There’s no spoiler in saying “The Book of Mormon” is an outrageous piece of theater.
The musical, which debuted on Broadway in 2011, comes from the duo that created “South Park” and “Team America: World Police,” done in conjunction with the guy who wrote the puppet musical “Avenue Q.”
It is profanity-laden and sacrilegious in its satire of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
That’s the consensus review backed up by the play’s massive popularity, its continued run on Broadway and national touring production, which stops in Fresno for seven shows starting Wednesday.
Here are a few of the play’s funniest (most offensive??) moments. Be warned, there is graphic content ahead.
“Hasa Diga Eebowai” – Alternatively known as the F’ God song, this is the play’s first “Oh my!” moment and the point where you realize this isn’t the typical theater experience. It’s the R-rated version of “Hakuna Matata” from “the Lion King.”
The general – General Butt Naked was an actual commander for a warlord in Liberia, who was known to lead his troops in the nude. Hence the name. In the play’s fictionalized world, the general is Ugandan and thinks missionaries should take their books and shove them up their butts, like literally.
“Baptize me” – “The Book of Mormon” isn’t short on sacrilegious moments, but “Baptize Me,” might be tops. On its face, the song is about a baptism, though done with a thick layer of sexual innuendo.
Lyrics include: “I’m about to do it for the first time. And I’m gonna do it with a girl,” and “I’m wet with salvation.”
“I’ve got maggots in my scrotum” – The famous line (which you can buy on a pair of officially licensed boxer shorts) serves as a bit of a refrain throughout the play. It’s good for a cheap, sophomoric laugh, but also hints at “The Book of Mormon’s” philosophical bent.
The missionaries come promising soul salvation, when maybe what’s needed is just some basic health care.
It is worth noting the church has advertisements in the production’s playbill and will have members outside the theater handing out the actual “Book of Mormon” to those who are interested.
The church’s California Fresno Mission was also on hand when the play stopped in Fresno in 2015.
“Book of Mormon”
- 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday
- Saroyan Theatre, 700 M St.
- 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com