The infamous musical The Book of Mormon at Segerstrom ends its highly successful Orange County run this weekend; every show on this leg of the musical's tour has been sold out (or close to being sold out), which should be a shocker, considering how antithetical to Orange County its humor is.
Created by South Park's Trey Parker and Matt Stone the show — which follows the journey of two Mormon elders (read: 19-year-old missionaries) assigned to convert poor villagers in Africa — has been hyped up so much in the three years since it debuted on Broadway that there are currently two concurrent national tours and a run in London.
Maybe it's because no one can resist a cast of bright-eyed, super-cute guys singing ultra-catchy songs about a caffienated hell or going door-to-door in harmony. Or maybe UC Irvine alumnus Anthony Chatmon, who is in the ensemble, is a really big draw. Or maybe, the show's message about spirituality is so pure and uplifting that it transcends whatever moral scruples you may have about religion, female genital mutilation, imperialism, homosexuality, and profanity. Whatever. The musical is unstoppable, so much so that the Mormon church has taken to buying full-page ads in the playbill as if to say — hey! We have a sense of humor too!
And if Mormons can take a joke about their holy book, so, apparently, can denizens of South County, who came out in in their Armani suits and DVF print dresses like they were about to watch Les Mis or something. Aside from the couple in front of us who shook their heads everytime someone said the F-word (which was a lot) and left at intermission (they probably ignored the warning about really bad words in the playbill), members of the audience weren't above a standing ovation at the end, rattling their jewelry for lyrics like, “When God fucks you in the butt/ Hasa Diga Eebowai/ Fuck God right back in his cunt.”
After the jump: The best quotes overheard at The Book of Mormon
1. “It's nothing groundbreaking or anything I haven't seen. It's hilarious though.” – South county greybeard behind us
2. “It's like they mashed Jack Black into Eric Kartman.” – blond-haired Asian dude there with his boyfriend (We think he was referring to Elder Cunningham.)
3. “I borrowed this tie from a REAL MORMON.” – Girl dressed up as a Mormon elder except in a black mini skirt instead of trousers, posing by the merch booth with her friend (who was also dressed in an identical costume)
4. “Oh, you know I couldn't bring mom. Her feelings would get hurt and she would feel like her hurt feelings would bother other people in the audience.” – 30something bro to his friend
5. “Did you know that General Butt Fucking Naked was based on a real person?” – Mom to her two teenage sons. (He really was too — his name was General Butt Naked, I googled him)
6. “The real book is probably funnier.” – Sour-looking nerd to his twiggy girlfriend
Next: More quotes and learn how to get tickets to the show through the lottery system!
7. “Oh man, my face hurts and I think I peed myself a little bit.” – Coed in a Chapman sweatshirt and short shorts with her gaggle of friends
8. “I'm watching it again.” – Fanboy clutching the program, the book and a Book of Mormon umbrella. (And he actually can if he plays the lottery.)
9. “So … was Elder Cunningham really Olaf? Because he didn't sound like he did on Frozen.” – Wife talking to her husband. (The guy who voiced Olaf actually played Elder Cunningham in the first Broadway run.)
10. “There were seriously more black people in that cast than in all of Orange County.” – Racially ambiguous college kid in dreadlocks
All this is to say that if you haven't seen the Book of Mormon yet, you should — if only to take part in a cultural conversation. Take your chances with the pre-show lottery, which will be held at the Segerstrom Hall box office. Participants can put their names in a lottery drum 2.5 hours before every show. Thirty minutes later, winning names will be drawn so they can buy a limited number of orchestra seats for $25 each (cash only).