Naive Mormon boys, alienating Ugandan culture, and a whole lot of AIDS. Sounds like the making of a nine-time Tony Award winning musical, right?? Actually... YEAH!
The typical uniform for these Mormon missionaries includes a classic white dress shirt, tucked neatly into black pants, and finished off with a simple black tie. Doesn't sound like a too challenging costume design, does it? Maybe not for your regular Mormon missionaries; however, these missionaries are FAR from average. Crossing the stage with leaps, turns, and pirouettes, THESE Mormons require a special uniform to accommodate their dancing needs. All of the shirts you see here are actually sewn-attached to underwear, keeping the boys' shirts neatly tucked no matter what pose they throw your way.
Here's another costume secret: there is one scene during the show where the men are dancing, and they clap their hands to make the lights go out for approximately 2 seconds. When the lights come up again, they are suddenly dressed in pink sequined vests. How is this possible? WELL, the vests are actually attached to the inside of the pants. So, when the lights go out, the men can reach into their trousers, and pull up the vest in a split second-- a cool effect that certainly leaves you questioning everything you know about quick changes.
Ann Roth did a fabulous job designing the vast range of costumes for this musical. The Book of Mormon features costumes for Ugandan natives, biblical figures, skeletons, devils, and even Hitler! Although, I must say, I did not like the costume for the warlord. Although the character is made out to be a dangerous, heartless warlord (even if he does have a laughable name), his ridiculous yellow cowboy hat and boots take away from this personality. Maybe this was intentional; however, I found it very distracting.
Another cool thing about the show is their artfully crafted backdrops. During one scene, a backdrop falls behind leading character, Elder Price while he sings about his favorite place in the world: Orlando, Florida. In order to preserve the back drop and increase it's durability over time, the image was printed (rather than painted) onto poly satin material. This is a very unique thing for Broadway. Printing onto such a large backdrop is very difficult, and very expensive. However, this strategy has kept the back drop looking brand new for all three years the show has run.
The Book of Mormon is certainly not for the feint of heart; however, it is hilariously raunchy, and will keep you laughing even after the curtains close! The show is predicted to run for 10 years, so rest assured that you WILL get the chance to see just why the Book of Mormon has earned the title, "God's favorite musical". THIS Broadway fanatic (as well as her brother AND grandmother) gives it an A!