Ever since “The Book of Mormon” hit the Broadway stage in 2011, it’s quickly grown into a hit. The outrageous musical comedy has received nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Score.
The popular show tickled Atlanta audiences’ funny bones in 2014, playing a record breaking two-week run.
According to Cody Jamison Strand, who plays Elder Cunningham in the national tour, there’s a good reason why the award-winning show is so wildly popular.
“It won nine Tony Awards because it’s amazing,” Strand said.
“It’s like … I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s the musical of the century. I mean it’s saying so much while being so funny that people just can’t help but acknowledge its presence, and the fact that they can be entertained the whole time and then leave with a powerful message, I think people respect that and want to see that.”
Brought to audiences by “South Park” masterminds Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and the Oscar-winning composer of Disney’s “Frozen” Bobby Lopez, “The Book of Mormon” follows a mismatched pair of Mormon missionaries who travel all the way to Uganda to spread the “Good Word.”
“That’s the starting point of the story and it just gets crazier and crazier from there,” said Strand, who’s keeping mum on the specifics to avoid spoilers.
Loyal “South Park” fans can expect a show that’s in the same realm as the popular, adult, animated sitcom, but “The Book of Mormon” is a full-on Broadway musical, Strand said. The show is the best of both worlds, pleasing both musical theater fans and those who wouldn’t normally venture out to the theater to catch a Broadway musical.
Strand describes his character, Elder Cunningham, as a “beautiful disaster.”
“He’s the wrench that gets thrown into the plot,” he said. “He’s pure of heart but he tries so hard that he just sort of ruins everything he touches. You know, he has a few social issues and is pretty much inept, but he just wants a friend so bad that he’s kind of willing to do whatever it takes and that usually goes south for him real fast.”
The show’s laughs are infectious, according to Strand, not only spreading to audience members but also to the cast backstage.
“The jokes are so funny and so fast and so humorous that it’s just really hard not to have a smile on your face, you know?” Strand said. “And then the people you’re around, it’s contagious. It absolutely is.”
If you’re pondering bringing the little ones for their first experience at the fabulous Fox, Strand warns that this is not your show.
“Do not bring your children. I mean older kids that’s fine as long as they can handle a few naughty words — I say a few loosely — but this is not a show for toddlers or children,” Strand said.