I don't know if you guys have jumped on the Book of Mormon bandwagon yet, but you should!
I don't follow a lot of Broadway musicals on my own... but my sister, the theater major, does. And she turned me onto this AMAZING, Tony-Award-for-Best Musical-winning musical a few months ago, and I've been hooked ever since.
A very quick plug for the show:
My exposure to the show is limited to the soundtrack and some minor bootleg footage, but even still.... it has some of the funniest, wittiest, snarkiest (it's a word), crudest, tongue-in-cheek, and still incredibly heartfelt material I've ever heard. Just... brilliant. Try listening to snippets on iTunes if you can. Totally worth it.
But I digress....
A great thing about any Broadway play (and all theater, really) is that they don't have the benefit of the close-up. So they're forced to tell the story with much broader strokes, which creates some great byproducts. In order to make an action, pose, or gesture read the same from the front row and the back row, they have to over-exaggerate almost everything: In some shows, almost to the point of turning their characters into cartoons. But what they usually get out of doing this, are very strong, dynamic poses that tell the story very efficiently.
The Book of Mormon is a perfect example of this.
This is a still from the first song of the show:
**sorry for the crappy resolution... not important, really**
Notice how each character has his own story within the larger context. Each character is holding the same prop, is wearing the same costume, and doing the same basic thing, but each one has their own VERY unique character.
It's a great example of ideation!
So next time you need to come up with ten variations on "Mormons holding Bibles".... here ya go!