‘Book of Mormon’ is high-energy hilarity

By Nick Chester
Times-News correspondent

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Conner Peirson stars as Elder Cunningham in the national touring production of "The Book of Mormon." [Julieta Cervantes

   DURHAM — “The Book of Mormon” is so good that you don’t want it to end.
The characters are so lovable and the show will make your stomach hurt from all the   laughing. There are also lessons about faith and the struggle people endure to keep it.
The national touring production of “The Book of Mormon” is being performed at the   Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC), 123 Vivian St., today through Sunday.
The show was co-written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, co-creators of the TV show   ”South Park,” with musical direction by Robert Lopez, who co-wrote the musical “Avenue  Q.” The original Broadway show won nine Tony awards, including best musical.
“The Book of Mormon” is a hilarious take on the real Book of Mormon. The show is about two Mormon missionaries who travel to Uganda, Africa, to spread the religion of Mormonism. They end up teaching the religion in a completely different way, and learn something from the Africans themselves. The high-energy musical numbers in the show were astonishing. Every song was catchy and memorable. A particular highlight was the dance number “Turn It Off,” with an impressive tap sequence. Another song, “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream,” was a truly spectacular piece with extravagant costumes, set pieces and props, even including dancing Starbucks-like coffee cups.
The missionaries were played by Kevin Clay (Elder Price) and Conner Peirson (Elder Cunningham) who stole the show with their singing, dancing and catchphrases. Clay and Pierson captured the humor of each situation perfectly, even remaining funny during musical numbers. The main saying during the show is “Tomorrow is a Latter Day,” wordplay on the religion of the Latter Day Saints.
The national touring production of “The Book of Mormon” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9; 8 p.m. Aug. 10-11; 2 p.m. Aug. 11-12; and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12, 2018, at the Durham Performing Arts Center, 123 Vivian St., Durham. Tickets are $29 and up and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com and by calling 800-745-3000.
NOTE: The show has a parental advisory and explicit language warning, even including it on the ticket stub. With plenty of adult humor and themes, controversial topics and language, the show manages to keep you non-stop laughing, but may not be for everyone.

Nick Chester is a rising freshman at Williams High School and a Teens & 20s writer. Charity Apple, Accent editor and volunteer Teens & 20s adviser, contributed to this story.

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