'South Park' creators' 'Book of Mormon' to open on Broadway in 2011

stone-parkerImage Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty ImagesThe long-rumored Broadway writing debut of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone finally has a date: The Book of Mormon, described as a traditional musical comedy with untraditional subject matter, will open in March 2011. Parker and Stone, who earned an Oscar nomination for the musical genius they displayed in the big-screen South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut, are penning the book, music, and lyrics with Robert Lopez, a Tony winner for Avenue Q. (Lopez has said the South Park movie was one of his major influences writing the gloriously perverse puppet show.) Parker will direct with Jason Moore, who earned a Tony nomination for Avenue Q and most recently staged the irreverent Shrek the Musical. The show will be produced by Scott Rudin and Anne Garefino. The cast will be announced at a later date.

What do you think? I couldn’t be more excited. We know Parker and Stone are familiar with the subject matter — both from their 1998 film Orgazmo (about a Mormon with martial arts skills who enters the world of adult films to pay for his wedding) and the 2003 South Park episode “All About Mormons.” We also know Broadway truly has always been a dream of theirs. Music has been a part of everything they’ve ever done — from their very first film together, 1996’s Cannibal! The Musical (which is now available in its entirety on Hulu!), through 14 seasons of South Park (their 200th episode airs tonight at 10 p.m. ET on Comedy Central). What’s your favorite musical Parker and Stone moment? After the jump, just a few of mine…

“When I Was on Top of You” from Cannibal! The Musical (Parker, as Alfred Packer, who was convicted of cannibalism after leading an ill-fated trip to the Colorado Territory, laments losing his horse)

“Swiss Colony Beef Log” from the album Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics

Kanye West realizes he’s a gay fish

Jennifer Lopez’s “Taco-Flavored Kisses”

“Blame Canada” from South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut (Okay, clearly nominated for the Oscar and shown here because “Uncle F**ka” — the hardest I’ve ever laughed in a movie theater — couldn’t be. Perhaps an idea of what The Book of Mormon will look like onstage? By the way, click here to watch Brian Boitano wish Trey and Matt congratulations on their 200th episode in a fun, profanity-laced video.)

“Montage” from Team America: World Police (I find it more pleasing to the ear than the testosterone-heavy voice Parker uses for “America, F— Yeah” and the Orgazmo song “Now You’re a Man.”)

“I’m So Ronery” from Team America: World Police (It just really shows Parker’s emotional range and his eye as a director.)

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  • thwarted

    “End of an Act” from Team America is my favorite song ever.

    • JJ

      great call – one of the best songs of all time

  • Shelby

    I heard Cheyenne Jackson, from 30 rock, might be in this.

    • Madd

      That would be so awesome! I love Cheyenne, he’s so gorgeous and talented (of course he’s gay, like 90% of my celebrity crushes are).

  • Scott

    How could you not include Now You’re a Man on here?! Yes, Trey might be using the testosterone heavy voice but that just makes the song even better — especially, “Now you’re a man, a manny manny man man manmanman! NOW YOU’RE A MAYYY-AHN!” :D

    • Boodle

      What makes a man?
      Is it the woman in his arms?
      Just ’cause she has big t*tties
      Or is the way
      He fights everyday-ah?
      No, it’s probably the t*tties

  • Kurt

    This makes me wish I lived in New York.

  • Ellen

    As a member of the church I’ve seen the episode “All About Mormons” and most of the information is accurate, to a certain extent. Sadly people take it at face value and believe everything to be true. I think a broadway show is a little much. Not that I’ll be out with a picket fence, but it’s a bit much for me.

    • Ellen

      I also found the episode to be funny

      • Eyeball

        As a former member of ‘the church’, I always find it funny how LDS folks always refer to their church as ‘The Church’.

        That said, Trey and Matt always have a fair amount of respect for Mormons, even if they tease them.

  • Yes

    Scientologists are breathing a sigh of relief…

    • darclyte

      I’m sure they’ll find a way to skewer them too.

    • Elle

      they alredy have

      • Kate

        3 times!

  • Danno

    Really every song from Bigger Longer & Uncut is just gold, but let’s not forget Kyle’s “Lonely Jew on Christmas” from the first season’s Christmas episode. That episode also introduced the world to the term “Mookie sticks”

    • darclyte

      I have a bunch of South Park Christmas songs that are part of my yearly Christmas MP3 Mix. Good stuff!

  • darclyte

    The behind the scenes talent is pretty impressive. If they can make it half as interesting as the talent suggests, I’d actually go to NY to see it.

  • Danno

    With regards to Orgazmo. Has there EVER been a movie to receive the NC-17 rating that deserved it less? Seriously what was so offensive in that movie?

  • Kathryn

    I respect their right to make a movie about subject matter they think will make them money, but as a Mormon myself, I would think that Parker and Stone could easily find something else on which to focus their talents! It seems like Mormons are constantly targeted in the media, when in reality there are so many people of every religion doing mock-worthy things every day. Idiots of EVERY faith are out there, and are going to keep doing idiotic things regardless of how much we mock their choices. So what’s the point? Why not make movies about things that are actually funny, instead of making ignorant generalizations that discriminate against large groups of people? Sure, there are stupid individual Mormons… but there are stupid individuals in every religion!

    • a-mad

      Amen, Kathryn. It seems that for every Mormon that becomes a high profile member of society (i.e. Mitt Romney, David Archuleta, Donny Osmond, Harry Reid, Steve Young, Gladys Knight) to prove that we’re a strong, vibrant, diverse contributor to society, something like this happens that I’m sure will paint (again) an unflattering light on our misunderstood religion. As a practicing Mormon, I’m very much like everyone else. I have a wife (yes just one), kids, a mortgage, moderate-leaning political views, love independent film, watch ‘Glee’, ‘Lost’ and yes, sometimes even ‘Big Love’. My closest lifelong friend is gay. I’m not some mountain-dwelling, backwards-living, polygamous-supporting cultist… and yet Parker and Stone seem to have an obsession with showing our religion as such. I respect freedom of speech, but if the targeted religion was Judaism or Catholicism would this even be allowed to move forward?

      • Neilfan12

        RE: a-mad. As a practicing LDS member you should know their is no Mormon religion, “Mormon” or LDS (its proper name) is instead a church within a religion (Christianity). The same goes for the Catholics… it’s part of the Christian faith and isn’t it’s own religion (as “Catholicism” implies to me). So you actually should’ve said “our misunderstood church”.

        The ONLY reason anyone is going to go see this play is because of who made it, even with that it’s sure to have only a small success if that. The material matter isn’t exactly something that will draw crowds… except for those who are excited to see the LDS ridiculed (so called Christians shouldn’t revel in ridicule of others).

      • Greg

        @Kathryn and Neilfan12 — I don’t think the Mormons have TOO much to worry about with regards to this musical. In all fairness, the famous South Park episode portrays Mormons as loving, charitable, honest, generous, focused, forgiving, family-oriented, and genuinely happy. Gary, the Mormon kid, says the following at the end of the episode: “Look, maybe us Mormons do believe in crazy stories that make absolutely no sense, and maybe Joseph Smith did make it all up — but I have a great life and a great family, and I have the Book of Mormon to thank for that. The truth is, I don’t care if Joseph Smith made it all up, because what the church teaches now is loving your family, being nice, and helping people. And even though people in this town may think that’s stupid, I still choose to believe in it.”

      • brad

        my issue with the LDS church is that it is separated entirely from christianity and is almost solely based on the questionable experiences of one mortal man, and now many of what he says is being disproven, i.e. that the central american peoples were decended from israelites, disproven through realities like DNA mapping. as a christian, my faith is fully and completely rooted in jesus christ and the LDS church asks us to place a large part of our faith in one very mortal man. it also seems strange that whenever a church rule or policy becomes illegal or socially unaccepted (polygamy or racism in the clergy), the LDS president and prophet has a “revelation” which alters established church doctrine. i agree the church is a leader in promoting family and servitude, but you cannot just wash over so many discrepancies and odd claims, some of which directly contradict the bible.

    • Pastafarian

      Because in a town of crazy religions, mormonism is the mayor.

      • kelly

        Pastafarian, spoken like someone who gets all their information about Mormonism from South Park. There’s nothing anymore strange about Mormon beliefs as their is in any religion. ie. religious clothing, belief in supernatual beings (angels, God), miracles etc.

      • Chris L

        Spoken like someone who has never seen Parker/Stone’s take on Mormons. Yes they mock Mormonism but they also basically say that they’re all generally good people and no crazier than other religions. They have NEVER portrayed them as “mountain-dwelling, backwards-living, polygamist supporting cultists.” And you’ve gotta be kidding about not attacking other religions, right? Catholics and Jews have taken astronomically more heat on South Park than Mormons. I understand being sensitive about your religion, but you should really get all the information before you go on the attack.

    • Susie

      Coming from South Park creators, I know that’s not good.I’m sure it will blaspheme God and the church.If this was about Muhammad in the same format..The Muslims would get the creators heads chopped off!A religion, no matter if you agree with it or not is sacred to that person or group and should be respected.I call this musical a blasphemy against the church and God.

    • Marty

      Why all the Christian bashing? When members of the “religion of peace” threaten to kill them, these two pud holders ran just like the pee down their legs. BeeOoch!

  • MRSD

    Opening song of orgasmo: “now your a man” classic.

  • B.Preston

    I am going to laugh when I look down and see these guys in Hell!!

    • lola

      oh my! now that’s grandiose

  • rgs

    “about a Mormon with martial arts skills who enters the world of adult films to pay for his wedding”

    They’re familiar with the subject matter? Mormons don’t pay anything to get married (i.e. use the buildings or have the ceremony performed), and I kinda doubt that they’d let you stay Mormon if you were an adult film star. Maybe that’s part of the joke, but that line from the article seems to discredit it. I imagine that the stereotype and common (mis)perceptions are what will be used as source material, so it probably will be able to generate some laughs.

    • Ru

      Um, it’s been awhile since I saw Orgazmo, but I’m pretty sure he was a missionary trying to pay for his mission, not a martial artist trying to pay for a wedding.

      • kelly

        Nope, that was the premise. The main character was already on a mission and was wanting to save up to pay for a temple wedding. Temples don’t charge for weddings.

  • tJhooker

    Really? That is the best subject they could come up with. I can understand if they made fun of all religeons but of course its the Mormons…..jeez get over it. I saw 10 minutes of that Bill Maher show “Religulous” the other night and I hate the guy but at least he hates on all religeons. I am a fan of the last 3-4 years of South Park, but if this is the best these guys can do then I am out.

    • tJhooker

      I think a Mormon kid must have picked on them both and taken their lunch money when they were little.

      • Kate

        You’re kidding right? They don’t make fun of the other religions? I don’t think you’ve seen much South Park. They’ve always said either nothing’s off limits, or everything is. I’ve seen them rip on all religions, and Christianity and Judaism much more than Mormons (whom they basically portray as happy, loving, family-oriented people). It’s frustrating when people get irate over something they don’t have all the information on.

    • Pastafarian

      You should go back and watch the rest Religulous, its a good movie.

  • The Marshal

    Mormons are certainly fair game after all the $$$ they spent trying to keep gays/lesbians from getting married in California. Let a thousand flowers blossom.

    • Kathryn

      Did you actually even pay attention to the whole Prop 8 thing? There were MANY well respected, popular churches who were trying to prevent gay marriage – it certainly wasn’t just the Mormons!! Also, the $$$ was donated by Church members, not the Church itself. Personally, as a practicing Mormon, I did not support proposition 8, but that was my choice as an individual. Maybe you should check your facts before making ridiculous assumptions that make you sound ignorant.

      • riprap

        Nothing The Marshall said wasn’t true, Kathryn. He didn’t say that Mormons were the *only* organized religion supporting Prop 8. The LDS church may not have invested directly from their church coffer, but the leaders did set fundraising goals and appealed heavily to their congregation for donations. So, yeah, in a way the LDS church (by way of its followers who were prompted by the church for donations) gave lots of financial and volunteer support to Prop 8’s efforts. However you personally feel about Prop 8 or gay marriage, there’s no denying that happened.

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