Friday, July 1, 2011

The Book of Orman

by Nels Noodleman

It has been called a cross between My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Sound of Music but without the boring slow spots and album filler songs.

“The greatest musical I have ever seen!” New York Times Broadway critic Bentley Benchley has raved. “I laughed, I cried, I totally revamped the portfolio to my 401 (k) plan!” And the score, including the hit song People First, Then Money, Then Things (But Mostly Me!)*, has the nation’s toes tapping like a flamenco dancer on crack!

The show is The Book of Orman, Broadway’s smash hit reverential tribute to renowned financial advisor, author, motivational speaker, and kill joy television host Susan "Suze" Orman by legendary South Park satirists, Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

This Broadway beat reporter was privileged to catch up with the show’s two creators for a tangy lunch last week at Olive Garden. The duo told me their boundless admiration for Ms. Orman began several years ago when she denied them an on-air request to add several conservative Republican fourth graders to South Park’s regular ensemble of pint-sized protagonists because they failed to “show her the money!”

“Even Cartman loves Suze!” beamed the oft-beaming Mr. Parker. “We skewer just about every half-assed social trend,  ego-maniacal celebrity, and political debacle on the planet,” added Mr. Stone, “but Suze Orman is sacrosanct. And if you don’t agree, you’re a dick!”

The Book of Orman concerns two Mormon missionaries  who set out to bring faith and hope to poor villagers in Uganda terrorized by a vicious war lord who brutally forces them to remain seated during those portions of religious services when they’re supposed to stand and prohibits them from reading silently while I read aloud!

In two and half hours of groundbreaking theater, with a 15 minute intermission for women in the audience to futilely stand in line for the Ladies Room, the missionaries tunefully learn that it isn’t the message itself that’s liberating, it’s that the message be conveyed by an at best marginally attractive but essentially dumpy looking 60-year-old woman  with an irritating manner of speaking and a dopey blonde Dorothy Hamill haircut.

The Book of Orman has won a record setting 37 Tony Awards including Best Musical Score by a Jewish Gay Man, Best Choreography Involving Feet, and Best Actor in a Musical Who Isn’t Nathan Lane.

This reporter was privileged to see The Book of Orman when it opened, and I believe it is the greatest American theatrical experience since Our American Cousin, which I was also privileged to see when it opened. It sets an extremely high bar for the upcoming Side by Side by Stewart, Stephen Sondheim's musical tribute to the infectious and irrepressible spirit and personality of Martha Stewart.

In the words of the great Suze Orman, I’m telling you this is one marvelous showgirlfriend!  If you miss it, you’re a dick!

From your very own  Broadway Buddy,

Mr. Nels Noodleman

*The actual song from The Book of Mormon  is You and Me (But Mostly Me!) 


Lexi said...

"...a 15 minute intermission for women in the audience to futilely stand in line for the Ladies Room" - you have that too? I thought it was just us in the UK with our little old theatres...

Perry Block said...

For years, I was always envious because I thought something was being given away in the Ladies Room!

Now I get it why many women's posture leaving a theatre is so terrible!

K.D. McCrite said...

Perry, you had me rolling the aisles--the theater aisles, of course. I can't wait to see this musical, though I feel most musicals belong at the bottom of a very deep muddy creek where only catfish have to listen to them.

There is no need for any woman to stand in line at the ladies room when the men's room is right there and usually empty. I wish those darn urinals were just a little lower, though.

Perry Block said...

Thanks as always for your nice response. I will always stand guard by the men's room for you if need be!

Unknown said...

Oh, that woman makes my skin crawl. You said it perfectly; her motto should be: "People first, then money, then things (but mostly ME!") Or maybe even more accurately "ME, then people, then money."

P. S. You're totally right about the Ladies' Room. I usually give up all manner of food or drink for three days prior to going to the theater just to avoid that insufferable line.

Perry Block said...

LOL! I sympathize with respect to the Ladies Room issue, Lisa. And Suze makes my skin crawl too. Looks like this is the musical for you!