show, especially when there’s music involved.

So when Charley suggested we get tickets for ourselves and the ladies for closing night of The Book of Mormon here in Cleveland, I immediately said yes. From all accounts the show was amazing, not to mention hysterical.

We all put on our fancy duds and headed downtown to Playhouse Square. It’s cool going to the theater. Most people are dressed up, and the whole atmosphere has that “red velvet” opulence about it.

We had seats in the center section, a little more than halfway back, and it was a great spot to see and hear the show. There may have been some unsuspecting folks in the audience who found it offensive and sacrilegious, but we thought it was incredibly funny and entertaining.

The whole narrative of the devout Mormon who is sent on his mission to Africa (when he really wants to be sent to Florida) where he tries to make sense of an AIDS-ravaged village population, gets into trouble with a local warlord, questions his purpose and gets into other crazy shenanigans, was comedy gold. At the same time it managed to (in true Parker and Stone fashion) highlight the absurdity of believing something just because it’s what you’re told.

The show’s music covered a variety of styles, and musical motifs wound their way through the whole show (as they do for any good musical). There was a great number called “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” that had me in tears.

The cast was excellent that night, which was a nice way to close out the production. It was worth the price of admission, even if I didn’t feel compelled to run out and buy the soundtrack. This T-shirt, though, looked pretty tempting…