The Book of Mormon shatters house records
The Book of Mormon, first national tour cast (Photo courtesy The Book of Mormon on Broadway)

I knew something felt different and special on this opening night.

There was a palpable energy in the air, the downtown streets were far busier than any other opening in recent memory, and once I stepped into the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts theater it was immediately evident Book of Mormon was a very popular show.

Now it’s official.

Organizers at Broadway San Jose have announced that the Tony award winning musical has shattered the house record here, ending the week of July 5 with a gross of $1,858,214 (to be as exact as possible).

In my review for Stark Insider (Book of Mormon, 5 out of 5 stars) I wrote:

Quite charming actually.

That was my first thought as I streamed, on auto-pilot, alongside a large, enthusiastic crowd into the warm air of downtown San Jose after the opening night of The Book of Mormon.

But this show is supposed to be daring, raunchy, and shocking.

It’s all of those things, alright, but it was the through-and-through likability of the two leads, and their resolute determination to make Africa a better place — one baptism at a time — that pleasantly caught me off guard.

I wouldn’t suggest Mormon is syrupy sweet, but it’s certainly far less cynical than I was expecting.

Not sure I am fan of the expression “thunderous ovation” and yet that’s exactly appropriate in describing the crowd reaction to this touring version of the show. And, no question, this is far-and-away more boisterous, genuine than a seat-filler manufactured ovation. You just know it when you see it. And feel it.

San Jose is not the first city to enjoy record turn-outs. Mormon is leaving a wide wake of laughs, and financial success in its path. In an email, PR reps say it has broken 81 house records in 44 venues across the country.

Apparently, show creators Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone know how to push all the right buttons… er, door bells.

Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear