The Book of Mormon has had audiences roaring with laughter on Broadway for over a decade, and has kept audiences around the world delighted as well with touring productions. One cast member, PJ Adzima, has been on the national tour, the Australian tour and is now on Broadway as Elder McKinley/Moroni. We chatted with PJ to find out what it’s been like being in The Book of Mormon around the world, what it’s like to perform it on Broadway, and what audiences can expect. Read the interview below, then book your tickets to see The Book of Mormon on Broadway by visiting the show page below.
Broadway Inbound: Tell us about your journey to being part of The Book of Mormon, from how it all began to making your Broadway debut.
PJ Adzima: My Mormon journey began back in 2016. I had been in an original musical by Bobby Lopez at the Atlantic Theater company. That’s how Mormon spotted me and thought I might make a good missionary. A few weeks of feverishly learning to tap dance later, I joined the national tour of Book of Mormon as Elder McKinley. From tour I was asked to join the Australian company for their run in Sydney. It was a beautiful adventure seeing the show around the country and then around the world. Fast forward through a pandemic, and I got the call to join the Broadway production last fall. It’s an incredible full circle moment for me, as it’s always been a dream to play the role here NYC (after going the long way around.)
BI: How long have you been with The Book of Mormon family? Have you seen any changes to the show during that time?
PA: MANY! I have been in the Mormon family on and off for 6 years in 3 different companies. It’s amazing how much can change based on where you are in the world! It’s all about location. Playing the show in Orlando and Salt Lake are some of my favorite theater memories of all time. The audiences were electric! It’s a rock concert hearing all of Salt Lake cheer for their city. (And boo the Lamenites.) Beyond that, all three productions have different dimensions, stage size, backstage, and altitudes! Everything can change how a show feels.
BI: You’ve been in the Australian production, the national tour and now on Broadway. Does The Book of Mormon resonate with audiences differently depending on where it’s performed? Is the humor universal?
PA: YES. Seeing the show in so many different places makes you realize just how universal it truly is. While some punchlines hit differently around the world, the message of the show always lands the same. It’s a gorgeous, hilarious, surprising, and spectacular piece of theater that is unlike anything else.
BI: The show has been on Broadway for over a decade now, what is it that makes the show so popular with audiences?
PA: Like it says on the building, it’s the funniest musical of all time. Plain and simple. If you want a musical comedy that will leave your jaw on the floor, nothing can touch the Book of Mormon. Over 10 years later and it’s still just as sharp and funny as it was on opening night.
BI: What do you love about performing in this show?
PA: I love the JOY it brings. Feeling an audience laugh their ass off just never gets old. Every night we are jumping and clapping for joy, and that energy is simply infectious.
BI: What’s your favorite number or moment in the show?
PA: I can’t lie, I get to sing my favorite song in the show. “Turn It Off” is a tap-dancing crowd pleaser that I’ve adored since I heard the cast album for the first time. It’s a dream come true to perform it 8 times a week.
BI: If someone is planning on seeing The Book of Mormon for the first time, what should they expect?
PA: Expect to have your mind blown because nothing can prepare you for the journey you’re about to go on. Your imagination can’t outdo The Book of Mormon. Just sit back and enjoy.