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“Book of Mormon” promises laughs of the crass variety

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(THE BOOK OF MORMON First National Tour, Joan Marcus)
"The Book of Mormon," currently playing at the Des Moines Civic Center, chronicles the adventures of two mismatched Mormon missionaries (Mark Evans, Christopher John O'Neill, pictured above with Phyre Hawkins) as they travel to Uganda on mission.

If you’re at all familiar with the popular Comedy Central television series “South Park,” it comes as no surprise that the Broadway musical penned by its creators garners its humor from satire, primarily that of the Church of Latter Day Saints.

Since its Broadway debut in 2011, “The Book of Mormon” has reeled in nine Tony Awards – including Best Musical and Best Original Score – and a Grammy Award for South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone along with composer Robert Lopez of “Avenue Q” fame. 

The show opens as a handful of young Mormons prepare to accept their missions from the Church of Latter Day Saints, as is tradition within the Mormon faith. 

Elder Kevin Price is a shining example of Mormonism who has looked forward to receiving his mission assignment for all 19 years of his life. Much to his dismay, however, he is paired with Elder Arnold Cunningham in a mismatch akin to “The Odd Couple.” Even worse: the pair are assigned to minister in Uganda – thousands of miles (both literally and figuratively) from Elder’s Price’s dream mission in Orlando.

From the apprehensive locals to the humor that arises between Elders Price, Cunningham and the remaining missionaires, “The Book of Mormon” guarantees a night full of laughs, with the occasional cringe. 

The show contains explicit content and is recommended for mature audiences. No children under the age of five will be admitted. 

Tickets are still available for this weekend’s performances at the Des Moine Civic Center and may be purchased at desmoinesperformingarts.org

Performances run tonight at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m.

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