by MIKE CHI’m of the opinion that good comedy should hold up after multiple viewings.
There should be laughs that will get you every time. And there should be nuggets that you might have missed the first time around and then spot them with the second, third, fourth, or fifth viewing.
I think I first saw the Marx Brother’s “Duck Soup” back in the 1970s. However, I watched it again a few weeks ago, and I remembered how funny it was. I noticed things that I missed in my previous viewings. And I realized things that I didn’t understand when I saw the movie when I was younger.
I’ve had the same experience with films like Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” or “Bringing Up Baby” with Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn, and James Stewart.
The stage musical, “The Book of Mormon” from Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” fame and Robert Lopez is in Hartford this week.
This, however, is not the first time the show has made the circuit through Connecticut.
And, of those times, I have been to the show twice before. Wednesday night was my third go-around.
Third time is still a charm.
Heading into the Bushnell, however, I was worried that I might have made a mistake by agreeing to see the show again. After all, I figured the show must have worn out its welcome on my funny bone.
I was wrong.
Even after seeing the show twice before, I still found myself laughing hard — not only at things I missed but the things I already took note of.
A good cast can do wonders with a familiar script.
There definitely was a different energy emanating from the cast this time around with some newcomers and some repeat offenders
One of the highlights from the last time I saw “The Book of Mormon” was Jordan Matthew Brown as the sweet clownish manchild Arnold Cunningham. Brown has definitely mastered the art of pratfalls and slapstick. He lit up the stage every time he stumbled out.
His straight man for this stop on the tour is Liam Tobin as Elder Price. My guest commented that he looked more like a Prince Charming than a comedic actor. But that’s what made his performance such a hoot. There is something hilarious about watching someone who should have the world at his feet brought down to his knees to the point where he becomes the buffoon.
Alyah Chanelle Scott as Nabulungi, the kind of love interest, also seemed to have found her groove since I saw her last. There seemed to be more clowning around with Brown, more chemistry. She seemed to have become Brown’s partner-in-crime rather than just a passenger in his comedic train. “Baptize Me, her duet with Brown, drove that point home.
The music also for “The Book of Mormon” held up fabulously the third go around. “You and Me (But Mostly Me)” and “Man Up” were particularly good fun third time around.
The show still is as scatological as all get-out. But it’s never mean-spirited. The show sees the best in everyone. Even the villain has some redeeming value.
“The Book of Mormon” is definitely one of those rarified comedies that is as good the third time around as the first.
I give “The Book of Mormon” on Oct. 16 4 ½ out of 5 stars.
The show continues at The Bushnell, 166 Capitol Ave., Hartford on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Matinees are Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. For tickets, visit Bushnell.org..