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Tuesday night, I went to the fabulous Fox Theater and watched the The Book of Mormon. I had been holding out for a movie, but I couldn't turn this opportunity down when it came. As The Guy Who Hates Everything, I was determined not to be entertained. My resolve failed halfway through the opening number, "Hello."
It's no great surprise that a Trey Parker and Matt Stone venture is both offensively irreverent and hysterically funny, but I expected that the best jokes in The Book of Mormon would be retreads from their earlier skewering of the Mormon religion in South Park episodes. Full credit to the genius of Parker/Stone: they've found a lot to things laugh at in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Once again, I found myself in awe of Parker & Stone's ability to tell a great joke. They start with a topic that should be toxic, have someone make a reasonable reaction to the uncomfortable situation, then knock it down with a left-field punchline that is simultaneously rude and hysterical. I wish I could make people laugh as hard as they can make me laugh. But then I guess I'd be the multi-millionaire Tony Award winner and not some schlub with a blog.
My favorite part of the play was the performance of "Turn It Off," in which a dutiful Mormon missionary provides instructions in denying your own homosexuality. It's a catchy little number that says nothing about my own sexual preferences. Really. I just like musical theater. Ahem.
So if you like South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut or Team America (fuck yeah!), make it a point to see The Book of Mormon. I still hope that they turn it into a movie; I'd like to watch it again and again.