Entertainment Hive 2020

The Book of Mormon

Adelaide Festival Centre, until 18 August

Review by Honey B

The Book of Mormon is a heavenly musical with a hellish bent. And it’s no wonder the hilarious satire has such a wicked side with the creators of animated series South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone at the helm having written the script, music and lyrics along with Robert Lopez who wrote the music for Avenue Q. Politically incorrect and, let’s face it, pretty offensive with plenty of bad language, The Book of Mormon also has a flipside which features plenty of charming scenes, unexpected laughs and a beautiful heart at its core. The liberating production follows two newbie American missionaries, Elder Price (Blake Bowden) and Elder Cunningham (Nyk Bielak) who are sent to Uganda, Africa to try and bring their faith to villagers. Elder Price is smart and devoted to his mission while Elder Cunningham isn’t up to speed on the Mormon faith, makes things up and is really looking for a friend. The pair are very much an odd couple, but who will convert the villagers to the Mormon faith? Once in Africa they discover their mission isn’t an easy one with most of the village suffering from AIDs, other illnesses and there’s also a warlord looking to ravage the village. With so much to fear the villagers have a very optimistic view on life with their own catchy saying/song: Hasa Diga Eebowai. It’s a song you will go home singing and it’s one of the reasons this musical is so damn good. The songs and lyrics are brilliant and teamed with energetic choreography, tongue-in-cheek lyrics, nods to other musicals and an outstanding cast. Blake Bowden was superb as the clean-cut Elder Price and his voice was to die for. While Canadian Nyk Bielak was absolutely hilarious as the charming as the bumbling and inventive Elder Cunningham. His comedic timing was on song. A special mention goes to Joel Granger as Elder McKinley who somehow managed to steal the show just about every time he stepped on-stage. McKinley’s cracking number Turn It Off was jaw-dropping in so many ways. There were so many wonderful songs and gobsmacking lyrics and one of my personal favourites was Spooky Mormon Hell Dream – brilliant. The creators of this show were so clever teaming a big musical with such controversial material – the mix just works on so many different levels. There was so much to take in throughout the production that it really needs to be seen two or three times. This production was absolutely flawless and it’s not to be missed. I’ll be going again. The Book of Mormon has come knocking – answer the door. Hello!
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