Originally published by PopMatters on March 1, 2011
It could have been a disaster. I was thinking it might be as I made the transfer from the G train to the E on my way into Manhattan from Brooklyn. “The guys from South Park are making a musical about the Mormon church? This is bound to be a train wreck.” But on my way to the show’s rehearsal space, I passed the Foxwoods Theatre, home of Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, and everything was put into perspective.
The Book of Mormon (subtitled “God’s Favorite Musical”) is scheduled to open at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre on March 24, a month after previews began. A few weeks ago, a large group of entertainment writers were given an opportunity to see a stripped down rehearsal comprising roughly the first 20 minutes of the show, which featured book, music and lyrics by South Parkcreators and societal scab-pickers Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with Robert Lopez, co-creator of Tony Award-winning musical Avenue Q. Much of the hype has centered on what layers of sacrilege and offense the partnership might produce, and based upon the brief preview, the quick answer is probably quite a lot.