The Book of (More!)man

The Book of Mormon, the incredibly popular Broadway musical from the geniuses behind South Park(Trey Parker and Matt Stone), which has won 6,000 Tony Awards (actually nine), is gracing the San Francisco stage. And like the new iPhone and eBay Pound Puppies, the show’s run sold out immediately. But don’t worry, there’s still hope. SHN is releasing a limited number of tickets through a daily lottery two hours before each show. Tickets are cheap and a crapshoot, but since it’s a Tuesday, we figure your odds are better tonight. An outrageous religious satire, the musical follows two eager young Mormons sent on a mission to convert people in Uganda. Elder Price (Gavin Creel) is the charming and charismatic one who can do no wrong. He is paired with the desperate-to-be-liked Elder Cunningham (played with Seinfeldian aplomb by Jared Gertner). When they arrive in the war torn, AIDS-stricken, poverty-ravaged country, Elder Price exclaims “This is nothing like The Lion King!” Such lines inform the majority of the raunchy and irreverent humor in the show, which works because its core is so sweet. The play’s many darker elements are made palatable by snappy song-and-dance numbers (aided by composer Robert Lopez, who did Avenue Q), including ditties about homosexual repression, frog fucking, and a dream cameo by Hitler wearing shiny pantaloons. In lacing its sardonic ribbing with empathy, The Book of Mormontranscends simple mockery, elevating absurdity to the point where it comes back around to earnestness.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Nov. 27. Continues through Dec. 30, 2012

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