Why you need to see The Book Of Mormon

Feature Paul Martinovic 26 Feb 2013 - 11:41

The Book Of Mormon, from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, arrives in London. Here's what Paul thought...

A few months ago a programme aired on ITV called Superstar. If, like the majority of the British viewing public, it passed you by, let me quickly get you up to speed: the reality show was the brain child of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, the hugely successful composer behind West End smashes such as Cats, Starlight Express and Evita who has seen a late career resurgence as the self-appointed Simon Cowell of musical theatre.

Following Webber's similarly successful recruitment shows for productions of The Wizard Of Oz and The Sound Of Music, Superstar saw contestants compete to win the title role of Jesus in a new production of Lloyd Webber's rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, alongside Sporty Spice as Mary Magdalene and a newly unemployed Chris Moyles as Herod.

A judging panel of Jason Donovan, Dawn French and Mel C gave alternately baffling, bawdy and empty opinions that ultimately proved to be meaningless even in the context of reality show pundit opinions, as the omnipotent Lloyd Webber had the final say over who went through anyway (although he did deign to actually sit with the rest of the panel this time around,, as opposed to literally sitting on a golden throne in his BBC musical-reality-comp shows). The show's finale concluded with a dead-eyed Amanda Holden crowning a pasteurised, anonymously handsome bloke as the winner, before dispassionately announcing: "We've found our new Jesus." All things considered, it’s fair to say that the existence of Superstar rendered the crucifixion only the second most appalling thing that the human race ever did in the name of Christ.

Superstar and its subsequent arena tour may well prove be the nadir of British musical theatre, a shining example of everything that people hate about the genre: the endless rehashing of ideas, the aversion to any kind of risk, the love of cloying sentimentality, moronic stunt-casting, and of course, money hungry idea sponge Andrew Lloyd Webber sitting smugly in the centre of it all. If you are a fan of or even vaguely enjoy musicals, to watch the grotesque spectacle of Superstar was to wish, somewhat ironically, for a saviour to come along to banish all of those things for good, and reestablish the musical as something other than the guiltiest of pleasures. I can't be the only person who sat watching it (I had to watch it for something I was working on, before you ask) and thought; "Man, The Book Of Mormon can't arrive soon enough."

The Book of Mormon has already been tasked with saving the musical once, when it premiered in New York in March 2011. The other big musical production of that period was the infamous Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark, which not only combined an execrable Bono-written score with an incoherent, fanboy-baiting storyline, but in its early performances seemed to exist as not so much a viable piece of entertainment than as an elaborate, million-dollar Rube Goldberg device designed to injure as many actors as possible.

With reports of the excesses of Spider-Man filling column inches for months, coming to represent all that was bad about Broadway in the same way the Lloyd Webber reality shows have done for the West End, The Book Of Mormon slotted easily into the role of the good guy: a genuine original, with tangible crossover appeal, it instantly became a critical darling and the most expensive, sought-after ticket in New York. In reality, both shows were hugely financially successful, but in terms of both short term and, you would think, long-term cultural impact, the two aren't comparable: The Book Of Mormon has become, simply, a phenomenon, transcending the musical genre to become something of a cultural milestone; something it has achieved entirely on its own terms.

The Book Of Mormon's unique appeal is in evidence at the show's first UK performance: the lobby crackles with anticipation pre-show, with familiar faces such as BBC arts editor Will Gompertz and, bizarrely, former Arsenal and England number nine Ian Wright spotted chattering animatedly alongside people who look as though this may very well be the first musical they’ve ever been to: in fact, the queue to enter the auditorium looks more like one for an Animal Collective gig than for a West End premiere. One of the show's greatest achievements has been to make its genre cool again, prying the bloodless corpse of musical theatre from the vampiric claws of Lloyd Webber and injecting it with vim, energy, intelligence, and a genuine edge.

It's fair to assume that The Book Of Mormon's initial buzz and credibility was largely credited to the input of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the comedic duo behind 15-plus years of South Park and Team America: World Police. The pair are part of an increasingly rarified group of comedians on either side of the pond who still retain an air of genuine danger: you can't imagine an Eddie Izzard joke resulting in FBI-investigated threats from radical Islamist groups, or Adam Sandler attending the Oscars in drag and on acid. Their track record with religion, a subject they know inside out from after tirelessly lampooning  just abut every permutation of it on South Park over the years, also guarantees a certain level of social and cultural thoughtfulness in The Book Of Mormon that is missing from, say, We Will Rock You.

Not to be overlooked in The Book Of Mormon success equation is Robert Lopez, who co-wrote the book, music and lyrics with Parker and Stone after the success of his profane puppet-populated musical Avenue Q on the West End and Broadway. A lazy assumption to make would be that Lopez provided the tunes and Parker and Stone provided the satire and toilet humour, but their respective careers don't bear that out: Parker is an avid musical-theatre buff, and with Stone began his career with Troma's Cannibal! The Musical. Their South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut is probably the best movie musical of past 25 years, and according to Lopez was a big influence on Avenue Q. Similarly, Lopez is no slouch when it comes to near-the-knuckle comedy, with Avenue Q featuring depictions of puppet sex and a song called 'Everyone's A Little Bit Racist'.

Add in Casey Nicholaw, a veteran of Broadway musicals who choreographs the show's dance numbers and co-directed alongside Parker, and it's hard to see how Book Of Mormon was ever going to fail. But success for the show in the UK isn't necessarily a guarantee: for one thing, the Mormon religion isn't as prominent in public consciousness in the UK as it is  America, where the country recently came relatively close to electing a Mormon president - will the satire be as pointed here as it was over there? And will the digs at dogma prove quite so shocking to a nation that lacks a bible belt and produced Life of Brian over 30 years ago?

Nicholaw bounds on to the Prince of Wales stage to a rock star's welcome from the excitable, whooping crowd. He warns the audience that, due to the performance being a dress rehearsal, that there may be a few flaws and hiccups along the way, perhaps in an attempt to temper what you feel are probably unreasonable expectations: some people here (myself included) have been waiting nearly a decade to see this, after the project was first mooted in interviews by Parker and Stone around the time of the launch of Team America: World Police.  Two minutes later, after a brief, scene-setting prologue voiced by Parker himself, actor Gavin Creel, dressed in the now-iconic Mormon uniform of white shirt, black tie and smart trousers, strolls onstage, rings an imaginary doorbell, and announces/sings to the audience: "Hello. My name is Elder Price. And I would like to share with you the most amazing book." The crowd laughs.

It turns out Nicholaw needn't have worried: the crowd keep laughing, non-stop, for the next 90 minutes, before retiring to the bar to rest their aching faces. They return a short while later and laugh for one more hour, before giving a visibly overwhelmed cast one of the most raucous and rapidly agreed-upon standing ovations I've ever seen.

Why is The Book Of Mormon such a rapturous experience? Well, you'll get no details of the plot or the show-stopping numbers themselves from me, as they're best experienced cold (if you can't get a ticket – and it'll be nigh-on impossible to do so for a while - don't worry: a film adaptation is currently in the works). You probably already know that it's about Mormon missionaries in Uganda, and that's enough. But you should know that of Book Of Mormon's most defining aspects is how raw it is in its approach to this premise: it absolutely does not shy away from the most unpalatable aspects of the horrors of third-world African poverty. As well as relentlessly poking fun at the West's romantic, often patronising depictions of Africa (The Lion King gets a serious kicking), Parker, Stone, and Lopez know from their previous work exactly what the few remaining taboos are, and barge through nearly all of them by the time the third number is over and done with. As a result, patrons of The Book Of Mormon may well find themselves leaving the Prince of Wales Theatre cheerfully singing phrases that sound more like something Linda Blair would scream in The Exorcist than what you'd expect from your average West End lyric.

Perhaps it's this dissonance that people are responding to: musical theatre is one of the most safe and unthreatening entertainments around, so to see sacred cows being bludgeoned in this manner in the context of otherwise straightforward, glitzy spectacle does feel genuinely thrilling. The show is closest in spirit to the early work of Mel Brooks, another comedic titan also hugely indebted to musical theater and who went on to have a hit Broadway show with his adaptation of The Producers. Like Brooks's Blazing Saddles in particular, The Book of Mormon blends piercing satire, puerile toilet humour and pop-cultural refrences/genre parodies while somehow maintaining a consistent tone and, crucially, remaining painfully hilarious - in every sense.

The reduced visibility of the Mormon religion in the UK doesn't prove to be an issue, either, as it quickly becomes clear that the show is not about Mormonism per se, but about any religion based on convoluted mythologies and restricting dogmatic principles (i.e. 99% of them), and the subsequent dangers of blind, unquestioning faith. However, much like 'All About the Mormons', the South Park episode that acts as something of a prequel to The Book Of Mormon, this is no atheist , anti-Mormon polemic: it's as much of a celebration of how Mormonism, and religion as a whole can inspire genuine humanity, as it is about eviscerating the plausibility of some of the sillier beliefs. It makes its more overt criticisms feel even more trenchant than a more cynical sneering attitude to religion would have done- some of the funniest, most delightful moments come when some of the more apparently oblivious 'followers' reveal themselves to be far more self-aware than appearances may suggest.

That a treatise on religion this thoughtful and clever could be attached to a West End show is, if you pardon the pun, nothing short of miraculous. But if its examination of faith is what will ensure that the show will endure, I don't think it's the reason for its current popularity. I think the reason why it brought the house down on its first night, and will do so every night of its run, is first and foremost because it is a fantastic musical: the songs are ferociously catchy, the dance numbers are brilliantly executed, the performers are incredibly gifted (co-leads Creel and Jared Gertner played their respective roles on the first US tour of the show: as a result, both have hundreds of performances under their belt and they’re both phenomenal) and the storyline is relevant, poignant and thought-provoking.

The show is revelatory (again, pardon the pun) because it ultimately reminds you of what's so appealing about musicals - the feeling of being surprised. There is something inherently surprising and unusual about seeing someone burst into song, and  - depending on your stance on musicals - it's something that either delights or baffles you. The Book Of Mormon springs delights and surprises on you at a breakneck pace, executed by a team of incredible talents who know the genre and their subject inside out. Ultimately, its very existence is the most delightful of surprises – it’s almost life-affirming that this, the most stale and moribund of genres should find its savior in a show about a minority religion from three men who built their empires primarily on puppet sex and fart jokes.

To paraphrase Elders Price and Cunningham in the show, with The Book Of Mormon Parker, Stone, Lopez and Nicholaw really have done something incredible. And if its success, driven by originality and fearlessness, puts the nail in the coffin of jukebox musicals and Andrew Lloyd Webber's anodyne reign of terror? Then… then it really would be nothing less than the second coming.

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Awesome news! We got the soundtrack for this a while back and have wanted to go see it - well, when/if it would ever come to the West End. More recently, we've talked about going to London to see a show, but we didn't know what was on. SORTED! :D

At least Anne Hathaway won't be in the movie version, but then stranger things have happened.

Dum de dum dum dum de dum de dum dum dum dum dumb

Really excited for this - going for my birthday in April :) Gonna have to dig out my Cannibal the musical dvd to again soon

I have no idea what you mean.

So when will the Mohammad was a Pedophile & Molested Camels madcap romp and musical be ready for the stage?

Got my tickets booked for May, I'm really looking forward to this. I love South Park & Avenue Q. I couldn't get tickets when I was in New York last year so I wasn't going to miss this!

Probably never. We all know what the Islamic fundamentalist wackos do when they get offended. Say what you want about the Mormons, but at least they don't kill people (well, not since the Mountain Meadows massacre, anyway).

On a trip by myself to New York in August 2011 I was certain that I wouldn't get the opportunity to see the show, as it was sold out until the new year, but I decided to chance my luck; I tried the lottery that they held outside the theatre to no avail, so my last hope was to try the long cancellation line. I queued up with very little hope, and as the starting time got closer I finally arrived at the front of the line... at which point they called out, 'last ticket left'! I couldn't believe my luck! Central seat, 6 rows from the front, $40! At that point I was bound to be in a good mood, but I can honestly say I can't remember the last time I laughed as much as when I saw the Book of Mormon... I can't speak highly enough of this show, absolutely a must see! Ma Ha Nei Bu, Eebowai!

tl;dr - I'm lucky, I've seen it, it's great, you should see it too ;)

MUST SEE. If you want a quick intro into Mormons, simply watch the South Park Episode All about Mormons. Its only 22 minutes and will give you all the basics you need to know =)

"Their track record with religion, a subject they know inside out from
after tirelessly lampooning..."

I wasn't aware that endlessly making fun of something automatically makes uyou an expert on it.

I guess I'm now an expert on blondes and fat people.

I don't think it is wise or best to watch a satire as an introduction to the basic beliefs of the Mormon religion (or any religion). If I honestly wanted to know what Mormons truly believe and what they practice, I would check out their website for 5 minutes. "South Park" and " The Book of Mormon" musical are entertaining, but I won't take their humor and lampooning of a religion as fact or truth.

No, but writing multitudes of fantastic comedy, within a show that has been running longer than most TV shows ever do, whilst also writing and directing musicals and films about the subject... does make you somewhat of an expert.

Once you have written a hugely successful worldwide hit TV show which runs for 14+ all about Blonde people and overweight people, then yes, you too will be considered an expert

You could check out their website, but they wont tell you the truth, they will tell you what they think you might be able to swallow without going "omg... how nuts?". If you want to know the truth about something, you go to an independent expert who has no affiliations with them. Like, maybe, a tv show.

Southpark have done a few episodes on Islam actually. Watch the episodes "Cartoon Wars Pt1/2"

If you want to understand Mormonism's true beliefs go to LDS.Org or Mormon.ORG
For Paul Martinovac to suggest that this play represents Mormon doctrine, shows his own lack of scholarship and magnifies his own ignorance.
Having said that, the play has some wonderful songs and humor.
If you can get past the blatant vulgarity.
50+ F words?
Fiddler on the Roof it is not.

No, if I want to know what a relgion's beliefs are, I'll got to the actual source, not some anti...agenda driven....bigoted source.

Mormons will bake you a cake and advertise in the Playbill...
Others....They'll just kill you..

Which was after 6 thousand Mormons had been killed themselves.

There were nowhere *near* six thousand Mormons killed. In fact, if you are keeping a body count, the
Mormons killed more "Gentiles" (that's the word that Mormons use for
all us non-Mormons) than the other way around.

Folks should check into a thing called the Mountain Meadows
massacre -- where Mormons, masqueraded as Indians and ambushed / killed in cold blood about 150 emigrants (including women and children).

Look, violence is violence and should always be abhorred –but Mormons refuse to acknowledge their part in their violent history, or to repent and try to make amends. You guys remember the wrongs others did to you – but you resolutely refuse to acknowledge the murders done by your Mormon ancestors. So, on balance, I really don’t see the difference between the Gentile thugs that were murdering Mormons and the Mormon thugs that were murdering Gentiles.

Why should two wrongs makes a right? This is moron logic at its best.

I disagree. Itall depends on the kind of ridiculiing I do. Ifit's shalllow and silly, then no amount of years can make me an "expert". If that were true, then all thsoe grey-haired proessor who spents life-times studying rteligions and cultures are obviously clueless.

Hey, that's a low blow about my lack of scholarship...I guess the musical was wrong about one thing - all Mormons being nice :(

There is lampooning and there is being a dick.

@ Paul Martinovic

Here is the comment of yours in the article which I was referring to when I questioned your scholarship.
"as it is about eviscerating the plausibility of some of the sillier beliefs".
My point is, that the play itself misrepresents LDS beliefs over and over again.
Which then begs the question.......
How can you possibly know if the play is "eviserating beliefs", if those beliefs being portrayed, are false?
1-Witnesses to the plates..(there were 8 people who saw the plates, not just Joseph).
2-Mormons view of hell
3-The dynamics of an LDS Mission
6-Sacred Garments
Other than that, I enjoyed your review. You're a fine writer.

The Mormons were driven from their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois.
In the dead of Winter! This followed having been driven from their homes in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Misssouri. Gov. Boggs of Mo. ordered the Mormons exterminated.

Their lifes belongings were stolen from them. They never transferred the deeds to their property and never received any compensation. Being expelled from Illinois by angry mobs, followed nearly 2 decades of persecution, from tar and featheings to murder.

They were forced into the western winter wilderness, with not a single Holiday Inn or Marriott in sight.

During the period of the Mormon exodus, 6 thousand Latter Day Saints did indeed lose their lives. The blood of these lost lives is on the hands of those who forced them to leave the safety and comfort of their own homes. These were in addition to those killed at Haan's Mill and scores of others who died, before their final "forced exodus" to the Rocky Mountains.

Mountain Meadows was tragic and came at a time of war. As Johnston's Army (One Third of the entire U.S. Calvary) was on it's way to supress the Mormons, "Once and for all" according to President Buchannon.

The Arkansas and Missouri Wildcats, boasted of being there at Haans Mill and also participating in the murders of the Prophet Joseph and Hyrum Smith at Nauvoo. These immigrants also poisoned the Mormon wells, killing their livestock. And they also threatened to bring back the California Militia to slay them all.

Tragic all the way around. 20 years of forced removal from 5 states, developed a paranoia among this small group of isolated Mormons deep in southern Utah, 350 miles from S.L.C. . Threats of yet another forced removal, sent them over the edge.

It's not justified in any way, of course, but it is understood how a small isolated group of people could go there. This was a perfect historical storm and terrible things happened.

The LDS have not only acknowledged the tragedy, but built and dedicated a monument to those who were killed there. Also, the children were spared.

Is that the propaganda you learned in seminary? Seriously, dude. It's not true.

The Mormons actually *stayed* in Nauvoo. They're still there, and called the Community of Christ. It's the church that Joseph Smith founded in 1830.

The group you are talking about was a band of apostates, led by a violent misogynist named Brigham Young. They weren't "driven" out of Nauvoo -- they left of their own accord because Young (like Warren Jeffs) was illegally practicing polygamy and violating the law. The apostate branch went to Utah to escape US law. The lives lost on that exodus are the direct responsibility of B. Young.

One of Young’s more dastardly deeds was his insistence that a group of European emigrants come to Utah using only handcarts. Again -- no evil gentiles forced them to do this. They did it at B. Young's command. Many died -- but their deaths are not a tribute to "Mormon persecution," but rather to blind obedience to an evil cult leader. Brigham Young killed those 6,000 Mormons. Young is the one who led them to Utah – they could have stayed in Nauvoo (and the true church did) but Young was a law breaker and insisted on leaving the US so he could continue to violate the law – and many of the Mormons who followed Young paid for it with their lives. But the true followers, who stayed in Nauvoo and obeyed the law, lived at peace with their gentile neighbors.

True to his nature, B. Young established a cult kingdom in Utah and flagrantly violated the law. His assault on Americans living in Utah is what resulted in Johnston's army. This wasn’t an act of persecution, but an act of law enforcement – similar to Federal raids on Mormon fundamentalists today, who violate the law and practice child slavery and prostitution. As with so many other aspects of Mormon history, Mormons blame their own bad behavior, and its inevitable results, on "persecution" -- lacking the moral courage to take responsibility for their own actions, they tell lies and blame the consequences of their bad behavior on others.

As for Mountain Meadows and the Mormon massacre of innocent people -- your justification of these cold-blooded murders illustrates how Mormons think. With you guys is always an "us" vs. "them" mentality. Those little children and their mothers and fathers – the ones your forefathers butchered –never did a thing to Mormons. And even if they *did,* it would not justify Mormons masquerading as Indians and murdering them in cold blood. But cultists don't distinguish individuals. They lump them into groups called "gentiles" and then hold everyone in the group accountable -- thus your strangled attempt at justifying a horrific act in an unbelievably f-up argument about self-defense.

Your stupidity supercedes your ignorance.
BTW..The Community of Christ is located in Independence, Missouri, not Nauvoo, Il..
Once again showing your utter ignorance.

Faced with facts, Winston has no rational rebuttal.

By the way, Winston, you might try a class in class in how to read. I didn't say the Community of Christ is headquartered in Nauvoo. I
said that the Mormons in Nauvoo stayed there, and lived at peace with their neighbors. The Community of Christ is an international church, and there are members all over the place.

The point is that apostate Mormons who followed Young to Utah were not "driven" out. They were law breakers who left of their own accord, specifically to get away from Federal law, so they could continue their practice of polygamy. The law-abiding Mormons stayed in Nauvoo and lived peaceably with their neighbors, while Young endangered the lives of those who followed him and is the one responsible for those deaths while crossing the plains.

I think the shallow and silly ridiculing is a deliberate choice, rather than an honest opinion.

If we all decided medicine had reached it's peak in the year 0 and never thought further about it, never questioned it, and refused to hear the opinions of those who thought better medicine could be made - we'd all look shallow and stupid, and mockery wouldn't be unexpected.

Interesting points. Although... does not everyone have their own take on their religion? Some people, say C of E worshipers, might believe the bible to be the literal truth. Some might believe it to be a metaphor. They all agree on the result, but they view the source differently. So if I go on the C of E website surely it is quite dependent on who wrote that website, as to the information I get from it?

Plus most people don't follow their religion...for want of a better word religiously. Millions of Catholics out there have had sex outside marriage. If one of them wrote the website, do I believe it?!

P.S. I'm not advocating going to Matt and Trey for the answers, but I'm not advocating going to the religion either. If you really want to know, just read up on the histories.

Each organized Religion has "Official" positions on doctrine.
They are generally spelled out with their "Official" websites.

The level of one's belief and devotion varies with any set of doctrines.

I'm merely stating that the play intentionally exaggerrated the LDS doctrine and beliefs and completely made things up out of whole cloth.
Points of doctrine the lads knew full well they were distorting.

That was my point.
When one uses this play as their understanding of Mormonism, then they are only short changing their own intellect and understanding.

Of course, when reading up on anything, always consider the source.

My response was completely rational and dealt with verifiable facts and specificity, unlike you irrationally bigoted comments.

Bearing your testimony might work in Sunday School, Winston,
but it just makes you look foolish among rational thinkers.

No, your response was exactly what is expected from an
indoctrinated cult member. You didn't rationally address a single point I raised. You've made use of the ad hominem, you've lied, you've distorted history, and you've justified murder -- all in the name of protecting your cult from public ridicule.

Fact: Brigham Young and his band of Mormon apostates left Nauvoo
because they wanted to practice polygamy, which was illegal – thus they relocated themselves to be outside the jurisdiction of the law.

Fact: Thousands of non-apostate Mormons remained in Nauvoo.
They lived peacefully alongside the gentiles.

Fact: The handcart expedition did not leave because of any persecution. Those were emigrants from Europe who were
encouraged to come to Utah by B. Young. Brigham Young bears sole responsibility for telling them to do something as stupid as crossing over to Utah using handcarts.

Fact: President James Buchanan sent U.S. forces to the Utah
Territory because of persistent complaints about unlawful behavior, including Brigham Young’s chasing of federal judges William Drummond, George Stiles and John Kinney from the territory of Utah.

Fact: Treasonous Mormons raised an army against those US

Fact: Mormons butchered over a hundred emigrants at Mountain
Meadows. Those murdered included women and children.

Carry on bigot.
Enjoy your misery.
Oh, the cleaners just called, your brownshirts are ready.
Now, don't you have some tar to heat up and down filled pillows to shred?
I guess your unnatural proclivities have made you bitter.
Have fun...

Mormons have a fascinating way of projecting. Take Winston's accusation of "bigot." When it comes to bigotry, the Mormon Church has a truly soiled history. The Book of Mormon, for example, describes “dark skin” as a curse/sign of a curse from god.
The Book of Abraham (another of Joseph Smith’s inventions) describes a cursed race (interpreted by Mormon leaders as Negros) that could not hold the priesthood. This was the basis of
roughly 150 years on institutionalized racism within the Mormon Church, which forbade Blacks from participating fully in their church.

Everyone probably knows about the Mormon Church and their involvement in California’s Prop 8. Needless to say, if someone did to Mormons what the Mormon Church has done to Gays, Mormon apologists would be screaming about bigotry. They certainly
don’t do unto others as they would like others to do unto them.

In the same vein as Prop 8, Mormons were largely involved in defeating the Equal Rights Amendment. As with Prop 8, they employed “secret combinations” involving closed-door meeting to rally their members to achieve this targeted political objective.

Oh Duwayne (your folks might as well have named you Sue) you really need to get over the results of your Church court.
Go live your decadent lifestyle.
And the LDS will continue to multiply as you twist in the hot and miserable echo chamber you have created for yourself.
Peace be with you, oh miserable one.

WInston, thanks for helping me prove my point about Mormon self-righteousness and hate toward ex-Mormons. Thanks, also, for illustrating the extraordinary dishonesty of Mormons.

You don't know me -- your claims about my "court" are simply a lie. You have no idea what my "lifestyle" is -- you are simply parroting the propaganda that you've been indoctrinated with, by your cult.

I could tell folks that the Mormon Church indoctrinates its members with such hatred toward ex-Mormon, but it's far more persuasive to have a real-life example. And *why* do Mormons hate ex-Mormons? Simple – ex-Mormons spill the beans on all those carefully formulated lies that the church tells -- lies such as your assertion that persecution killed “6 thousand” Mormons – Mormons who perished
while crossing the planes. That’s a lie because it was Brigham Young who killed those Mormons. He is the one who told them to leave
Nauvoo. The Mormons weren’t “driven” out – in fact, many remained in Nauvoo and lived peaceably with their neighbors. It was the apostate group that followed Brigham Young (a violent misogynist) that left Nauvoo – and they left because they wanted to escape the jurisdiction of the Federal Government. Similarly with the handcart companies – no mobs forced them to emigrate from Europe and march across the planes with their pitiful handcarts – destined for starvation and death. They were simply following instructions from
their apostate/corrupt leader, Brigham Young. Young killed those people, not anti-Mormon mobs.

But, as you have illustrated, Mormons will never take personal responsibility. Instead of holding Young accountable for his uninspired/ignorant/brutish leadership – leadership that led to the deaths of all those handcart pioneers – you have invented a fiction in which evil “gentiles” drove them out. What a display of intellectual

Guys like you are a true gift to those of us trying to peel back the carefully choreographed public relations image of squeaky clean,
honest Mormons. Thanks, again, for your shameful display of
illogic, and intellectual dishonesty.

He's just showing that mormon passive-aggressive nature. Nice at times, total jerks most of the time.

Umm, wow... I think I saw a different show than Paul. Been looking forward to this for months and came out feeling disappointed. Is it funny? Yep, absolutely but for me it's sporadic and real gut laughs are fairly few and far between. Certainly nowhere near the ride that, say, South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut takes you on. Worse a lot of the satire feels, well, mean-spirited or maybe just clumsy. Either way it didn't feel (especially in the first half) that there was any great commentary going on more that easy stereotypes were being used to get cheap laughs. It certainly didn't keep me guessing, the plot was fairly obvious from the end of the first major scene and the twists very clearly telegraphed.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a *bad* musical and I was easily in the minority in the audience but it didn't live up to the billing in my opinion. As for being the savior of musical theatre... please. Hyperbole at its finest, there's nothing here any better than Wicked, Avenue Q or We WiIll Rock You when it comes to cross-over appeal (Avenue Q was also vastly superior in its satire) and in many ways this felt like a very conservative show in terms of its staging and ambition. I'm sure it'll do huge business and I'm sure the vast majority will really enjoy it but this article really does feel a bit OTT.

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