‘Book of Mormon’ and Reverent Irreverence

973150Mamala took Robert and me to see Book of Mormon at the Kennedy Center last night. So good… so funny… so Not Safe For Church.

I have a soft spot for art that tweaks religion—even in an over-the-top way. When it comes from a place of affection, even grudging affection, it’s a pleasure to watch. As my friend Michael Kirby put it:

There will not be a more profound and profane commentary on the value of faith and the folly of doctrine on stage again in our lifetimes.

The LDS Church took out several ads in the Playbill (see above), which I think says a lot about the Church, as well as the skill of the show’s creators in executing this very sweet, incredibly offensive musical.

I call it reverent irreverence… or is it irreverent reverence?

It’s hard to define, but I know it when I see it. Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal has it in spades.

I also agree with Mike Meyers, who defended the importance of silliness on Inside the Actors Studio many years ago.

In a world as heavy and often messed-up as ours, Silly is a ministry.

Have you seen Book of Mormon? Would you like to?

Thanks again, Mom. You knew I’d write a blog post about it, eh?

8 thoughts on “‘Book of Mormon’ and Reverent Irreverence

  1. Karen McKibben

    We’re set to see it here in Houston over Labor Day. Have heard lots of good things about the fun of the silliness. A couple of my clients who are Mormons love it!

  2. Mamala

    It was a fun evening. When I first saw the show in NYC, I just knew that you and Robert *had* to see it. Now that I’ve seen it 3 times, I will wait for the movie version next. But I remain a HUGE fan of this show and love Trey and Matt! I enjoyed them several years ago at the New Yorker Festival and although SouthPark episodes are not always my cup of tea, the BOM had just the right balance. That’s quite a feat, when you consider that it could have turned out way bad.

  3. Sharon

    Saw it in Chicago. Loved, loved, loved it! Wondered how I could work Jesus “manned up” into next year’s Easter sermon!

  4. Stephanie @ Hugs, Kisses and Snot

    On my bucket list. I love things that are irreverent and force us to laugh at ourselves and the way we live life. I’m impressed that the LDS Church took out ads in the play bill. Looks like they know how to laugh at themselves too…and take advantage of a captive audience.

  5. Pingback: What’s Saving Your Life These Days? | MaryAnn McKibben Dana

  6. Joe

    Haven’t seen it yet, but have had the soundtrack for a couple years now. We play it while cleaning (and praying that no neighbors come to the door while it’s blasting).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *