The Book of Mormon

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The Book of Mormon

by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone

 

The Book of Mormon is a religious satire musical with a book, lyrics, and music by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone.[1] Best known for creating the animated comedy South Park, Parker and Stone co-created the music with Lopez, who co-wrote and co-composed Avenue Q. The show lampoons organized religion and traditional musical theatre, reflecting the creators’ lifelong fascination with Mormonism and musicals.[2]

The Book of Mormon tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent to a remote village in northern Uganda, where a brutal warlord is threatening the local population. Naive and optimistic, the two missionaries try to share their scriptures—which only one of them knows very well—but have trouble connecting with the locals, who are worried about famine, poverty, and AIDS.[3]

After nearly seven years of development, the show premiered on Broadway in March 2011. The Book of Mormon has garnered positive critical response and numerous theatre awards, including nine Tony Awards. An original Broadway cast recording was released in May 2011 and became the highest-charting Broadway cast album in over four decades.

 

History


 

The Book of Mormon was conceived by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone. Both Parker and Stone grew up in Colorado, and were very familiar with the Mormon church and its members; Parker even dated a Mormon girl and was badly hurt after their break-up.[4] Parker had an extensive background in music before meeting Stone; in high school, he was in the chorus of a community theater production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, was piano player for the chorus as well as president of Choir Counsel. He also performed in productions of Grease and Flower Drum Song, and helped build the set for the community theater production of Little Shop of Horrors.[5][6] The writers became friends at the University of Colorado at Boulder. At the college, they collaborated on a musical film, Cannibal! The Musical (1993), their first experience with musicals.[7] In 1997, they created the TV series South Park for Comedy Central and the 1999 musical film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.[8] The two had first thought of a fictionalized Joseph Smith, religious leader and founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, while working on an aborted Fox series about historical characters.[4] Their 1998 film, Orgazmo, and the 2003 episode “All About Mormons” of South Park both gave comic treatment to Mormonism.[7]

During the summer of 2003, Parker and Stone flew to New York City to discuss the script of their new film, Team America: World Police, with friend and producer Scott Rudin (who also produced South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut).[4][9] Rudin advised the duo to see the musical Avenue Q on Broadway, finding the cast of marionettes in Team America similar to the puppets of Avenue Q.[9] Parker and Stone went to see the production during that summer, and Lopez, writer-composer of Avenue Q, noticed them in the audience and introduced himself. Lopez revealed that South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut was highly influential in the creation of Avenue Q.[9] The trio went for drinks afterwards, and soon found that each camp wanted to write something involving Joseph Smith.[4] The three began working out details nearly immediately, with the idea to create a modern story formulated early on.[4] For research purposes, the trio took a field trip to Salt Lake City where they “interviewed a bunch of missionaries—or ex-missionaries.”[10] They had to work around Parker and Stone’s South Park schedule.[7][11] In 2006, Parker and Stone flew to London where they spent three weeks with Lopez, who was working on the West End production of Avenue Q. There, the three wrote “four or five songs” and came up with the basic idea of the story. For the next few years, the trio met frequently to develop what they initially called The Book of Mormon: The Musical of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “There was a lot of hopping back and forth between L.A. and New York,” Parker recalled.[4]

Lopez pushed for the stage, and his partners concurred. Lopez prodded them to take the project a step further and “workshop” it, which baffled Parker and Stone, clueless about what he meant.[4] Developmental workshops directed by Jason Moore starred Cheyenne Jackson.[12] Other actors in readings included Benjamin Walker and Daniel Reichard.[13] The crew embarked on the first of a half-dozen workshops that would take place during the next four years, ranging from 30-minute mini-performances for family and friends to much larger-scale renderings of the embryonic show. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money, still unconvinced they would take it any further.[4] In February 2008, a fully-staged reading starred Walker and Josh Gad as Elders Price and Cunningham, respectively.[13] Moore was originally set to direct, but left the production in June 2010.[13] Other directors, including James Lapine, were optioned to join the creative team, but the producers recruited Casey Nicholaw.[13] A final five-week workshop took place in August 2010, when Nicholaw came on board as choreographer and co-director with Parker.[4]

Rudin was named as the producer of the show.[14] Originally, Rudin planned to stage The Book of Mormon off-Broadway at the New York Theater Workshop in Summer 2010, but opted to premiere it directly on Broadway, “[s]ince the guys [Parker and Stone] work best when the stakes are highest.”[citation needed] Rudin booked the Eugene O’Neill Theatre and hired key players while sets were designed and built.[4] Rudin expected the production to cost $11 million, but it came in under budget at $9 million.[13] Hundreds of actors auditioned and 28 were cast. When a rehearsal space was found, the work of producing a full-blown musical got under way.[4] Parker and Stone, along with their families, decamped from Los Angeles to New York City shortly after the completion of South Park’s fourteenth season in November 2010. The cast and crew then frantically delved into rewrites and rehearsals. The crew did four weeks of rehearsals, two weeks of ‘tech’, and then went directly into previews. The producers only heard the musical with a full orchestra a mere six days before the first paying audience

Run


 

Opening & Closing Dates
Type & Version
Theatre
Mar 24, 2011 – Open Run
Musical, Original
Eugene O’Neill Theatre, New York
Feb 25, 2013 – Open Run
Musical, Original
Prince of Wales Theatre, London

 

Synopsis


 


ACT ONE

At the LDS Church Missionary Training Center in Provo, a devout, enthusiastic, handsome, pompous, over-confident missionary-to-be, Elder Kevin Price, leads his classmates in a demonstration of the door-to-door to attempt to convert people to Mormonism (“Hello”). One of the missionaries, Elder Arnold Cunningham, is an insecure, overweight, irritating liar who tries to join in, but is completely hopeless. Price believes that if he prays enough, he will be sent to Orlando, Florida (“Two By Two”); instead, Price and Cunningham are sent to Uganda, Africa as a pair. After saying goodbye to their families, the two missionaries board a plane at the Salt Lake City airport. Price is sure he’s destined to do something incredible, while Cunningham is just happy to have a best friend — one he met just the previous day (“You And Me (But Mostly Me)”).

Upon arrival in northern Uganda, the two are robbed at gunpoint by soldiers of a local warlord, General Butt-Fucking-Naked (which in false Ugandan is supposed to mean “bringer of doom” and is an allusion to the real General Butt Naked). After meeting their guide, Mafala Hatimbi, he and a group of villagers share their daily realities of living in appalling conditions of famine, poverty and AIDS, while being ruled by a despotic, murderous chieftain. The native Ugandans curse their existence by saying “Fuck you, God!” (“Hasa Diga Eebowai”). The Ugandans cope with their miserable lives by feigning happiness. Nabulungi, Hatimbi’s daughter, shows Price and Cunningham to their living quarters. There, they meet the fellow missionaries stationed in the area, who have been unable to convert the locals to Mormonism. Elder McKinley, the district leader, offers Price and Cunningham a widely accepted method of dealing with the challenges of Mormon life (including McKinley’s own repressed homosexual thoughts), inviting them to “Turn It Off” like a light switch. The others agree that their feelings must be hidden, at all costs. Though Price is riddled with anxiety, Cunningham reassures him, reminding him that he is his best friend and he will make an incredible impact on the village (“I Am Here for You”).

Price is certain that he can succeed where the other Mormon Elders have failed, teaching the Ugandans about Joseph Smith, the “All-American Prophet”. The Ugandans find him arrogant and are not impressed. Shortly after Price’s attempt to dazzle the villagers, General Butt-Fucking-Naked arrives and announces his demand for the circumcision of all female villagers by week’s end. The General silences the villagers’ protests by killing one of them. Safely back at home, Nabulungi, moved by Price’s promise of an earthly paradise, dreams of a better life in a new land (“Sal Tlay Ka Siti”). The villagers’ needs are too much for Price, who decides to abandon his mission brother and request to be transferred to Orlando. Cunningham, ever loyal, assures Price he’ll follow him anywhere. Price unceremoniously dumps his mission companion. Finding himself alone and heartbroken, Cunningham gains the courage to “man up” and take control when Nabulungi comes to him wanting to learn more (“Man Up”).

ACT TWO

Cunningham lacks much knowledge of the Book of Mormon, but he makes up stories that combine what he knows of Mormon doctrine with bits and pieces of science fiction and other cultural ideas (“Making Things Up Again”), many of them unsavory. Cunningham’s creative stories even relate to the problems of living in a war-torn Uganda, which gets the natives listening. Cunningham feels guilt for stretching the truth with the natives, but reasons that if it is to help people, it surely can’t be wrong. While at the mission preparing to leave, Price reflects on the misdemeanors he committed in his childhood, including blaming things on his brother Jack. He is reminded of the nightmares he had, calling them “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream[s]”. Price awakens from his nightmare and realizes it was wrong to abandon his post, telling the fellow Elders he would re-commit to his mission. Cunningham arrives and announces that ten eager Africans are interested in the church, and still stung by Price’s rejection, he is unwilling to let Price back into his life. Listening to the promising news of success in the region, Price is inspired and sets off on the “mission he was born to do”. Price confronts the General with the Book of Mormon in hand, determined to convert him (“I Believe”).

Cunningham concludes his preaching and the villagers are enchanted; they are baptized and accept Mormonism, with Nabulungi and Cunningham sharing a tender moment as they do (“Baptize Me”). The Mormon missionaries feel oneness with the people of Uganda, and celebrate (“I Am Africa”). Price’s attempted conversion of General Butt-Fucking Naked unfortunately does not succeed, and he drowns his sorrows in numerous cups of coffee at a cafe in Kitguli, where Cunningham finds him. He tells the angry Price that they need to — at the least – act like mission companions, as the Mission President and other senior Mormon leaders are coming to visit the Ugandan mission team to congratulate them on their progress. At the celebration, Price and Cunningham are singled out as the most successful missionaries in all Africa. Shortly thereafter, Nabulungi and the villagers burst in, and ask to perform a pageant to “honor [them] with the story of Joseph Smith, the American Moses” (“Joseph Smith American Moses”), which reflects the distortions of standard Mormon doctrine and embellishments put forth by Cunningham. The Mission President is appalled, tells all the missionaries they are being sent home, and tells Nabulungi that she and her fellow villagers are not Mormon. Despondent, Nabulungi goes to the villagers to break this bad news. The villagers prove to be wise about the true value of religion, seeing Cunningham’s stories as metaphor and not literal truth. Seeing the Ugandans celebrate their faith, Price is astonished to learn that the importance of religion is not truth, but whether it helps people.

With Price’s faith restored, they gain the confidence to resist the despot, who also finally converts. The missionaries’ faith restored, they stay to help the village and evangelize “The Book of Arnold”. Cunningham and Price reconcile over Price’s declaration to stay in Uganda, telling Cunningham that he will do anything for him, as they are best friends. Price rallies everyone — the Mormons and the Ugandans — to work together to make this their paradise planet, because, after all, they are all Latter-day Saints (“Tomorrow Is a Latter Day”).

 

Musical Numbers


 

Act One

Act Two

  • “Hello” – Price, Cunningham and Mormon Boys
  • “Two by Two” – Price, Cunningham and Mormon Boys
  • “You and Me (But Mostly Me)” – Price and Cunningham
  • “Hasa Diga Eebowai” – Mafala, Price, Cunningham and Ugandans
  • “Turn It Off” – McKinley and Missionaries
  • “I Am Here for You” – Price and Cunningham
  • “All American Prophet” – Price, Cunningham, Joseph Smith, Angel Moroni and Company
  • “Sal Tlay Ka Siti” – Nabulungi
  • “I Am Here for You” (Reprise)† – Elder Cunningham
  • “Man Up” – Cunningham, Nabulungi, Price and Company
  • †Not on Broadway cast album††Listed as part of “Tomorrow Is a Latter Day” on the cast album.
  • “Making Things Up Again” – Cunningham, Cunningham’s Dad, Joseph Smith, Mormon, Moroni and Ugandans
  • “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” – Price and Company
  • “I Believe” – Price
  • “Baptize Me” – Cunningham, Nabulungi
  • “I Am Africa” – McKinley, Missionaries and Ugandans
  • “Orlando”† – Elder Price
  • “Joseph Smith American Moses” – Nabulungi and Ugandans
  • “You and Me (But Mostly Me)” (Reprise)† – Elder Price and Elder Cunningham
  • “Tomorrow Is a Latter Day” – Price, McKinley, Cunningham, Nabulungi and Company
  • “Hello” (Reprise)†† – Company

 

 

Video


 

 

 

Characters and Original Broadway Cast


 

Character
Description
Original Broadway Cast[

Elder Kevin Price
A Mormon missionary sent to Uganda, though he wishes to go to Orlando instead.
Andrew Rannells

Elder Arnold Cunningham
Another missionary also sent there. He often weaves characters from Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings into his teachings.
Josh Gad

Mafala Hatimbi
A member of the Ugandan tribe and Cunningham and Price’s tour guide.
Michael Potts

Nabalungi
Hatimbi’s daughter, who dreams of moving to Sal Tlay Ka Siti.
Nikki M. James

Elder McKinley
One of the lead Mormon elders, he is secretly gay but in denial of his feelings.
Rory O’Malley

General Butt-Fucking Naked 
The murderous despot of the village Price and Cunningham are sent to.
Brian Tyree Henry

Mission President
The leader of the Mormon missionaries.
Lewis Cleale

Casts of Current Productions

Characters Broadway[56] Jumamosi Tour
(2nd National Tour)[57]
West End[58] Australia[59]
Elder Price Nic Rouleau Gabe Gibbs KJ Hippensteel Ryan Bondy
Elder Cunningham Brian Sears Conner Peirson Cody Jamison Strand A.J. Holmes
Nabulungi Kim Exum Leanne Robinson Alexandra Ncube Zahra Newman
Elder McKinley Stephen Ashfield PJ Adzima Steven Webb Rowan Witt
Mafala Hatimbi Billy Eugene Jones Sterling Jarvis Richard Lloyd King Bert LaBonté
Joseph Smith and others Lewis Cleale Ron Bohmer Dean Maynard Andrew Broadbent
General Derrick Williams Oge Agulué Michael Moulton Augustin Aziz Tchantcho
Elder Price (Standby/Cover) Dom Simpson Zach Hess Alex Lodge Blake Bowden
Elder Cunningham (Standby) J. Michael Finley
Nyk Bielak
Jordan Matthew Brown
Chad Burris
David O’Reilly Jay James-Moody

Themes


 

The Book of Mormon contains many religious themes, most notably those of faith and doubt.[17] Although the musical satirizes organized religion and the literal credibility of the LDS Church, the Mormons in The Book of Mormon are portrayed as well-meaning and optimistic if not a little naive and un-worldly. In addition, the central theme that many religious stories are rigid, out of touch, and silly comes to the conclusion that, essentially, religion itself can do enormous good as long as it is taken metaphorically and not literally.[18] The show’s creators described The Book of Mormon as “an atheist’s love letter to religion.”[19]

 

“The songs, often inspired lampoons of contemporary Broadway styles, are as catchy as they are clever.”[20] The song “Hasa Diga Eebowai” is a parody of the song “Hakuna Matata” from The Lion King.[21] “‘I Believe’ parodies The ‘Sound of Music”s ‘I Have Confidence’ perfectly.”[22]

 

Productions


 

Broadway (2011–)

The Book of Mormon premiered on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre on March 24, 2011, following previews from February 24.[17][18] The production is choreographed by Casey Nicholaw and co-directed by Nicholaw and Parker. Set design is by Scott Pask, with costumes by Ann Roth, lighting by Brian MacDevitt, and sound by Brian Ronan. Orchestrations are co-created by Larry Hochman and the show’s musical director and vocal arranger Stephen Oremus.[19] The production was originally headlined by Josh Gad and Andrew Rannells in the two leading roles.[19]

On April 25, 2011, the producers confirmed that “counterfeit tickets to the Broadway production had been sold to and presented by theatergoers on at least five different occasions”. An article in The New York Times reported, “In each case, the tickets were purchased on Craigslist, and while a single seller is suspected, the ticket purchases have taken place in different locations each time. … [T]he production’s management and Jujamcyn Theaters, which operates the O’Neill, had notified the New York Police Department”.[20]

The New York production of The Book of Mormon employed an innovative pricing strategy, similar to the ones used in the airline and hotel industries. The producers have been able to charge as much as $477 for the best seats for performances with particularly high demand. The strategy paid off handsomely. During its first year, the show was consistently one of the top five best selling shows on Broadway and set 22 new weekly sales records for the Eugene O’Neill Theater. For the week of Thanksgiving 2011, the average paid admission was over $170 even though the highest priced regular seat was listed at $155. High attendance coupled with aggressive pricing allowed the financial backers to recoup their investment of $11.4 million after just nine months of performances.

After Gad’s departure in June 2012, standby Jared Gertner played the role, until June 26 when Cale Krise permanently took over. Also in the same month (June 12), original star Rannells was replaced by his standby Nic Rouleau. The same day, Samantha Marie Ware played Nabulungi on Broadway as the start of a 6-week engagement (James was shooting a film) in preparation for her tour performance.[24] Following Rouleau’s departure in November 2012, the role of Elder Price will be played by Matt Doyle.[25] In December 2012, Jon Bass joined as Elder Cunningham. Original cast member Rory O’Malley was replaced by Matt Loehr in January 2013. In April 2013, Stanley Wayne Mathis joined the cast as Mafala Hatimbi. In May 2013, Jon Bass left the role of Elder Cunningham, and was replaced by Cody Jamison Strand.

1st US National Tour (2012–)

The first North American tour began previews on August 14, 2012 at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in Denver, Colorado, before moving to the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles beginning September 5, with the official opening night for the tour on September 12. Originally planned to begin in December 2012, production was pushed forward four months.[26] Gavin Creel (Price) and Jared Gertner (Cunningham) led the cast[27] until late December when West End performer Mark Evans and Christopher John O’Neill took over, allowing time for Creel and Gertner to begin rehearsals for the UK production.

Chicago (2012–2013)

The first replica sit-down production, separate from the tour, began previews on December 11, 2012, and officially opened on December 19, 2012, at the Bank of America Theatre in Chicago, Illinois as part of Broadway in Chicago. The limited engagement is booking through October 6, 2013.[28][29][30] The cast includes Nic Rouleau in the role of Price, along with Ben Platt as Cunningham.[31]

West End (2013–)

A UK production debuted in the West End on February 25, 2013 at the Prince of Wales Theatre.[32] Gavin Creel and Jared Gertner reprised their North American tour performances.[33] The London cast members hosted a gala performance of the new musical on March 13, 2013 to raise money for Red Nose Day; ticket sales from the evening’s performance – attended by members of the public and high profile Comic Relief supporters – were donated to Red Nose Day.

2nd US National Tour (2013–)

After the Chicago production closes on October 6, 2013, the same production will tour the US.[34]

Future Productions, Venues

Book of Mormon opened in Australia at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre on January 18, 2017. Auditions were held in January 2016 in Sydney and Melbourne; rehearsals begin in November. In November 2016, it was announced that Ryan Bondy and A.J. Holmes would reprise their roles as Elder Price and Elder Cunningham respectively. Zahra Newman will play Nabulungi, Bert Labonté will play Mafala, and Rowan Witt will play Elder McKinley.  The first non-English version of the musical is scheduled to open at the Chinateatern in Stockholm, Sweden, in January 2017. The musical is scheduled to play in Denmark at Copenhagen’s Det Ny Teater during the 2017/18 season.  A Norwegian production is planned for 2017 at Det Norske Teateret in Oslo.

 

Reception


 

The Book of Mormon received broad critical praise, mostly for the plot, score, and choreography.[30] Vogue Magazine called the show “the filthiest, most offensive, and—surprise—sweetest thing you’ll see on Broadway this year, and quite possibly the funniest musical ever.”[31] The New York Post reported that audience members were “sore from laughing so hard”. It praised the score, calling it “tuneful and very funny,” and added that “the show has heart. It makes fun of organized religion, but the two Mormons are real people, not caricatures.”[32]

Ben Brantley of The New York Times, compared the show favorably to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I but “rather than dealing with tyrannical, charismatic men with way too many children, our heroes… must confront a one-eyed, genocidal warlord with an unprintable name… That’s enough to test the faith of even the most optimistic gospel spreaders (not to mention songwriters). Yet in setting these dark elements to sunny melodies, The Book of Mormon achieves something like a miracle. It both makes fun of and ardently embraces the all-American art form of the inspirational book musical. No Broadway show has so successfully had it both ways since Mel Brooks adapted his film The Producers for the stage a decade ago.”[33] Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show, devoted almost his entire interview with Parker and Stone on the March 10, 2011 episode to delivering heaps of praise about the musical.[34]

Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times praised the music, and stated: “The songs, often inspired lampoons of contemporary Broadway styles, are as catchy as they are clever.” McNulty concluded by stating “Sure it’s crass, but the show is not without good intentions and, in any case, vindicates itself with musical panache.”[20] Peter Marks of the Washington Post wrote: “The marvel of The Book of Mormon is that even as it profanes some serious articles of faith, its spirit is anything but mean. The ardently devout and comedically challenged are sure to disagree. Anyone else should excitedly approach the altar of Parker, Stone and Lopez and expect to drink from a cup of some of the sweetest poison ever poured.” Marks further describes the musical is “one of the most joyously acidic bundles Broadway has unwrapped in years.”[35]

However, The Wall Street Journal’s Terry Teachout called the show “slick and smutty: The Book of Mormon is the first musical to open on Broadway since La Cage aux Folles that has the smell of a send-in-the-tourists hit. … The amateurish part relates mostly to the score, which is jointly credited to the three co-creators and is no better than what you might hear at a junior-varsity college show. The tunes are jingly-jangly, the lyrics embarrassingly ill-crafted.”[36] Writing for Religion Dispatches, Jared Farmer disparaged the musical as an “awesomely lame” work of satire. Farmer criticized the musical for its depictions of Africans, complained about inaccuracies concerning LDS beliefs and practices, and concluded that the show missed opportunities and chose “soft religious targets”.

 

Church Response


 

The response of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to the musical has been described as “measured”.[38] The church released an official response to inquiries regarding the musical, stating, “The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.”[39] Michael Otterson, the head of Public Affairs for the church, followed on April 2011 with measured criticism. “Of course, parody isn’t reality, and it’s the very distortion that makes it appealing and often funny. The danger is not when people laugh but when they take it seriously—if they leave a theater believing that Mormons really do live in some kind of a surreal world of self-deception and illusion”, Otterson wrote, outlining various humanitarian efforts achieved by Mormon missionaries in Africa in recent years.[40][41]

Stone and Parker were unsurprised by this response:[10]

The official church response was something along the lines of ‘The Book of Mormon the musical might entertain you for a night, but the Book of Mormon,’—the book as scripture—’will change your life through Jesus.’ Which we actually completely agree with. The Mormon church’s response to this musical is almost like our Q.E.D. at the end of it. That’s a cool, American response to a ribbing—a big musical that’s done in their name. Before the church responded, a lot of people would ask us, ‘Are you afraid of what the church would say?’ And Trey and I were like, ‘They’re going to be cool.’ And they were like, ‘No, they’re not. There are going to be protests.’ And we were like, ‘Nope, they’re going to be cool.’ We weren’t that surprised by the church’s response. We had faith in them.
The LDS Church took advertising out in the playbills at many of the musical’s venues (including Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Portland, Seattle, St. Louis, Toronto and Des Moines) to encourage attendees to learn more about The Book of Mormon, with phrases like “the book is always better.”

Mormons themselves have had varying responses to the musical. Richard Bushman, professor of Mormon studies, said of the musical, “Mormons experience the show like looking at themselves in a fun-house mirror. The reflection is hilarious but not really you. The nose is yours but swollen out of proportion.” Bushman said that the musical was not meant to explain Mormon belief, and that many of the ideas in Elder Price’s “I Believe” (like God living on a planet called Kolob), though having some roots in Mormon belief, are not doctrinally accurate.

 

Original Broadway Cast Recording


 

A cast recording of the original Broadway production was released on May 17, 2011, by Ghostlight Records. All of the songs featured on stage are present on the recording with the exception of “Orlando” and “You and Me (But Mostly Me)” (Reprise). “Hello” (Reprise) is attached to the ending of “Tomorrow Is a Latter Day”. A free preview of the entire recording was released on NPR starting on May 9, 2011.[63][64][65] Excerpts from the cast recording are featured in an extended Fresh Air interview.[11]

During its first week of its iTunes Store release, the recording “has become the fastest-selling Broadway cast album in iTunes history,” according to representatives for the production, ranking No. 2 on its day of release on the iTunes Top 10 Chart. According to Playbill, “It’s a rare occurrence for a Broadway cast album to place among the iTunes best sellers.”[66] The record has received positive reviews, with Rolling Stone calling the recording an “outstanding album that highlights the wit of the lyrics and the incredible tunefulness of the songs while leaving you desperate to score tickets to see the actual show.”[67] Although the cast album had a respectable debut on the US Billboard 200 chart in its initial week of release, after the show’s success at the 2011 Tony Awards, the record skyrocketed back up the chart to number three, making it the highest-charting Broadway cast album in over four decades.[68]

 

The Book of Mormon Original Cast Recording
Cast Includes : Andrew Rannells;Josh Gad;Rory O’Malley;Scott Barnhardt;Justin Bohon;Kevin Duda;Clark Johnsen;Benjamin Schrader;Brian Sears;Jason Michael Snow;Lewis Cleale Michael Potts; ;Michael James Scott;Lawrence Stallings;Rema Webb;Maia Nkenge Wilson;Tommar Wilson;Darlesia Cearcy;John Eric Parker;Ta’Rea Campbell;Tyson Jennette;Brian Tyree Hen

 

Awards and Nominations


 

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref
2011 Tony Award Best Musical Won [59]
Best Book of a Musical Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone Won
Best Original Score Won
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Josh Gad Nominated
Andrew Rannells Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Rory O’Malley Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Nikki M. James Won
Best Direction of a Musical Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker Won
Best Choreography Casey Nicholaw Nominated
Best Orchestrations Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus Won
Best Scenic Design Scott Pask Won
Best Costume Design Ann Roth Nominated
Best Lighting Design Brian MacDevitt Won
Best Sound Design Brian Ronan Won
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Musical Won [60]
Outstanding Lyrics Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone Won
Outstanding Music Won
Outstanding Book of a Musical Nominated
Outstanding Actor in a Musical Andrew Rannells Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Rory O’Malley Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Nikki M. James Nominated
Outstanding Choreography Casey Nicholaw Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Musical Casey Nicholaw and Trey Parker Won
Outstanding Costume Design Ann Roth Nominated
Outstanding Sound Design of a Musical Brian Ronan Nominated
Outstanding Orchestrations Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus Won
2012 Grammy Award Best Musical Theater Album Andrew Rannells & Josh Gad, artists. Matt Stone, Robert Lopez & Trey Parker, composers/lyricists. Anne Garefino, Matt Stone, Robert Lopez, Scott Rudin, Stephen Oremus & Trey Parker, producers. Frank Filipetti, engineer/mixer. Won [61][62]

 

References


 

  1. “‘South Park’ creators’ musical comedy ‘Book of Mormon’ gets Broadway dates”. Los Angeles Times. 13 September 2010.Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  2. “The Daily Show”. thedailyshow.com. Retrieved 06/01/2011.
  3. Michael Riedel, “Just ‘Park’ it here: Cartoon duo write Mormon musical”, New York Post, 2010-04-14.
  4. “Why South Park‘s Trey Parker and Matt Stone Now Say It’s ‘Wrong’ to Offend”. The Hollywood Reporter. March 24, 2011.Retrieved 2011-05-19.
  5. “Frank Rich’s Liner Notes for The Book of Mormon, Playbill, May 20, 2011
  6. The Book of Mormon: Colorado’s kings of pop-culture subversion”, The Denver Post, June 12, 2011,
  7. Zoglin, Richard. “Bigger, Live and Uncut”, Time magazine, March 28, 2011, pp. 70–72
  8. Itzkoff, Dave (14 April 2010). “‘South Park’ and ‘Avenue Q’ Guys Bringing ‘Book of Mormon’ to Broadway”. New York Times. Retrieved 14 April 2010.
  9. Jones, Kenneth (April 4, 2011), Playbill‘s brief encounter with Robert Lopez”, Playbill
  10. Book Of Mormon Creators On Their Broadway Smash”. Fresh Air. NPR. May 19, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-19.
  11. Gardener, Elysa. “‘South Park’ duo goes Broadway: ‘Mormon’ is a ‘pro-faith musical’”. Stage. USA Today. February 21, 2011. Accessed 23 February 2011.
  12. Adams, Guy (2008-11-19), “Mormons to get ‘South Park’ treatment”, The Independent (London),
  13. Healy, Patrick (13 May 2011). “The Path of ‘The Book of Mormon’ to Broadway”. The New York Times.
  14. Andrew Gans, Musical by South Park-Avenue Q Creators Aiming for Broadway in 2011, Playbill, 2010-04-14
  15. “The Book of Mormon”. Internet Broadway Database. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  16. “‘The Book Of Mormon’ Cast Announced!”, broadwayworld.com, 2010-11-17
  17. Peggy Fletcher Stack (March 17, 2011). “Mormons find musical Book of Mormon surprisingly sweet”. The Salt Lake Tribune.Retrieved 24 March 2011.
  18. David Brooks (April 21, 2011). “Creed or Chaos”. The New York Times. Retrieved May 23, 2011.
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