Hoo wah, hey ya, shoo wa, zad up wow!!!: Lessons from the success of the new musical Book of Mormon

By in Guest Post, Wealth | 21 comments

Guest post by El Carino, my best friend, significant other, and one-of-a-kind guy. When not watching theatre, sports, or playing games, he is an academic.

As you may recall from Barb’s previous posts, I am passionate about the theatre and believe the theatre provides life lessons which are generalizable to just about every human action.  The new Broadway smash, Book of Mormon, packs  such a powerful payload. Heralded as the best musical of this century, owner of 9 new Tony awards, and predicted to change the future landscape of American musical theatre, Book of Mormon’s success teaches us these lessons.


Don’t just think outside the box: Blow the sides out of the freakin’ thing! The Book of Mormon is the brain child of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone as well Robert Lopez who created another iconic musical, Avenue Q.  The concept, dialogue, music, and lyrics are so fresh because there is nothing like it. There is a type of danger in this sort of audacious creativity and the audience profits from this sense of the production working without a safety net.  So what does it mean for me?


Their creative courage inspires me to take risks to break the boundaries of my own comfort zone.  I need to stretch myself to do new, unfamiliar things in my professional life.  I am an old dog and I must learn new tricks! If I don’t, I risk far greater dangers: the sad peril of being obsolete and replaced by new a fresh puppy. The past is great but don’t become chained by tradition, convention, or nostalgia. Embrace the future along with its uncertainty and unremitting demand for change!


Believe in what you are doing.  The musical is ultimately about faith…Faith in yourself..Faith in your relationships, and faith in what you do. Sure, the musical takes a poke at sometimes blind and oblivious faith but in the end it celebrates the notion of faith in an uncertain world. This faith is really what helps sales people, marketers, etc. Faith in ourselves helps us sell ourselves and our ideas. Ultimately, regardless of what jobs we do, don’t we want others to be infected with a contagious faith in us?


Stone, Parker, and Lopez take on provocative issues. Their musical like any good theatre engages us by holding up a mirror to us. The AIDS epidemic, female genital mutilation, homophobia, violence, poverty, etc . all are addressed. This is a hilariously funny piece but it is not light weight at all. The take away message is that as a global community we must become more responsible to each other. We cannot ignore famine, genocide, female mutilation,  and abject poverty in our near and far neighbors.

Go make a difference somewhere!

Thank you Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez!!! Go see the Book of Mormon on Broadway. If you can’t make it there, go get the CD!!!

What inspires you to leave your comfort zone?

image credit; playbill


  1. I like routine and structure when it comes to work, but I risk or leave my comfort zone all the time. It is called the entrepreneurial spirit, as evidenced by going off on my own in my thirties.! I am constantly learning new things and very willing to risk change. It keeps me interested , otherwise I would be bored.


    June 14, 2011

  2. Hi Krantcents, I think most bloggers have a bit of the “do it yourself”, risk taking mentality. El Carino thanks you for the comment 🙂

    Barb Friedberg

    June 14, 2011

  3. Awesome post. The only thing I might add—and I know this wasn’t the topic of your entry, but it does bear repeating—is that while the Book of Mormon musical certainly tackles a lot of hot topics, it’s horrifically inaccurate. Not only does it severely misrepresent Latter-day Saint beliefs, but it’s also incredibly offensive to Ugandans (who are actually fairly technologically advanced and have long since outlawed female circumcision).

    Of course, the foregoing is to be expected from the creators of *South Park*, who have never cared much for accuracy; but the point is that while media certainly drives perception, it shouldn’t be our ultimate source.

    Regardless, bravo.


    June 15, 2011

  4. Your post makes me want to book a plane ticket today! Your thoughts on living outside the box have me thinking about what that could mean for me.

    Julie @ The Family CEO

    June 15, 2011

  5. @Forest-Yes, it’s fascinating how the media can teach us, inspire, and entertain. Unfortunately, don’t think the road company will be in Egypt any time soon:)
    @Jeff-You certainly need to take the show as the satire it was. As you stated, one shouldn’t get their history lessons from popular culture. Thanks for the visit and comment.
    @Julie, It was well worth it! And I love it when there’s a message on top of entertainment!


    June 15, 2011

  6. I tried SO hard to get tickets to Book of Mormon when I was in New York, but it was impossible … they were sold out, sold out, and sold out. I’m jealous you’ve seen it — but only a little jealous, since I know I’ll surely see it soon!

    Paula @ AffordAnything.org

    June 16, 2011

  7. @Paula, Tickets were so tough to come by that the carinos and I all sat in different sections in the theatre. It was so worth it. I hear they are going on tour soon. I’m going to see it again!!!!


    June 16, 2011

  8. I really empathize with all those struggling to get tickets. I have to share this story. I stood in line for hours for tickets to the preview. As barb said the tickets were not together and I complained. The guy said, “look these are the last 3 tickets and you are lucky to get them!!” So I called barb and she was to say the least less than enthused at the prospect of seeing something about Mormonism written by the South Park creators. She is far more proper than me as you would exspect!! However, to her credit she transcended her “proper” comfort zone and became enthralled!!

    El Carino

    June 16, 2011

  9. I love this post! Fear inspires me to leave my comfort zone…the fear that if I *don’t* do something about a given situation, it might get worse.

    I also leave my comfort zone when I am comfortable with the idea that I might be successful with what I attempt to do. I think people are more afraid of success than failure sometimes.

    Super Frugalette

    June 17, 2011

  10. thanks super F! fear of success often takes the form of being burdened by expectations. E.G. Now I have done this, what’s next???

    El Carino

    June 17, 2011

  11. It can be so difficult at times to try and take risks, especially when we see how far one can fall. As you stated, if we do not believe that we can do it, we might as well quit before we begin!

    Khaleef @ KNS Financial

    June 17, 2011

  12. I have to share this most exciting news. new ticket figures indicate that Book of Mormon is now selling faster than tickets for Wicked. Dang, I wish we had invested

    El Carino

    June 18, 2011

  13. That’s a great review! Blowing out the sides of a box, never heard that before. Awesome! Great advice on learning new tricks because young pups chomping at the bit can make the previous generation obsolete. Only the strong survive, rock on!

    Buck Inspire

    June 19, 2011

  14. I think except for madoff , all rest of the riches and successfuls have faith and social conscience, and of-course they live outside the box. Great post!

    SB(One Cent At A Time)

    June 19, 2011

  15. Buck

    thanks the props. I also love From Here to Eternity. Probably have seen it 20 times. Last time it was on I turned barb onto it as well. She loved it even tho she doesn’t usually like “war” movies. She loved the romance. Borgnine was also great in Marty–he won the Oscar for that one.

    El Carino

    June 20, 2011

  16. SB,

    living outside the box can be uncomfortable but we all have to challenge ourselves. Perhaps all the current financial messes could have be obviated by a dose of social conscience

    El Carino

    June 20, 2011

  17. Heck of a review. I’d normally stay away from stage musicals, but this one may be the start of a new interest. This, and Spamalot.

    101 Centavos

    June 24, 2011

  18. take the plunge Hermano

    El Carino

    June 25, 2011

  19. My husband wants to see this badly! We live in Houston, but are headed up to PA soon to visit family so he might just get his wish….

    Amanda L Grossman

    June 27, 2011

  20. Amanda,

    Run, don’t walk to get tickets and give your husband his wish

    El Carino

    July 2, 2011

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