Praise be to Book of Mormon

Praise be to Book of Mormon

By Jackie Wild

The critically-acclaimed Broadway musical Book of Mormon has embarked on a missionary trip around Canada, and is knocking on Centennial Concert Hall’s door. From now until Mar. 22, you can watch Elders Kevin Price (Billy Harrigan Tighe) and Arnold Cunningham (A.J. Holmes) share their teachings from the third Testament.

The musical is about two young LDS Church Missionary Training Centre graduates who are deployed on a project in impoverish, war-torn Uganda. Alongside a group of recently migrated Mormons, Price and Cunningham struggle to build a religious presence in the northern Uganda village. The ambitious Price has difficulty imparting his Mormon beliefs and deems the community a lost cause. In the meantime, Cunningham decides to share his version of Mormonism, and reinvents the stories behind Joseph Smith’s gold plates.

Make no mistake in imagining this religious tale is innocent and unassuming. The musical was created by Trey Park and Matt Stone, the same people who dreamed up the satirical comedy South Park. They built their musical masterpieces over several years alongside Tony, Grammy and Emmy-winning musical co-creator Robert Lopez. South Park fans will find comfort in Book of Mormon’s crude humour and social commentary. From defacing Mormonism to making light of the African AIDS epidemic, the musical manages to make serious and rigid themes palatable.

Broadway Across Canada’s cast included a number of standout performances. Holmes played an insecure, unaware and underachieving version of Elder Cunningham. His endearingly awkward demeanour stole the heart of love interest Nabulungi (Alexandra Ncube) and the audience. Brian Beach also played a convincing flamboyant Elder McKinley parading as a heterosexual.

The score boasts a selection of catchy and inappropriate tunes, including a chirpy rendition of Hello, the catchy African motto Hasa Diga Eebowai and the old Mormon catchphrase Turn It Off.

Book of Mormon promises quality humour, outstanding acting and musical numbers you’ll find yourself humming for days later. To purchase your tickets today, visit