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Monday, January 14, 2013

Dear Everyone Who's Already Seen Book of Mormon at the Paramount

Posted by on Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 11:36 AM

BOM-Title-Treatment.jpg

I'm going Wednesday and cannot wait. (Day-of-show lottery tickets available!) But for now, a poll for those who've already gone.

 

Comments (17) RSS

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1
Lots of factors came into play, but I really expected to be buzzing with excitement after seeing this on opening night and I thought it was just good. Some of the potential factors are as follows:

1. I was sitting three rows from the tippy top, in the Heavens as it were. I got the sense that actors play to the back of the house, but not the back-top of the house.
2. Bad eyesight is bad. Shows like this really drive home how much I depend on facial recognition when following what a person says. Since I didn't bring binoculars, I leaned on my ears more than I usually do, which brings me to...
3. Bad hearing is bad. I made out around 65% of the lyrics, which I don't blame on anyone but myself. These 37-year-old ears have been around and, as a result, there were times when I couldn't make out all the funny lyrics.
4. I'm already a South Park fan. I feel like so much of the gushing reviews came from people who were initially skeptical that a Parker/Stone Broadway joint wouldn't be just a bunch of fart and dick jokes that added up to nothing. I already know that they can deliver fart and dick jokes that DO add up to something, so I wasn't completely surprised by this fact.

Anyway, your mileage may vary, and I'm glad I saw it. I don't usually go to musicals that aren't written by John Cameron Mitchell and Steven Trask, so I was certainly out of my element, but it's definitely worth seeing.
Posted by remarkablyadept on January 14, 2013 at 12:26 PM · Report this
2
Saturday matinee! Can't wait!
Posted by wxPDX on January 14, 2013 at 12:32 PM · Report this
Hover Dog 3
Saw it this weekend. It was fantastic. The only downside is that a lot of the songs and plot are somewhat punchline-driven, so I can't talk about it with anyone who hasn't seen it yet (or at least heard the soundtrack) because anything I say would spoil the joke.
Posted by Hover Dog on January 14, 2013 at 12:33 PM · Report this
4
I'm in a similar boat as @1. I enjoyed it, a lot, but it wasn't a truly amazing performance. I think part of the problem is bad sound quality - a lot of folks sitting near me (front of the mezzanine) made similar comments, and either we're all going deaf in our early 30s or there was a more fundamental problem at the venue. As a result, I too missed a lot of the lyrics.

It also helps to have some basic knowledge of Mormon theology, religion, and culture. I have that, thanks to having grown up with a lot of LDS friends. For others who don't have that knowledge base, they will still enjoy it, but may miss some of the jokes. Still worth seeing, even if it's not as earth-shatteringly awesome as others had let me to believe.
Posted by junipero on January 14, 2013 at 12:38 PM · Report this
5
The Paramount was not designed for live theater.
Posted by Dan Savage on January 14, 2013 at 12:47 PM · Report this
Rotten666 6
I was up in the nosebleeds; I couldn't see shit, but could hear pretty fine.

All in all, a real fun show, regardless of the bad seats.
Posted by Rotten666 on January 14, 2013 at 12:53 PM · Report this
mr. herriman 7
i thought it was amazing. i was way in the back on the main floor, and the sound didn't reach all the way back there very well. it could have been partly due to my well-abused hearing, but i think it was more due to the balcony above and all the bodies and big coats underneath it with us sucking up the sound. what i could hear was hilarious and awesome enough that i broke my no-new-stuff rule and actually bought the CD so i could pick up what i missed.

have fun!!
Posted by mr. herriman on January 14, 2013 at 1:09 PM · Report this
8
I have Sunday evening tickets, and am down on the floor, about halfway back. I so hope these are good enough seats, and that I am not behind some tall-hair lady, or hulking dude. Last time I was at the Paramount, I had to get a kid cushion to sit on, because of tall-hair lady in front of me. Only helped a little.
Posted by SeattleKim on January 14, 2013 at 1:13 PM · Report this
katrat 9
yes they could have done with subtitles, I'm afraid a missed a lot of good wit!
Posted by katrat http://www.kathrynrathke.com/ on January 14, 2013 at 1:25 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 10
i feel bad when i go to the paramount (or the moore, or 5th ave, or mccaw) because i am short-waisted but 6', so i have to slouch down so the little people behind me have any shot at seeing.
Posted by Max Solomon on January 14, 2013 at 2:26 PM · Report this
Goldy 11
@4 @5 The sound was fine, though not great, sitting upfront. I pretty much hate the acoustics at both the Paramount and 5th, but I've stopped mentioning it in my reviews, because, what can you do? Those are the venues we've got.

FYI, I loved it. As you'll see in my review on Wednesday.
Posted by Goldy on January 14, 2013 at 2:28 PM · Report this
michael strangeways 12
Acoustically, the Paramount is meh.

It's a cute show but it's not the best musical in the history of musical theater. (Duh...Stephen Sondheim wasn't involved...) The book is basically a half an hour South Park episode stretched out to 2 and a half hours. (The "Mormon" episode of "South Park" is actually much funnier...) And, the music is largely generic. (The South Park movie has much better songs.) And, there's the whole "yeah, it's a tiny bit racist" thing. (Africans are really naive and clueless about any world culture including cell phones or Star Wars)

Other than that, it's a fun show.
Posted by michael strangeways http://www.seattlegayscene.com/ on January 14, 2013 at 2:29 PM · Report this
brandon 13
I'm kinda afraid to see it without Andrew Rannells (swoon!)

These broadway gays are driving me wild. Another case in point: Jonathan Groff
Posted by brandon on January 14, 2013 at 2:31 PM · Report this
kcrobinson 14
As someone who had memorized the soundtrack many times over before seeing it for the first time last night, I can say that it amazingly met my expectations. I honestly thought that they would not be able to do that considering how impossible I thought that I had set them.

If I had one gripe, and I do, it is the singing ability of the actor playing Arnold Cunningham. In every other sense, he was hilarious to watch and a very skilled physical comedian. But his inability to hit certain notes ruined some of my favorite moments.
Posted by kcrobinson http://www.facebook.com/kcrobinson on January 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM · Report this
15
Very fun show, but yeah, the acoustics of the Paramount, and/or the sound mix made it difficult to hear a big percentage of the lyrics. (I was in the middle of the second mezz). Lived up to the hype and then some, but not brain-exploding.
Posted by fruitbat on January 14, 2013 at 11:49 PM · Report this
16
I was 3 rows from the top and thought a lot of the problem with the sound was because the pit orchestra was way too loud during solos. My friends & I all agreed that we understood maybe 10% of the female lead's words -- don't know if was her diction or the high pitch of her voice, but her spoken dialogue was mush. Still, I loved it & might try the lottery.
Posted by Love those perky mormons! on January 16, 2013 at 9:51 AM · Report this
17
I first heard the score on NPR Music's First Listen and have purchased copies for everyone I know who plans to see the show. "The Book of Mormon" has a pretty high ratio of songs to text. A lot of important plot points are covered in songs. Even with good seats (there are only so many) and excellent acoustics, you're bound to miss lyrics because of laughs. The actors can't wait for a laugh to die down because they're in the midst of a song. Also, the two leads were switched between San Francisco and Portland (the leads who started the tour are opening the London production). Mark Evans (Elder Price) is a seasoned pro but Christoper John O'Neill (Elder Cunningham) "is thrilled to be making his professional debut." He is an experienced sketch comedy performer and while he's not the best singer, he's playing an awkward character so it all kind of works.
Posted by Bruce97211 on January 18, 2013 at 11:28 AM · Report this

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