The Book of Mormon Earns 14 Tony Award Nominations
New Yorkers are lucky. They can see any Broadway show they want any time they want.
They don’t have to wait until the national touring company comes to their town; they just have to wait until they have a free night… and/or whenever they can score Broadway tickets.
For the rest of us saps, we have to either hop on a plane to the Big Apple or wait until the musical goes on tour.
Now, I see just about every show that comes to my town (sorry Mary Poppins) and I want just about every current Broadway musical to come to my town (sorry Sister Act), but there is one show I want to come to my neck of the woods with much alacrity.
First it was Wicked, then it was Monty Python’s Spamalot, then it was Rock of Ages, and now the musical I most want to see more than all the others is The Book of Mormon.
For those of you that have been living under a rock, The Book of Mormon is the Broadway musical from the dudes that created South Park.
Those dudes are Trey Parker and Matt Stone. They wrote the book, music, and lyrics with Avenue Q composer Robert Lopez (that’s another show I want to see).
The Book of Mormon is directed by Parker and the show’s choreographer, Casey Nicholaw (The Drowsy Chaperone and Monty Python’s Spamalot).
The show is currently running at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre and stars Josh Gad, Andrew Rannels, and Rory O’Malley. All three of those actors received Tony noms for their awesome performances.
In all, TBOM was nominated for 14 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Director, Best Score, and Best Book.
The show is about two young Mormon missionaries who travel to Uganda with the hopes of converting the locals. When they arrive in Africa all they find is trouble but that is of course when the hilarity breaks out.
“[co-composer Trey Parker and I] always said that this is the most collaborative thing we’ve ever done. I’m just so happy that it’s being recognized as a big team effort. I’m hoping that they’ve got some chicken with some sh*tty bok choy at the ceremony. I want some sh*tty awards chicken” — Matt Stone
You’ll want to keep the kids at home (and maybe even grandma). The show is packed with adult material—profanity, sexual innuendo, and violence.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. The creators of South Park have written a show about Mormon missionaries in Africa. This has to be two hours of unyielding, mindless, religion bashing.
That’s what I thought until I started reading reviews. Yes, the play tackles religion, namely Mormonism, but it doesn’t take the easy way out. Instead of immaturely attacking the establishments of faith, the musical deals with the most sensitive of all sensitive subjects with sagaciousness and sensibility. The show actually opens up theological discussions instead of lazily using religion as the butt of every joke.
I actually found two reviewers who described the musical as “sweet.” Still, the show is politically incorrect and may offend those who can’t suspend their righteousness for two and half hours.
While reviewers differ on the strength the show’s musical score (from catchy to amateurish), one thing everyone can agree on is that TBOM is side-splittingly funny. If you like South Park’s humor then The Book of Mormon will make you laugh until it hurts.
“This nomination means a lot to me and I really take it seriously. I probably won’t be wearing a dress to these awards. The biggest thing I was terrified going into the show was that we’d be up against [Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark composer and frequent South Park target] Bono. It sounded so right that Bono was going to take my Tony from me. That would have been hilarious actually.” — Trey Parker
The other intriguing aspect of TBOM is how it simultaneously lampoons and embraces the old fashion, Broadway musical format. Yet, despite using some of the traditional trappings of the Great White Way TBOM still manages to be a truly unique musical theatre experience.
As for myself, I just can’t wait to see the number “Hasa Diga Eebowai.” I would translate that but this is a family Web site. Let’s just say “Hasa Diga Eebowai” is pretty vulgar.
The 65th Annual Tony Awards will be held June 12 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. Neil Patrick Harris will host.