Hello, My Name is Elder Price

And we would like to share with you the most amazing show. You’ve been so patiently waiting, and now we’re ready to give you the scoop on this Tony Awards heavyweight champion from 2011, The Book of Mormon!

Key cast: Nic Rouleau (original cast Elder Price understudy in Book of Mormon, Emmett in the national tour of Legally Blonde) as Elder Price, Ben Platt (Pitch Perfect!) as Elder Cunningham, Syesha Mercado (American Idol Season 7) as Nabulungi
Theater: Eugene O’Neill Theatre, 230 West 49th Street
Ticket price range: $69 – $252 – NOTE that you will not be getting tickets below the cost of $120 any time soon, particularly for weekend showings. Anticipate paying somewhere around $160-$200
Our show rating: A heavenly 4.5 stars
Our theater rating: 2.5 stars – this theater is in a really convenient location in terms of restaurants and the staff were a hoot, but that’s about all we can say in its favor; it’s MINUSCULE, especially considering how big this show has been (about 1,000 seats compared to the Gershwin’s 2,000) and you don’t even get a show-related cup with your 15 dollar wine – boo!
On through: February 2015
Synopsis:The Book of Mormon follows a pair of mismatched Mormon boys sent on a mission to a place that’s about as far from Salt Lake City as you can get. Described by Jon Stewart of The Daily Show as “a crowning achievement, so good it makes me angry” and by Entertainment Weekly as “the funniest musical of all time,” see it now or find yourself asking, “Dear God, how do I get tickets?” (Village Voice).”

The nitty gritty – our thoughts on this show:

How do we even begin to describe this show? Oh yes, ridiculously funny. Like diaper might be necessary because you’ll piss yourself funny. Let us start by saying that neither of us are South Park fans – we’re not haters, but it’s mostly ‘meh’ for us. This show surprisingly relies less on the bodily function, sex joke, crude humor that some of us might expect and hones in on poking fun at the absurdity of religion and the insanity of two white teenagers telling other people (with larger concerns at hand) how to live their lives. There’s a ton of awkardness from Elder Cunningham that seals the deal, and only one or two moments really remind you that these are the South Park guys at work (notably the pageant song Joseph Smith American Moses and Man Up). Yes, dildos are used as props during one of those songs, and we’re counting that as a positive. So we guess now is the time to say that the show is possibly offensive… and you’ll laugh anyway.

One of the best numbers of the show is at the very beginning – Hello. If you saw the 2012 Tony Awards, you’re familiar with this one as it was the opening number of the night (for a damn good reason). It’s all one big laugh at the doorbell ringing Mormons who many of us are familiar with. It’s catchy and kitschy and there is no better way to start a Broadway show, period. The first act breezes by with a hilarious spoof on Hakunah Matata, a gay tap dance with sparkling vests (we mean gay because the key singer in this number is talking about suppressing his homosexual thoughts by turning them off like a light switch), and an identity crisis. The second act starts strong and includes the quintessential number I Believe, so perfectly delivered by that fierce tenor, Nic Rouleau, and finishes with a tie-in back to the opening number. Ben Platt – that’s right, Benji from Pitch Perfect – milks his part for all it’s worth (calling Nabulungi such delightful things as noxzema, necrophilia, nala – are we missing any? – while squeezing onto Elder Price like a pair of spanks).

A sneaky shot taken during the opening number

A sneaky shot taken during the opening number

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry (because you’re laughing), you’ll feel so wrong… but it will all feel so very right. This show comes with a high price tag for a reason, and it will be worth every dollar you have. There’s no limit to what this show can do for me and you, but mostly…. well, uh, everyone!

Our recommendations:
Best seen with: Someone with a diabolical sense of humor OR someone with none at all if you’re the diabolic person that likes to watch others squirm (Kristin)
Best food nearby: Restaurant Thalia is an amazing spot just around the corner that has brunch down to a science – it’s pretty reasonably priced for downtown Manhattan, the portions are enormous, and we cannot resist the allure of two hours of unlimited drinking for $10. MAKE RESERVATIONS a few days in advance. An alternate option – that’s conveniently right across the street from the theater – is E&E Grill House. Finally, if you’re a food tv personality type, Eric Ripert’s Le Bernadin is also nearby (and quite expensive).
Best metro stop: 50 Street (1, C, E), 49 Street (N, Q, R)
Best parking garage: Edison ParkFast, 50 West 44th Street – we were able to nab parking for a meager $10 here for THE DAY through ParkWhiz, and that’s just a steal considering how close this theater is to Times Square. With that in mind, give yourself extra traveling time no matter how you get here, because you will be weaving through the slow trail of tourists.

That’s all these bitches on Broadway have to say about this show. Check out our obligatory theater selfie below (and a boozey brunch selfie, too!), and stay tuned for a photo post later this week – us with a MASSIVE amount of the cast (because we’re utterly shameless in harassing them for pictures). After that, we’ll unmask our next review of… The Phantom of the Opera!

Mormon Selfie

Kristin on the left, Ashley on the right, brunching before a show

Kristin on the left, Ashley on the right, brunching before The Book of Mormon

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About Kristin R

I'm a twenty-something woman living in NYC working in the nonprofit sector, learning to thrive in the Big Apple while balancing my new life as a (quasi) stepmother.

Posted on March 3, 2014, in Review and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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