Trey Parker and Matt Stone are no stranger to broad satire. As the creators of the animated TV show South Park, their brand of humor has seen decades of success on the big screen and small screen. Musical elements haven been key to many of their collaborations, and the pair long held a desire to bring a musical to Broadway. This desire gained momentum after meeting Avenue Q co-writer Robert Lopez, who wanted to bring a Mormon-themed musical to Broadway. The trio decided to collaborate, and The Book of Mormon was born. The Book of Mormon tells the tale of 2 missionaries sent to Uganda, Elders Price and Cunningham. Price is a devout, straight-laced fellow who is confident he can convert the population of the village they are sent to help. The villagers live in squalor and are ruled over by a rather disagreeable chief. Cunningham is neither confident nor all that well versed in the tenants of his faith. Price's enthusiasm soon wanes as the villagers and chief resist his attempts to convert them.
Cunningham's ill suited grasp of the fine details of his faith leads him to combine what he does know of Mormonism with bits and pieces of the science fiction and fantasy he is quite familiar with. His hybrids of Mormonism, Star Wars, and Heinlein's Lord of the Rings resonate with the villagers, much to Price's dismay. Eventually the villagers decide to convert thanks to Cunningham's tales. The original Broadway production opened March 24, 2011 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre to nearly universal positive reviews. The subject of the musical's parody, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, did not condemn it, and Parker and Stone stated most of the feedback they've received from Mormon viewers has been positive. The production earned 14 nominations and 9 wins in the 2011 Tony Awards. The Drama League, New York Drama Critics, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk all gave their top musical honors to The Book of Mormon.
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