The Book of Mormon, the Tony and Grammy Award-winning piece of musical theatre satirizing organized religion and, ironically, musical theatre, is coming to London early next year.
Written by South Park creators Trey Stone and Matt Parker, the stage play revolves around two young Mormons on a missionary trip to a Ugandan village that has been terrorized by a ruthless warlord. The missionaries attempt to share the Mormon scripture but can’t effectively connect with the locals, partially due to the fact that only one of the missionaries is well-versed in the word, and partially because the villagers are more concerned about the worrisome state of their country than they are about religion.
The production quickly became one of Broadway’s hottest tickets following its previews in February 2011 and premiere the following month, winning a total of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical. The show’s controversial musical selection — which features songs with titles like “Baptize Me” and “Spooky Mormon Hell Dream” — is also award-winning, receiving a Tony for Best Original Score and a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre album.
Despite the fact that its members and tenets are being parodied, the Mormon church even recognizes (albeit passively) the play’s potential for humor. The church’s Public Affairs director Matt Otterson is quoted as saying that parody’s distortion of reality “makes it appealing and often funny,” but added that is important that audiences remembered that the parody is not to be taken seriously.
The show’s original creative team will reconvene to bring the production to London, with co-directors Parker and Casey Nicholaw at the helm.
General tickets for The Book of Mormon go on sale this September, with previews beginning February 25 at Prince of Wales Theatre in the West End.