Hosts Briana Phipps and Jacque Borowski discuss the musical The Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon is a musical comedy about two young Mormon missionaries who travel to Africa to preach the Mormon religion. First staged in 2011, the play satirizes various Mormon beliefs and practices. The script, lyrics, and music were written by Robert Lopez, Trey Parker, and Matt Stone. Best known for creating the animated comedy South Park, Parker and Stone co-created the music with Lopez, the co-composer/co-lyricist of Avenue Q, and, subsequently, Frozen.
The Book of Mormon follows two Mormon missionaries as they attempt to share their scriptures with the inhabitants of a remote Ugandan village. The earnest young men are challenged by the lack of interest of the locals, who are preoccupied with more pressing troubles such as AIDS, famine, and oppression from the local warlord.
In 2003, Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, and Matt Stone began developing the musical, meeting sporadically for several years after Parker and Stone saw Avenue Q. Parker and Stone grew up in Colorado, and references to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints had been commonplace in their previous works. For research, the trio took a trip to Salt Lake City to meet with current and former Mormon missionaries. Beginning in 2008, developmental workshops were staged. The show’s producer, Scott Rudin, opted to open the show directly on Broadway.
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