John Szablewski Reviews

Theatre Review: ‘The Book of Mormon’ at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre

The second national touring cast of “The Book Of Mormon.”

Four times. I have seen “The Book Of Mormon” four times, and let me tell you, the level of quality only gets better. A show that is going on 5 years of entertaining audiences is anything but old and stale, quite honestly, this production is like a fine wine, better with age, not that I am condoning a 5 year old to drink. . .you see, the show is 5 years old. . .anyway.

. . . bring a change of pants. . .you’ll need them.

“The Book Of Mormon” is the brain child of “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, with music by Robert Lopez of “Frozen” frame. Telling the tale of two mormon missionaries as they embark on their two year mission in Africa, the show is quite honestly the best written musical in the modern era. In an interview with Parker and Stone, they say that they studied the work of classic musicals, and the work of Rodgers and Hammerstein. This homework sure paid off because the pacing in this show, the music, and the story, all work together to create a show with no down time or dull moments. Sure there is some foul language and suggestive content but this is a fantastic show, and this touring production is spectacular.

There are those who believe that this show bashes the faith of the Latter Day Saint religion and that cannot be further from the truth. There is no bashing. If anything, this show puts it’s leading characters into a real world, where everything isn’t rainbows and butterflies. There are fantastic themes of questioning faith, finding one’s purpose, and understanding that sometimes life isn’t everything we are promised growing up. It is real, and it is relatable. The best theme of the show, friendship can be found in the most unlikely of places.

Leading the show as Elder Price is Liam Tobin, and he is perfect. He encapsulates the character and gives a hilarious performance. He hams it up on stage, and possesses all of the quirky, campy, mugging that is expecting in a show that is completely aware of itself. His voice is rather cartoony in this production, and at first I thought that it was a little strange, but as the performance continued, I really started to appreciate it.

Elder Cunningham is played the comedic genius Jordan Matthew Brown. Brown is just absolutely everything you could ask for in an Elder Cunningham. No fear, not hesitation. He puts it all on the line, and the audience absolutely falls in love with him. His performance of “Man Up” is more than anyone could ask for in a comedy of this caliber.

Kayla Pecchioni’s performance as Nabulungi is spectacular. Her voice is a joy to listen to and she has wonderful comedic timing. Out of the four Nabulungi’s that I have seen, she is by far the best, and she does not disappoint.

This is an ensemble heavy show, and every one of the cast members are incredibly talented. Whether you have seen this show four times, or it is the first time seeing it, you should just bring a change of pants. . .you’ll need them.

Running time: 2 hours 30 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.

Advisory: Adult language and suggestive content

“The Book Of Mormon” runs until May 5, 2019 and is presented at Shea’s Buffalo Theatre. For more information, click here.