We went to see The Book of Mormon April 2019, having been recommended it by Jan and Dave Swatridge. It was fun.
There were a few pieces in particular that grabbed my attention that I want to share.
The first to mention relates to two contradictory rules (“According to Rule Number 23, I can’t leave the living quarters after curfew! But according to Rule Number 72 I can’t leave my companion alone!”, which felt much like ‘Catch 22’. Here is the piece…
|Price:||Latter Day doesn’t mean tomorrow! It means the afterlife! Reckoning! Latter Day, when, when good people get to go to Heavenly Father and they get everything they’ve always wanted! I’m out of here!|
|McKinley:||Hey, HEY! Are you forgetting Rule Number 23?! You may NOT… leave the living quarters after 9 pm!|
|Price:||To HECK with the rules! I’m not wasting the most important two years of my life! [storms out]|
|Cunningham:||Hey uh… [follows him out] Hold up, you forgot me!|
|McKinley:||Elder Cunningham!  Do you also want to break Rule Number 23?|
|Cunningham:||Oh no! What amm I supposed to do?? According to Rule Number 23, I can’t leave the living quarters after curfew! But according to Rule Number 72 I can’t leave my companion alone! This is like a Matrix logic trick! Rule 23, Rule 72, Rule 23, [his glasses fly off his face] I CAN’T SEE! [McKinley retrieves his glasses and gives them back to him so he could put them back on] It’s been a ???, it’s okay. I’m sorry guys, he’s MY BEST FRIEND! [runs out after Price and slams the door]|
Next is Arnold Cunningham’s comments about Bishop Donohue. To give it a little context…
|Cunningham:||Uh… oh, he is. We’re gonna have the most amazing time together. It’s like, like I’m finally gonna have a best friend.|
|Cunningham’s Father:||Ohoho, well, just remember what we talked about with regards to your little problem.|
|Cunningham:||Oh don’t worry Dad, my little problem is “in check.” It’s not gonna be an issue.|
|Price:||[walks up] What’s the little problem?|
|Cunningham’s Father:||Oh, nothing ???. He uh ju-, well, he has a very active imagination.|
|Cunningham:||I lie a lot!|
|Cunningham’s Father:||No! It’s just he sometimes makes things up when he doesn’t know what else to say.|
|Cunningham:||Bishop Donahue said it’s because I have no self-esteem and desperately want to fit in with by my peers.|
Later on in the show, Arnold Cunningham says something akin to…you remember how I told you how Bishop O’Donahue told be to stop making things up?
“Well, I made him up.”
Finally, as the finale to the show, we see how the storyline loops back to where we began.
Instead of a reprise of the first song ‘Hello’ where they introduce people to ‘The Book of Mormon’ we see the converted Africans introduce “The Book of Arnold” (built on the lies of Elder Cunningham), hence re-entering the story at a different level yet with the familiarity of the first time.
This idea of looping back, but being at a different level ‘feels satisfying’ and completes the narrative in the most clever of ways.