Third time around for “Book of Mormon”


Lamont Jay Whittaker just finished his 330th performance as Mafala Hatimbi Jr., village chief, in the award-winning musical, “The Book of Mormon”.

“We opened a year ago and we’re still going strong,” he said from Texas, far from his birthplace in Miami, college in California, and current home in New York City. The show’s booking at PPAC will be his first time in Rhode Island.

When I looked up his name on google, I found an English poet, a standup comedian and an older actor.

Lamont was surprised to learn of his namesakes, telling me about his other interests as a musical playwright and cabaret producer.

“I play the chief of the village visited by Mormon missionaries, with literally big shoes to fill.

“The show will make you laugh, but also make you think, and you will see yourself and others in it.”

I suggested that the musical may offend some people with its R rated material and poke at religion.

“Book of Mormon” is a musical of its time,” he said. “It is about people finding their way. It is a journey that they, and the audience, did not expect to take. Many people are seeing it for the second and third time, and finding something new in it.”

“Book of Mormon will be at the Providence Performing Arts Center October 31-November 5 as part of the Encore Series. Call 421-ARTS for reservations.


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