The Elders are coming for a two-week run just in time for post-holiday fun!
If you’re easily amused by crude humor and aren’t afraid of a few little light hearted cracks at the expense of the latter day saints, do NOT miss the Book of Mormon, coming to Seattle’s Paramount Theater for a two week stretch after the holidays December 29 – January 10th. South Park writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone have teamed up with Disney’s Frozen composer Robert Lopez to create the epic hilarity that is this entertaining Broadway musical. I accidentally missed this record breaking show back in 2013, and have been anxiously awaiting for its return ever since. I had some time to sit down with Gig Harbor local and Book of Mormon ensemble member Michael Buchanan to get the scoop on what to expect when the khaki clad boys return to the Seattle stage.
What is it about this production that appeals to the masses and keeps critics raving about it?
The Book of Mormon is like a South Park episode you can’t look away from – they’ve really done a brilliant job. Bobby Lopez nailed the music, I think patrons don’t necessarily know this guy from Frozen is heavily involved in the creative team. Near the end when you feel like you couldn’t laugh anymore, this simple story ends up being really unexpectedly sweet, and everyone has a really good time. You want more after this one.
You’ve been with this production from the beginning – What’s life like on set?
I’ve been involved with this production for 3.5 years, rehearsals have been joyous, and our co-director really sets the tone for a fun atmosphere. Doing a production for so long presents its challenges, as this is the longest I’ve ever been on a show. Our schedule includes eight performances a week with one day off, and trying to bring new life to the story you’ve done 1,300 times is always interesting. With that comes brain farts – sometimes when the show moves along, you can’t remember for the life of you what comes next. On stage two seconds can feel like forever! There was a moment recently when my character had a long list of things to say to an elder and that list went right out the window – hilarity ensues when you least expect it.
What is your favorite aspect of your character?
Elder Grant/ Elder Church is funny. He sings a bit and turns it off in other places, and we have some fun verses. It’s fun to look out and see how the audience will react at those moments.
What’s it like playing in front of your local audience?
It is so exciting! In January 2013 the tour was pretty new and coming to Seattle was great. Looking out to that house I know so well was emotional and took me back to everything I had seen on the other side of that stage growing up. It’s always exciting to have friends and family come and see it, and surprise some people who come to see it that I haven’t seen in a while.