Last night I was fortunate enough to attend The Book of Mormon at the beautiful Fox Theatre in Atlanta (thanks Elliot!!), and what a show it was. Being familiar with Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park I knew I was in for a treat, but I could have never foreseen the route they went with this musical.
The storyline followed the two main characters, Elder Price (well-known and promising leader) and Elder Cunningham (chubby and goofy), two 19 year old Mormon boys graduating from the Missionary Training Center and eager to depart on their missions. After being paired together, much to Elder Price’s dismay, they are informed they will be sent to Uganda to complete their two year mission trip. Upon arrival they quickly experience first-hand the poverty and crime in Africa, leaving them hopeless that they will be able to convert people. It didn’t help that they other Uganda Elders had converted zero villagers in their 3 month spells. After much chaos, Elder Price decides he will seek out the Mission President to request a relocation. This leaves Elder Cunningham in charge just when the villagers decide they do need a Savior to help them escape the wrath of “General Butt F’ing Naked“. Being a habitual liar and having never read the Book of Mormon, Elder Cunningham retells the Mormon history utilizing characters and scenes from science fiction hits Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. The villagers are enthralled by his story, decide to accept Mormonism, and Elder Cunningham ends up baptizing the whole lot. After being told the Mission President and senior leaders are coming to check on the Uganda progress, Cunningham eventually finds Price at a “kafe” stand drowning his sorrows in coffee. He persuades him to come back to the camp, where the villagers end up reciting Elder Cunningham’s rewritten Mormon history to the Mormon senior leaders. The President is appalled and orders the Missionaries back to the States, and explains to the villagers they are not Mormon. Price and Cunningham come to the conclusion that although this was wrong, it’s not the message that matters but that you are giving the people something to believe in. The musical ends with a song where the Uganda villagers are dressed in the typical missionary clothes going door to door spreading the message.
Trust me, this was just a very brief and clean synopsis. Go see it for yourself, I highly recommend it!