Why Yo Gabba Gabba Live is better than The Book of Mormon

In the past two weeks I’ve seen both The Book of Mormon (the musical) and Yo Gabba Gabba! Live. So how does a winner of 9 Tony Awards compare to a live version of a Nick Jr. children’s television show? Basically, the kid’s show kicks its ass. Let’s examine why.

 The Music

These are musical spectaculars after all, so let’s talk about the music. One of the Tony Awards that The Book of Mormon won was for best musical score, which is very impressive. Still, I can only remember a few bars from a few of the songs. On the other hand, I can sing every word of most of the Yo Gabba Gabba songs. Some may argue that’s because I’ve seen too many episodes of the Yo Gabba Gabba TV show and not because they are better songs. To those people I say, “There’s a party in my tummy. So yummy. So yummy.” Oh, and Yo Gabba Gabba! Live included a cover of “Walking in LA.”

Advantage: Yo Gabba Gabba

The Book

The Book of Mormon has a complex story with surprising twists and interesting characters. Yo Gabba Gabba is really more of a concert than a play. Plus, The Book of Mormon is named after a book.

Advantage: Book of Mormon


As a working mom I need to fit in exercise whenever I can, so if I can burn some calories while being entertained that’s great. For The Book of Mormon I did have to climb the stairs to the mezzanine of Chicago’s Bank of America Theatre, but mostly I sat on my butt drinking wine. At Yo Gabba Gabba we were frequently encouraged to get on our feet and dance. For me this often meant doing so with 30+ pounds of two-year old on my hip. I was feeling the burn two songs in and quickly regretted wearing a sweater.

Advantage: Yo Gabba Gabba

Raunchy Jokes

Although the show features a character often described as an anthropomorphized dildo, Yo Gabba Gabba‘s humor maintains the appropriateness one would expect for a show targeted at pre-schoolers. The Book of Mormon was a collaboration between the creators of South Park and a co-creator of Avenue Q. The BoM humor is raunchy and heretical and delightful (assuming you like that sort of thing).

Advantage: Book of Mormon

 Star Power

The cast members for the Chicago company of The Book of Mormon have some very respectable bios, but none have widely recognizable names. Yo Gabba Gabba Live is helmed by DJ Lance Rock, who is instantly recognizable to fans of the TV show. Plus, we were graced with a visit from Biz Markie, who is instantly recognizable to people who remember the song “Just a Friend.”

Advantage: Yo Gabba Gabba

Hell Dream Imagery

The Book of Mormon has a showstopping depiction of a “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream,” but although I find Yo Gabba Gabba to be one of the most watchable kids’ shows I know some adults who hate it and would probably describe it as a “hell dream.”

Advantage: Satan

Ticket Prices

My entire family of four saw Yo Gabba Gabba! Live for only slightly more than the cost of one mezzanine seat for The Book of Mormon. To say that is a tad unfair since we got Groupon tickets for YGG. Still, the Broadway in Chicago series brings genuine Broadway ticket prices to Chicago, plus we didn’t need to pay for a babysitter when we saw Yo Gabba Gabba.

Advantage: Yo Gabba Gabba


Based on this analysis Yo Gabba Gabba! Live is clearly a better show than The Book of Mormon. Of course, that’s probably not true if you don’t have kids. Also, Yo Gabba Gabba! Live has left Chicago for the rest of its tour, whereas The Book of Mormon is running here until at least September. (Tickets are available here.) By the way, I did enjoy The Book of Mormon, although I was bitter that I had to participate in ovation inflation just because I wanted to see the last half of the curtain call instead of staring at the rear ends of the folks in front of me.

If you liked this you may also enjoy A Toddler’s Guide to Co-Sleeping or How to Enjoy Theatre. Also, my friend Brad Stephenson was kind enough to create the Book of Muno image above. You can find more of his silliness at ActClassy.com.

For good stuff between posts, subscribe to the Listing Toward Forty Facebook page here or follow Kim Z. Dale on Twitter here. I’m also starting to use Google+ more. You can circle me here.

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