Before this weekend, I had never been to a Broadway play. I can’t recall the last time I even went to the theater, though I feel like I’ve been sometime this millennium.
Before this month, I had never had any interest in checking out a play (Broadway or not). Sure, I laughed at the Taste of Blood bit in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (if you don’t know what I’m talking about, this might jog your memory), but besides that, I never thought I was missing out on anything by not checking out the theater. Never thought I was missing out, that is, until I heard of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s foray into musical theater; The Book of Mormon. I knew the South Park boys had already hilariously taken on the Mormons on tv and in the movies and I wondered: What else did they have to say (and how else could they make me laugh)? A a huge fan of their work, I needed to know (and apparently, I needed to check out this Broadway thing)!
I went down to New York City for a wedding on Saturday. Since I was down, and my girlfriend and I weren’t doing anything Friday night, I decided I’d try my luck in the Book of Mormon lottery. The ticket lottery is this thing where you go down to the theater about two hours before the show, put your name in a drum and at the bell of two hours before show time (literally the bell, there’s a church on the same block), they pick out names. These names win two tickets to see the show for 32$. Usually the tickets go for over 130$, so it’s quite a bargain. There are 20 tickets and about 10 times that amount of people participate in the lottery.
I tried my luck on Friday night. My name didn’t get picked. Since I decided to leave on Monday morning (use the bus’ wifi and outlets to do work), I tried my luck again for the afternoon show. Still no dice. Finally, on Sunday night, I tried my luck one last time. By some insane stroke of luck, I won! Two tickets! Can you believe it?
The show was amazing. We both loved it. While they could have gone the cheap route and rehashed their gags from the South Park episode “All About the Mormons?”, they decided to take a fresh new route and give the audience a fresh new comedy. The laughs (and there are plenty) aren’t really at the expense of the Mormons, but that’s not to say they’re unscathed by the jokes. I won’t go on in detail about the show, there are much better reviews out there, but, as does everyone else, I’ll say that it’s totally worth it (I’m not sure I would have ever paid full price, though that’s more because I’m super cheap…).
EDIT: Turns out NPR has the entire soundtrack available for free on their website! I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of it even if you haven’t seen the play!