The Book of Mormon Tampa Review – Book of Mormon Creates Some Musical Magic

The Book of Mormon national tour is in Tampa, FL through November 24, 2013 and currently performing at Carol Morsani Hall – The Straz Center (1010 North W.C. MacInnes Place, Tampa, Florida 33602).

Buy The Book of Mormon Tampa FL Tickets NOW!!

Book of Mormon creates some musical magic – Reviewed by Jay Handelman via arts.heraldtribune.com.

All it takes is a door chime and a brightly sung “Hello,” to win over the audience in the national tour of “The Book of Mormon.”

That’s the opening number performed by a group of young and overeager Mormon missionaries at work in this charming and slightly subversive musical at the Straz Center.

Considering it comes from “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and “Avenue Q” co-creator Robert Lopez, you might expect it to be more offensive than it is. Some of the jokes are more shocking than funny in the “I can’t believe they said that” mode.

That’s true during the ebullient “Hasa Diga Eebowai,” sung by some Ugandan villagers to the two newest missionaries, Elders Price and Cunningham, who have come to convert them. Most of the villagers are dealing with AIDS and poverty and are controlled by a wicked warlord who wants to circumcise all the women (see, it’s not your typical musical comedy fare).

The song, performed with the spirit of “Hakuna Matata,” is the villagers’ way of trying to wipe away the tragedy in their lives. It sounds fun, though the actual translation is far darker and can’t be published here.

The cast is strong throughout, from Samantha Marie Ware as the young and innocent Nabulungi and Stanley Wayne Mathis as her concerned father, Mafala, to Grey Henson as the leader of the Ugandan missionaries.

The show is staged on a fun, funny and colorful set by Scott Pask that offers a dark yet Disney-fied version of the world, nicely fitted with Ann Roth’s costumes and Brian MacDevitt’s lighting.

But there’s so much joy that you can’t help but feeling uplifted by the final bows.

Read the complete review {Via Herald Tribune}

The Book of Mormon musical Tour will be in Tampa FL through November 24, 2013. Buy Book of Mormon Carol Morsani Hall Tickets Online.

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