No, really, I am NOT making this up, and it amuses me to NO end. The book that Mark Twain referred to as “chloroform in print,” is getting the Broadway musical treatment.
It’s going to require some MIGHTY CREATIVE minds to make this one interesting, which is why the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, will probably be able to pull it off.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the Emmy® Award-winning creators of “South Park,” have written their first Broadway musical, in collaboration with Robert Lopez, the Tony Award®-winning writer of Avenue Q. This highly-anticipated new show centers on two young Mormon missionaries sent to a place that’s about as far from Salt Lake City as you can get. Co-directed by Mr. Parker and three-time Tony nominee Casey Nicholaw (Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone), THE BOOK OF MORMON is both a big traditional musical comedy, and, as you might expect, fall-out-of-your-seat-outrageous.
I find the subtitle particularly amusing:
God loves Mormons and he wants some more.
Heh. I think the LDS Church should adopt this as their official motto! Speaking of the LDS Church, they issued a surprisingly low-key statement and reaction to the musical.
In response to news media requests, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued the following statement regarding the upcoming Broadway musical entitled The Book of Mormon:
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.
I find THIS reaction even more intriguing than the musical itself. It certainly isn’t issued by the church I grew up in. Times, they are a changing. When the Mormon Church heard that my first book, WIVES AND SISTERS, was coming out, they immediately contacted the publisher and asked for an advanced copy. While my publisher found it odd, and more than a little creepy that “THE CHURCH” knew what I was doing, long before there were any catalogs, promotion, publicity, etc., the decision was made to go ahead and let them read an ARC.
At that point, their reaction was “It’s an unknown book by an unknown author who isn’t even Mormon royalty. We aren’t worried.” (Disclaimer: While this truly was their reaction, I don’t remember the exact words they gave my publisher.)
One of the oddest things about them contacting St. Martin’s to get a copy of the book was the fact that they even KNEW about it. My publisher was dumbfounded. But I used to hang out on an ex-Mormon site, and they were either monitoring that site, or someone who worked for St. Martin’s ratted me out.
So, that response was low-key. But it USUALLY isn’t.
From the Religion Dispatches magazine:
“It will be fascinating to see how the LDS Church and its members react,” I wrote. “When Jon Krakauer’s ill-conceived Under the Banner of Heaven appeared, the Church answered with a long, defensive, citation-heavy press release. These days, I’m betting that the Church’s extremely savvy digital media folks will find a way to make most of the traffic the show will generate. Just imagine a television spot for the new Mormon.org ad campaign: ‘I’m John. I’m a sixth-generation Mormon, a father, a husband, and a South Park fan. I think my religion is awesome, but I also know how to relax and laugh a little. And I’m a Mormon.’ Bingo!”
If more people DID relax and laugh a little, every religion would be a little bit better off.
It will be interesting to see the reviews on the BoM musical. Can’t wait. Okay, I can. But still interesting.