Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Best. Christmas. Present. Ever.

marquee.jpg (95982 bytes)I don't know if you remember, but way back before the show opened, and Book of Mormon was just in rehearsal, there was a humongous protest that went up from the Mormon community.  They wanted to stop the show from ever coming to Broadway.

Everyone connected with the show tried to assure them that it was not, in fact, a skewering of the Mormon church or the Mormon religion, but that it would not offend anyone.

(Well ... if you don't like harsh language, you will definitely be offended, but let that pass!)

Tonight I finally collected my Christmas present from Walt, tickets (very expensive tickets) to Book of Mormon in San Francisco. While the days of Mormon Church protests are long past now that they have finally seen the show, I was still surprised to find not one, not two, but three full page ads for the Mormon church in the program!  They each represent (1) a white man, (2) a white woman, and (3) an African American.  Each comes with one of those squiggily boxes that you can scan on your phone and it will take you to a site where you can sign up to receive more information about the Mormon church.

Times they have done changed!

We made an evening of it, leaving Davis around 3:30 in the afternoon (the dogs were very confused to get their dinner so early!) and driving down to Walnut Creek to hop the BART train to San Francisco. Walt napped...

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...and I tried to get a good picture of the full moon (unsuccessfully)

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When we got to the city, we walked up to Max's Opera Cafe for dinner.   It was a weird dinner because the tables are kind of close together.  We were in a sort of alcove surrounded by mirrors.  So by looking just over Walt's shoulder, I could see the man sitting behind us, without his knowing it.  He reminded me of Says You panelist Tony Kahn.  We were so close that we could hear everything he and his friend were saying. 

The Tony Khan doppelgänger is 71, he's newly divorced and going through settlement hearings with his wife.  He graduated from Harvard Law and wants to be part of a Senior program to travel around the world teaching 3rd world people.   He's about to go to Hawaii, He will be in Oahu and then stay on the Big Island.  He also doesn't watch TV and when his companion said something about The Tonight Show, he thought it was an ABC show and then asked what his friend thought about "Jay Leeno."

Walt was, at the same time, eavesdropping on the doppelgänger's companion and was filling me in on the answers that he gave.  Needless to say, Walt and I didn't do much talking to each other.  But since this was a Christmas gift, I ordered turkey for dinner.  It came with all the trimmings, including cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes (with lumps) and stuffing.  Everything was quite good, but why do people mess something as good as stuffing by putting green peppers in it?   I don't hate green peppers, but I don't love them either and it seems to every time you go to a restaurant they are forever putting green peppers in your food!

On the walk back to the theater, I took my own picture of the lit-up City Hall.

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We had critic-quality seats, which were fabulous, except for the tall man sitting in front of me.  But I had the aisle seat, so leaning over to look around him was easy and I hope didn't bother anyone else.

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As for the show.  Oh. my. word.  It was absolutely fabulous.  In addition to being very funny, it was so fast and crisp that it was night and day between this production and the shows I usually see.  My friend Shelly, who grew up in New York and loves Broadway musicals, has been telling me that for years.   I didn't really understand until tonight.  One of my favorite songs (probably everyone's favorite song) was "Hasa diga eebowai," sung by the natives of the Ugandan village where the Mormon graduates are sent for their two year mission.  It's kind of a nod to The Lion King's "Hakuna Matata." 
There isn't enough food to eat
Hasa Diga Eebowai
People are starving in the street
Hasa Diga Eebowai
I can't really translate it (not that there isn't a translation...I just don't want to print it! is not from any language, though) but it was such incredible fun.  I also loved the King and I tribute in the finale, which tells the story of Joseph Smith and the founding of the Mormon religion.

I encourage everyone to try to see this show.  You will definitely love it.

We hopped on BART to get back to Walnut Creek and the car...

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...and then listened to the cast recording of Book of Mormon all the way home.
What a wonderful evening.


Kwizgiver said...

Sounds like fun. A lot of fun! I wish I lived closer to a lot of live theater. I miss the energy of a live show.

jon said...

ah! a pix of Walt awake.