February 2012


18:00 CET: At home, admiring my Hasa Diga Eebowai T-Shirt and the frog that will change my life.

I’m happy to report that I am at home – my flight arrived back in Berlin some 3 hours late, due, at first, to the fact that a plane landed on one of the Newark runways with its nose-gear up – which ended up closing the airport for awhile, and then, secondly, due to a screw-up by a Continental/United agent of some kind – who forgot to block seats for pilot rest.

After getting home, I took a shower, started some of the chores that do not need constant attention (e.g. laundry), and then took a nap – two hours, followed by a trip to the gym, then the grocery store, and home – where I started unpacking.

Hasa Diga Eebowai!

My new t-shirt and the frog that will change my life!

The first things I pulled out were my two souvenirs from my trip to see Book of Mormon – the cheerful Hasa Diga Eebowai t-shirt and the frog that will change my life. The raison d’être for this trip to New York City was the fact that my Sagittarius Amgio and I wanted to see Book of Mormon – and the timing worked out for this past weekend.

I might note that the ticket prices were shockingly high – we were looking on the Stubhub secondary market and in order to get two seats next to each other, we were looking at $368 per seat in the balcony. I realized that if we didn’t sit next to each other, we could reduce the ticket prices to $199 and $250 for two nearby, but separate, seats in the balcony.

Let me say that Book of Mormon is fantastic – and I want to see it again. The show is upbeat, hopeful, and charming, even as it skewers Mormonism to some extent. The musical numbers are immensely charming and sticky. Before I went to see the show I bought the original Broadway cast recording and listened to it twice – then I couldn’t stop hearing the lyrics in my head for the following two weeks, as well as waking up to having they lyrics running through my head. Now that I’ve seen the musical, the lyrics are again infecting my mind.

I’m not a professional musical reviewer, and I certainly do not want to ruin the show for anybody, so I am going to keep this short: Trey Parker and Matt Stone are two of my generation’s greatest satirists and this work maintains tradition. To me it is a more modern and mature version of Orgazmo, which was an obscure, yet brilliant, film satirizing both Mormonism and the porno industry. Where Orgazmo is blunt and in your face, Book of Mormon is more nuanced and careful.

That’s not to say that Book of Mormon doesn’t have its blunt moments: Hasa Diga Eebowai, once translated into English, mortifies the Mormon missionaries, and the rest of the show uses a lot of, as the euphemism puts it, “strong language.”

I’ll be wearing my t-shirt with pride, but I won’t be using the frog for what the musical recommends – rather it will join my other stuffed animals, watching over me as I sleep.

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