‘The Book of Mor­mon’ Wows Au­di­ences

Where Melbourne - - Where Now Live On Stage - On­go­ing, Princess The­atre, 163 Spring Street, Mel­bourne. 1300 723 038. bookof­mor­mon­mu­si­cal.com.au

The award-win­ning “The Book of Mor­mon” is play­ing to packed houses at Mel­bourne’s Princess The­atre. The po­lit­i­cally in­cor­rect, satir­i­cal and ex­tremely funny mu­si­cal tells the story of two newly trained Mor­mon mis­sion­ar­ies who are sent to a Ugan­dan vil­lage to spread their re­li­gion’s teach­ings. El­der Price (Ryan Bondy) is po­lite, de­voted, ex­tremely con­fi­dent and am­bi­tious. He’s less than happy to be go­ing to Africa and also not too thrilled with his ‘part­ner’, El­der Cun­ning­ham (A.J. Holmes). Cun­ning­ham is ‘so­cially chal­lenged’, clumsy, a com­pul­sive liar and is just look­ing for a friend. Find­ing con­verts among the war-lord con­trolled, im­pov­er­ished, dis­ease-rav­aged in­hab­i­tants of the vil­lage to which they are as­signed proves more dif­fi­cult than an­tic­i­pated. Af­ter El­der Price has a cri­sis of faith it’s up to the hap­less El­der Cun­ning­ham to save the vil­lagers’ souls. He finds an ally in Nab­u­lungi (Zahra Newman) daugh­ter of the vil­lage’s chief Mafala (Bert Labonte). Ex­cel­lent per­for­mances from all cast mem­bers, many funny lines and big mu­si­cal num­bers bril­liantly chore­ographed and per­formed by an en­thu­si­as­tic en­sem­ble en­sures “The Book of Mor­mon” lives up to the hype that sur­rounds it.

A.J. Holmes as El­der Cun­ning­ham in the Aus­tralian pre­miere of “The Book of Mor­mon” at the Princess The­atre, Mel­bourne. Photo: © Jeff Busby.

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