- Joan Marcus
Saw Book of Mormon at the Paramount last night and loved it so fucking much.
Goldy covers a bunch of reasons the show adds up to something freakily brilliant in his rave review, so I'll focus on a component of the show I hadn't heard hyped previously, and that I wasn't expected to be blown away by: the choreography, which repeatedly made me laugh so hard I cried.
The Book of Mormon's choreography is by Casey Nicholaw, who co-directed the show (both on Broadway and in this touring production) with Trey Parker. (Nicholaw and Parker won the 2011 Tony for Best Direction, while Nicholaw was nominated for Best Choreography and lost to Anything Goes' Kathleen Marshall.) I can't really hold forth on the quality of The Book of Mormon's choreography as dance, but as comedy, it was astounding.
Prime example: "All-American Prophet," in which the story of Joseph Smith is re-told truthfully and respectfully, by a stageful of people doing the most hilarious group dancing I've ever seen. (If you want to economically underscore the ridiculousness of someone's argument, have them make it while doing an aggressively energetic "funky strut" dance.)
My guy Jake saw the show with me, and had an even more profound experience than I did. (He's an ex-Mormon, and for him, seeing last night's show was like watching the smartest people in the world spend two and half hours intricately mocking the worst bully of his childhood, to the rapturous applause of the masses. He was beside himself with amazement and joy.)
Thank you, all the components of the universe that lined up to make The Book of Mormon possible. It was a dream night.