The Book of Mormon was the Hamilton of its day when it first premiered back in 2011. However, its latest production, at the Durham Performing Arts Center, directed by Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker, proves that this musical has major staying power.
The musical, which has won both Tony and Grammy awards, focuses on young Mormon missionaries, two in particular: the over-confident Elder Price (Kevin Clay) and the bumbling but well-meaning Elder Cunningham (Conner Peirson). This unlikely pair finds itself in an even more unlikely place: Uganda. Together, the two grow and learn through their ministry in hilarious and surprisingly uplifting ways.
Featuring a set that is both beautiful and practical and that beckons home to the script’s deeper meaning, the show is a pleasure to watch from start to finish. Not only is it visually appealing, but it’s also fast-moving and smooth. Plus, the choreography is to die for.
“Two by Two” is a standout number early on for its fun, frenetic choreography. Equally energizing is the choreography for the “Hasa Diga Eebowai” number. And, don’t worry. The costumes are always on-point and well-matched to the music and its lyrics.
Speaking of “on-point,” Clay’s portrayal of the staunch Elder Price is fun, charming, and believable, making the character lovable despite his flaws. However, Peirson really steals the show here with his haphazard characterization of the elder who, despite his faults, operates from a place of love, making him the most endearing character of all. He is well-backed by the powerful performance of Kayla Pecchioni as Nabulungi, a young African girl who falls for the missionaries’ “line” all the way.
The story that results is one that is powerful and powerfully well-told on the DPAC stage. As unexpected and delightful as the day it was first introduced, The Book of Mormon is full of heart and grit and should not be missed.
The Durham Performing Arts Center presents THE BOOK OF MORMON at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9, 8 p.m. Aug. 10, 2 and 8 p.m. Aug. 11, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District.
TICKETS: $29 and up, plus taxes and fees. Note: There will be a $25-per-ticket lottery, starting 2.5 hours before each performance. Click here, scroll down, and click LOTTERY for details.
DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787), firstname.lastname@example.org, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/where-to-buy.
Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or https://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/369510/1732682.
GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.dpacnc.com/events-tickets/group-services.
SHOW: https://www.dpacnc.com/events/detail/the-book-of-mormon-2 and https://www.facebook.com/events/372504679919327/.
VIDEO PREVIEW: https://www.youtube.com/user/BookOfMormonBroadway.
DPAC NEWS RELEASES: https://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/the-book-of-mormon-announces-lottery-ticket-policy-at-dpac-2 and https://www.dpacnc.com/news/detail/the-book-of-mormon-on-sale-may-5.
DPAC‘S 2018-19 “IT’S OUR NEW YORK, NEW YORK” SUNTRUST BROADWAY SERIES: https://www.dpacnc.com/suntrust-broadway-series-2018-19.
THE TOUR: https://bookofmormonbroadway.com/tour, https://www.ibdb.com/tour-production/the-book-of-mormon-jumamosi-499334, https://www.facebook.com/TheBookOfMormonOnBroadway, https://twitter.com/BookofMormon, and https://www.youtube.com/user/BookOfMormonBroadway.
TOUR CAST & CREATIVE TEAM: https://bookofmormonbroadway.com/national-tour.
PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.dpacnc.com/, https://www.facebook.com/DPACNC, https://twitter.com/DPAC, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_Performing_Arts_Center.
The Book of Mormon (2011 Broadway and 2013 West End musical): http://www.bookofmormonthemusical.com/ (official website), http://www.bookofmormonbroadway.com/ (official North American website), http://bookofmormonlondon.com/home.php (official London website), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-show/the-book-of-mormon-488720 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.facebook.com/TheBookOfMormonOnBroadway (Facebook page), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Mormon_%28musical%29 (Wikipedia).
Trey Parker (co-director and music, lyrics, and book): http://bookofmormonbroadway.com/second-national-tour (tour bio), http://southpark.cc.com/about/creator-bios (official South Park bio), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/trey-parker-488723 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005295/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trey_Parker (Wikipedia).
Robert Lopez (music, lyrics, and book): http://bookofmormonbroadway.com/second-national-tour (tour bio), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/robert-lopez-109408 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0520188/ (Internet Movie Database), and https://www.facebook.com/bobbylopez1 (Facebook page), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Lopez (Wikipedia).
Matt Stone (music, lyrics, and book): http://bookofmormonbroadway.com/second-national-tour (tour bio), http://southpark.cc.com/about/creator-bios (official South Park bio), https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/matt-stone-488722 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001778/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Stone (Wikipedia).
Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/susie-q/. To read more of her writings, click http://www.triangleartsreview.com/, http://www.susiepotter.com, and http://www.myspace.com/susiepotter.