The Book of Mormon

I never through in a million years that I would be able to watch The Book of Mormon the Musical for a number of reasons.

One, it was really popular and tickets get sold out right away.

Two, tickets are mad expensive!

Three, I'm pretty sure that it's against my religion to favour this show (I'm Catholic, obvi).

Four, I don't live in New York City.

BUT, a miracle happened - something incredible! - and I won tickets to see The Book of Mormon at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto!

Let me tell you my story.

I found out that The Book of Mormon was coming to Toronto. And I was like, "Oh that's nice. I can't afford it". Around that time, my best friend's surgery was nearing and I wanted for us to chill before she goes under the knife and be on bed rest for a month or so. So I went to the Mirvish website again and browsed the Book of Mormon page. Just, what if, you know?

And there it was. The Book of Mormon Lottery. MY WHAT-IF!

Basically, you show up 2 hours before show time, sign your name, and you get entered in a raffle that gives you a chance to win 2 Book of Mormon ORCHESTRA SEAT tickets for just $40! So, I dragged my best friend downtown to the Royal Alexandra Theatre and we both signed up for 2 tickets each, just to be safe. At this point, my boyfriend is on the DVP (highway in Toronto) on his way to join us on a Friday night. We have no clue as to whether either of us will even win one ticket or not. If anything, we would just got to Korean Grill and call it a night. YO to the LO.

So my best friend and I walk over to Tim Horton's next door to wait until raffle draw time, and also for my boyfriend to arrive. Whichever one comes first. At this point, the anticipation is getting to my head. How come, you ask? I had just realized that I am making my Conservative Christian boyfriend go and see this religiously-raunchy musical. He doesn't believe in horoscopes, tarot cards - he is Christian to the bone. And I love him for that. What am I doing? At this moment, I'm making him go through the Friday-after-work rush hour traffic to go see a play that could possibly cause the end of our relationship. Meanwhile, my best friend is laughing at me across the table, savouring her bagel, watching me in amusement. She knows what is about to go down and she's just solely entertained. She is my best friend alright. 

But whatever, he didn't even have a ticket yet. We don't even know if we're going to win or not. So I bite off my Cinnamon Raisin bagel with cream cheese hoping it would calm me down. 


BFF and I walk back to Royal Alexandra Theatre. There's quite a crowd in the lobby already. And some more people are coming to sign up. Damn. Our odds are getting smaller and smaller by the minute. Whatever. We've come this far and waited this long. All we could do now is show up to be eligible to win in case our names get called. 

And it's time.

The usher pulls the lever down and scrambles all the name entries inside the raffle cage. She said a certain number of tickets available to be won that night. I don't remember the number. At this point, I just can't believe that I'm at the Royal Alexandra Theatre just moments away from a possible chance at watching The Book of Mormon. I'm just happy that I went and decided to take a chance. I already felt good just knowing that. But of course, I was still hoping. 

"Mae Janelle Berte"


They called my name first! WTF!

My little self swore my loudest. I was so sorry, but not so sorry. This is insane!

The year that The Book of Mormon came out, I bought its soundtrack album. I know every song. Tonight I get to watch the whole production and sing along live, and laugh at the jokes. I already know which jokes are coming but it's still hilarious to me every time.

I saw everything. In this first row. I got to watch the band in the orchestra pit. I saw the actors' sweat and spit. I saw everythaang!

All the magic of the show, all of the ugliness and provocative stuff. I cringed a lot in my seat, looking over my shoulder to see if my boyfriend hates me. 

It was a lot to take in, he said, but that I was in the clear. 

Winning the Book of Mormon Lottery sparked the musical kid in me all over again and made me remember how much performing arts makes me so happy. 

I felt alive again after so long. 

We ended the night with K-grill altogether.