It’s not much of an exaggeration to say that I believe more in a musical by the South Park guys than I do in any actual religion. Oh no, actually it’s not any kind of exaggeration at all. For the most part, reviews for Book of Mormon haven’t just been great, they’ve been downright fanatical. “Parker and Stone have created one of the freshest original musicals in recent memory,” David Roone of The Hollywood Reporter raved. “It has tuneful songs, clever lyrics, winning characters, explosive laughs and disarmingly intimate moments.” Ben Brantley of the New York Times was practically speaking in tongues over the “improbably paradise” that is the musical comedy, one that is both “blasphemous, scurrilous and more foul-mouthed than David Mamet on a blue streak. But trust me when I tell you that its heart is as pure as that of a Rodgers and Hammerstein show.” Testified Brantley, “Yet in setting these dark elements to sunny melodies, The Book of Mormon achieves something like a miracle.” We know tickets are super expensive, so could we maybe just pay to touch Trey Parker’s cloak?
Of course, there had to be some non-believers. “Don’t let anybody try to tell you that The Book of Mormon is suitable for anyone other than 12-year-old boys who have yet to graduate from fart jokes to Glee,” Terry Teachout at the Wall Street Journal complains. “A couple of reasonably effective production numbers notwithstanding, it’s flabby, amateurish and very, very safe.” You know what they do to heretics, don’t you Terry? They make them see American Idiot over and over again. And like it.