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Review: The Book of Mormon Broadway Original Cast Album

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Review: The Book of Mormon Broadway Original Cast Album

'The Book of Mormon' Broadway Original Cast Album

'The Book of Mormon'

The stage production of The Book of Mormon caused quite a stir when it opened on Broadway on March 24, 2011, at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre and subsequently became an instant phenomenon. Many awards and much controversy later, the soundtrack has been minted for posterity in all its raucous, explicit glory.

Created by the Emmy-Award winning "South Park" team of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with Avenue Q Tony Award winner Robert Lopez, The Book of Mormon has rejuvenated the Broadway musical for the next generation, and the soundtrack has made Broadway cast album history.

Record-Setting Album

The Broadway production won nine Tony Awards, five Drama Desk Awards, and three Outer Circle Critics’ Awards, plus others. Just as the show made history, so has the cast album. In fact, the digital release of The Book of Mormon original cast album made it to #1 on the Billboard charts, a spot Broadway OCR’s have not seen in 40 years.

The cast album features 16 songs sung by the original Broadway cast on a single disc in a tri-fold digipack. Tucked inside is a thick, full-color booklet with production stills from the show and song lyrics. Reading the lyrics while listening to the album is a double delight in discovering the creative team's clever plays on words interspersed with the occasionally shocking curse words.

Overview

The singing is superb throughout the cast album. Leading the merry band of missionary misfits are 2011 Tony Award nominees Josh Gad, Andrew Tannells, and Rory O’Malley, The Book of Mormon cast album vividly brings to life the energy and exuberant ignorance of their characters. Nikki M. James, the 2011 Tony Award winner for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, delivers a beautiful vocal performance, expertly managing the creative team’s tricky accented English for her Ugandan character, “Nabulungi.” The ensemble performances are just as enjoyable to listen to.

The music and orchestrations are a true joy of real music for real musicians. In a time when canned music takes jobs from working musicians, a successful show like The Book of Mormon will encourage composers to write music for large pit orchestras for future Broadway musicals.

Overall, the cast album of The Book of Mormon brings the hilarity of the stage show to your music player. The explicit language notwithstanding, the creative team wrote a show exactly as they wanted, which is a refreshing break from shows that have too many hands in the mix and no one staying true to the vision of the work.

While the actors and the writers have attempted to elevate the purpose of The Book of Mormon as having a theme about faith and believing in something bigger than ourselves, there is no shame in liking a show just because it is well-written, expertly performed, and provides a much-needed jolt of vitality in the Broadway musical canon.

Simply put, this cast album is one you will listen to over and over again. The winner of nine Tony Awards can't be wrong.

Songs

Act I
1. Hello!
2. Two By Two
3. You and Me (But Mostly Me)
4. Hasa Diga Eebowai
5. Turn It Off
6. I Am Here For You
7. All-American Prophet
8. Sal Tlay Ka Siti
9. Man Up

Act II
10. Making Things Up Again
11. Spooky Mormon Hell Dream
12. I Believe
13. Baptize Me
14. I Am Africa
15. Joseph Smith American Moses
16. Tomorrow Is a Latter Day

Cast

“Mormon”: Jason Michael Snow
“Moroni”: Rory O’Malley
“Elder Price”: Andrew Rannells
“Elder Cunningham”: Josh Gad
“Price’s Dad”: Lewis Cleale
“Cunningham’s Dad”: Kevin Duda
“Mrs. Brown”: Rema Webb
“Guards”: John Eric Parker, Tommar Wilson
“Mafala Hatimbi”: Michael Potts
“Nabulungi”: Nikki M. James
“Elder McKinley”: Rory O’Malley
“General”: Brian Tyree Henry
“Doctor”: Michael James Scott
“Mission President”: Lewis Cleale
Ensemble: Scott Barnhardt, Justin Bohon, Dalesia Cearcy, Kevin Duda, Asmeret Ghebremichael, Brian Tyree Henry, Clark Johnson, John eric Parker, Benjamin Schrader, Michael James Scott, Brian Sears, Jason Michael Snow, Lawrence Stallings, Rema Webb, Maia Nkenge Wilson, Tommar Wilson

Musicians

Conductor: Stephen Oremus
Bass: Dave Phillips
Drums: Sean McDonald
Lead Guitar: Jake Schwartz
Guitar 2: Greg Skaff
Keyboard 1: Stephen Oremus
Keyboard 2: Adam Ben-David
Piccolo: Bryan Cook, Dan Willis, Raul Agraz
Flute: Bryan Cook, Dan Willis, Ron Jannelli
Alto Sax: Bryan Cook,
Tenor Sax: Bryan Cook, Dan Willis
Baritone Sax: Ron Jannelli
Oboe: Bryan Cook, Dan Willis
Clarinet: Bryan Cook, Dan Willis, Ron Jannelli
Bassoon: Ron Jannelli
Recorder: Bryan Cook
Bansuri: Bryan Cook
Trumpet: Raul Agraz, John Chudoba
Flugel Horn: Raul Agraz, John Chudoba
Trombone: Randy Andos
Bass Trombone: Randy Andos, Jack Schatz
Concertmaster: Entcho Todorov
Violins: Antoine Silverman, Hiroko Taguchi, Sean Carney, Jonathan Dinklage, Emily Bruskin-Yarbrough
Violas: Richard Brice, Debra Shufelt-Dine
Celli: Alison Seidner, Deborah Assael-Migliore

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