“Hello!” do you want to know a little more about the quirky storyline of the show? If so read our The Book of Mormon Musical synopsis below (including songs!)
As the show opens we are introduced to the LDS Church Missionary Training Centre where Elder Kevin Price and his classmates of missionaries-to-be demonstrate their daily attempts to convert the public to Mormonism through door to door campaigns (“HELLO”). Elder Price is looking forward to his two year mission, and prays he will be posted to Orlando, the world of Disney Land. Instead, he and Elder Arnold Cunningham, a nerdy overweight missionary are posted to Uganda (“TWO BY TWO”). At Salt Lake City Airport, spunky Elder Price talks about how he hopes to change the world and make a difference to the people of Uganda, aided somewhat by the incompetent Elder Cunningham (“YOU AND ME (BUT MOSTLY ME)”).
The pair arrive in Uganda and are immediately robbed at gunpoint by a local warlord, General Butt-Fucking-Naked. The local villagers and Mafala Hatimbi tell the missionaries about their life living amongst famine, poverty and AIDS as well as the despotic tyrant General. The villagers sing a song (“HASA DIGA EEBOWAI”) to cheer themselves up, but both Elder’s are shocked to hear it translates to “Fuck You, God” in English. With all this blasphemy, it seems that the pair have a lot of hard work on their hands.
Hatimbi’s daughter Nabulungi introduces Price and Cunningham to the other local missionaries who have all failed to convert the town to Mormonism. Elder McKinley tells them both that to survive they need to put aside all thoughts and feelings of failing, (as he does with his own homosexual thoughts) and they have to “TURN IT OFF” like a light switch. Price is shocked by this and upset at their prospects, but is comforted by Cunningham (“I AM HERE FOR YOU”).
Price is determined to succeed and begins to teach about Joseph Smith, the founder of the Latter Day Saint’s Church through song (“ALL AMERICAN PROPHET”). The villagers find Price arrogant and annoying, disregarding his teaching. General Butt-Fucking-Naked arrives to demand the circumcision of all the female natives by the end of the week, killing a random local to stop any form of protest. The villagers despair but Nabulungi is touched by thoughts of paradise and begins to dream (“SAL TLAY KA SITI”). Pressure begins to mount from the Church who are angry with the failed missionary attempts. Price grows angry, abandoning his efforts and requesting a transfer to Orlando. Cunningham reiterates his support for Price (“I AM HERE FOR YOU REPRISE”) although Price turns his back on him as a companion. Nabulungi comforts Cunningham and asks him more about the Book of Mormon (“MAN UP”).
With Cunningham now in charge of the mission it becomes clear that his lack of education results in him making things up (“MAKING THINGS UP AGAIN”). His stories however begin to relate to the people and gets them to listen, and he decides that bending the truth cannot hurt, as it will ultimately help them. Price begins to reflect on his childhood and is reminded of many nightmares he had as a kid, sending him into a panic attack (“SPOOKY MORMON HELL DREAM”).
The dream convinces Price that he has to stay in Uganda to continue his mission, although Cunningham is unwilling to let him back in after his cruel rejection. He has assembled ten eager villagers who have shown an interest in the church, and Price prepares to confront the evil General with the Book of Mormon itself (“I BELIEVE”). Cunningham continues his preaching and begins to baptise villagers, starting with Nabulungi (“BAPTIZE ME”). The villagers slowly begin to accept Mormonism and the missionaries celebrate (“I AM AFRICA”). Price drowns his sorrows after a failed conversion of the General, and Cunningham tells him they need to pretend to work together for the visit of the Mormon President who is due to arrive to congratulate the Ugandan mission. Price is left alone to consider his life and the broken promises of the church (“ORLANDO”).
As the head of the mission arrives, Price and Cunningham are congratulated for all their efforts. Nabulungi and the villagers perform a pageant about the story of Joseph Smith according to what they have been taught by Cunningham (“JOSEPH SMITH AMERICAN MOSES”). The President is appalled and orders them to go home, telling the Africans they are not real Mormons. (“HASA DIGA EEBOWAI (REPRISE)”) Price realises that Cunningham was right all along, as it is not the scriptures that are important but instead it is the knowledge that religion can help people. The pair comfort each other and decide to remain in Africa together to continue doing good work (“YOU AND ME (BUT MOSTLY ME) REPRISE”). Nabulungi however is furious that Cunningham has lied to her, and aims to help the General take over the village. The Villagers tell her that the stories should be used as metaphors for getting through life rather than literal truth, finally embracing Mormonism. Together they drive the General away. The missionaries and villagers come together to talk about ‘The Book of Arnold’, as they decide that they need to work together to make the world a better place “TOMORROW IS A LATTER DAY/HELLO REPRISE”)