Last week I went to see The Book of Mormon at Proctor's.
I thought it was an extended episode of South Park, had a few good laughs (one very good laugh) but really wasn't anything special. It wasn't hilarious and like many things Matt Stone and Trey Parker do, the play devolves into a series of dick jokes. I kind of feel alone in this opinion. Everything I had heard about the play basically said it was the best/funniest thing that ever came to Broadway.
I must have had a stunned look on my face when the lights came up for the intermission. My wife asked, "Are you OK?"
"I thought it was going to be really funny. I guess my expectations were too high," was my reply.
Then we spent the intermission keeping track of the Mets on a phone.
The second half of the play was better than the first. The play builds to a climax, that even I thought was humorous while making a very thoughtful observation about faith. That quickly went away when half of the cast started wagging fake dicks. That particular scene was funny and good and thought provoking and not made better by another dick joke. Especially since most of the scene already relies on a callback to a joke about fucking a frog.
When the play was over, they entire crowd jumped to their feat to give the cast a standing ovation, leaving me and my wife sitting there, looking at each other thinking, "Seriously?" The idea of giving this performance a standing ovation hadn't even occurred to me. I guess every kid gets a participation ribbon and every traveling Broadway play at Proctor's gets a Standing O.
I don't go to the theater often. And I'm cheap. So while walking back to the car, I couldn't help but wonder what I would have rather done with the $200 I had spend on the night (tickets plus a sitter). The last time I saw Springsteen was cheaper. If you're in New York City, you could go to The Comedy Cellar a handful of times (and laugh harder) for that money. That's also a lot of pizza. I stopped thinking about it once the list was sufficiently long.
On one hand, the play made me think about haves and have nots, faith and organized religion. There was even a kind of catchy song that was stuck in my head for a little while. And in the other hand...it's another dick joke.
My father would have said, "It wasn't terrible." My grandfather would have said, "Uch. They make up a story."
They'd both be right.