I’m so excited to be writing these recaps and I’m really enjoying getting feedback from people:) First off, I found the performance of Hello from the 2012 Tony Awards on YouTube, so let’s watch that, shall we? It has many of the original cast members in it (although not Josh Gad, alas).
So, since that actually ends with exactly where I left off, we’ll launch from there!
After Hello ends, the same voice that yelled at Elder Cunningham announces that our Elders are about to be assigned their mission companions and locations. The Elders chatter for a moment.
ELDER SMITH: Do you have any idea where they’re sending you, Elder Price?
ELDER PRICE: Well…Of course, we don’t REALLY have final say over where we get sent…But I have been PRAYING to be sent to my favorite place in the world…
Let’s stop right there. Elder Price has absolutely NO say over where he gets sent. Elders don’t get to pick a place. That’s just the way it is. But you can tell that he thinks he should be sent to where he wants, that he deserves it. I mean, after all…
ELDER GRANT: Well, if YOU prayed for a location, I’m sure Heavenly Father will make it happen! You’re like the smartest, best, most deserving Elder the center has ever seen!
And that’s when Two By Two starts. And here’s why I’m a horrible parent.
I let my kids listen to this stuff.
Now, before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, I will have you know that my kids aren’t allowed to listen to Hasa Diga Ebowii or anything else on the soundtrack with an E next to the title. But I really loved the music, and in the weeks and months after we saw BOM at the Kennedy Center, I would put it on and listen to a carefully selected handful of songs off of the soundtrack, including this one.
And my six year old loves it. So if you ask him to, he will totally start singing “We are the army of the church of Jesus Christ! Of Latter Day Saints!”
If you want to listen to the song, here it is:
So, as Elder Price informs us:
The most important time of a Mormon Kid’s life is his mission.
A chance to go out and help heal the world, that’s my mission.
Soon I’ll be off in a different place,
Helping the whole human race.
I know my mission will be something incredible.
Our intrepid Elders line up, and step forward as they are called. Elder Young and Elder Grant are sent to Norway,
ELDER GRANT: Land of gnomes and trolls!
Which is cute.
ELDER GRANT AND ELDER YOUNG: Two by two we’re marching door to door!
Cause God loves Mormons and he wants some more!
A two-year mission is our sacrifice
We are the army of the church of Jesus Christ!
Of Latter-Day Saints!
I think the sheer brilliance of this song is as it jokingly plays on Mormon stereotypes, it keeps up with the peppy beat which matches our young Elders, who are fighting for their cause while insisting “we’re really really nice!”
Elder Smith and Elder White are sent to France (“Satan has a hold of France!” “We need to knock him off his perch!“), and Elders Cross and Green find themselves on their way to Japan (“Land of soy sauce!” “And Mothra!“). Are you wondering where Elder Price is being sent yet? Well, so is he, and he busts out into an aside.
ELDER PRICE: Heavenly Father, where will I go on my mission?
Will it be China or old Mexico on my mission?
It could be San Fran by the Bay,
Australia where they say ‘G’day!’
But I pray I’m sent to my favorite place
So what do we know of Elder Price? As Elder Grant mentioned just before the song started he’s “like the smartest, best, most deserving Elder the center has ever seen!”
I know I already typed that out, but this is important, because Elder Price is about to be called, and guess who he’s partnered with?
Our dear Elder Cunningham, natch!
This makes sense, really. Elder Cunningham seems to have a penchant for lying, and he could probably benefit from a strong mission partner to carry his weight. Elder Price looks a bit shocked when he finds himself paired with Cunningham, who struts over to Price and gives him what the stage directions describe as “a big dorky wave.”
But in addition to getting the least desirable mission partner, Price is about to get another piece of news, this one much more devastating. You see, his prayers were not answered. He is not going to Orlando. Which again, makes sense. Orlando sounds like a pretty cushy job, and Price is supposed to be the best, right? So where do they send him?
VOICE: And your mission location is…UGANDA!!!!
ELDER PRICE: …Uganda?
ELDER CUNNINGHAM: UGANDA! COOL! WHERE IS THAT?
ELDER CUNNINGHAM: Oh BOY–like Lion King!
This time, it’s Elder Price’s turn to be unable to keep up with the other Elders as they finish the song. He seems downcast and confused and does not enjoy the rest of Two by Two, which sucks because
ELDERS: Our paths have been revealed
So let’s start the show!
Our shirts are clean and pressed
And our haircuts are precise
They truly are the army of the church of Jesus Christ. Of Latter Day Saints.
As the song ends, Elders Price and Cunningham find themselves alone with each other, Price looking uncomfortable, and Cunningham looking thrilled out of his mind.
ELDER CUNNINGHAM: You know what? I PRAYED to Heavenly Father that we would get paired together. HE REALLY DOES LISTEN!
ELDER PRICE: (confused) He ANSWERED your prayer, huh?
I think it’s important to address this part. I’ve read a lot of BOM criticism, and one of the main ones is that God is not a short order cook. He doesn’t give you what you want just because you ask. And while that is a point, I don’t think that’s the point that BOM is trying to make. Elder Price fully believed that he deserved what he prayed for. Being stuck with the least desirable mission companion and going to an area that is the complete opposite of Orlando was a blow to him, spiritually and emotionally. He’s been brought up to believe he’s the best Elder ever, and so he literally does not understand why his prayer wasn’t answered. The fact that Elder Cunningham’s was is even more confusing to him.
So Elder Price is left alone with God, and Elder Cunningham exits, calling out
ELDER CUNNINGHAM: Well, see ya tomorrow, companion! TOMORROW IS ALWAYS A LATTER DAY!
Until next week, when we cover MY favorite song off of the soundtrack, “You and Me (But Mostly Me).”