Sandra Adell: Racism in 'The Book of Mormon' isn't funny. (Guest column in the Wisconsin State Journal, 9/27/2019.
I’m sure that most of the people in the audience that night would not describe themselves as racists. They were there to enjoy an entertaining evening at an award-winning Broadway musical. But I wonder if any of them thought afterward that, even for satire, this show goes way over the line.
Yes, Sandra, I agree. This show goes way over the line, as the playwrights Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez intended. I laughed my ass off when I saw it during its 2015 Overture run.
The musical is what has frequently been called an "equal opportunity offender".
Cast members in the national touring production of the ever-so-subversive Broadway musical "The Book of Mormon" have been known to ask each other after a performance: "Did we lose anyone today?"
They don't mean onstage.
When the show returns to Baltimore on Tuesday for a two-week run at the Hippodrome Theatre, where it broke a house box office record in 2014, some attendees may be first-timers. And that means an unsuspecting soul or two might bolt prematurely, shocked by what goes on in this send-up of Mormonism and a whole lot more.
"You have to learn to leave your political correctness at the door," says actor James Vincent Meredith. "This isn't for everybody."
Deseret News, 6/30/2015
The popularity of this satire has done nothing to diminish the popularity of its intended target, and anecdotal stories abound of how this musical unwittingly serves as an effective ambassador for the Mormon cause.
Yet given that premise, most of the controversy that still surrounds this musical focuses on whether or not Mormons should find this show offensive. Well, yes, they should.
But not because they're Mormons. They should be offended because they're human beings.
To be fair, I haven't seen the show.
The Book of Mormon is an equal opportunity offender. If something somewhere in the show doesn’t tick you off, you’re either comatose or your head’s too full of texting/tweeting.
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