Yesterday it was announced that The Book of Mormon is coming to Melbourne's Princess Theatre in January 2017. Even if you're not a musical-theatre buff, this is a really big deal – and you should be excited.
Here are six fast facts to get you up to speed on the hilarious and totally politically incorrect smash hit.
It should come as no surprise that the highly offensive musical in which no one is safe (particularly Mormons) was dreamed up by Trey Parker and Matt Stone – the creators of South Park. Although you may know the duo for the satirical TV series (which is now 18 seasons in and still going strong), The Book of Mormon is not their first foray into musical theatre. In 1993, Parker and Stone produced and starred in Cannibal! The Musical, a low-budget film featuring 10 original show tunes.
The Book of Mormon was created with Robert Lopez, the co-creator behind cult musical-theatre hit, Avenue Q. Another fun fact – Lopez also penned songs for Disney’s Frozen (including Let it Go), so the songs are sure to stick in your head long enough to drive you insane.
Everybody loves it (even Mormons). Vogue called it, “Possibly the funniest musical ever”. And The Guardian declared it, “The most cryingly good night out to have come along for years”. Mormon groups responded to the production by actually buying advertising space within the show’s playbills, with phrases such as, “You’ve seen the play, now read the book”.
Although heavily satirical, the show has heart, which is why it has resonated with audiences so strongly. Peter Marks of the Washington Post wrote, “The marvel of The Book of Mormon is that even as it profanes some serious articles of faith, its spirit is anything but mean. The ardently devout and comedically challenged are sure to disagree. Anyone else should excitedly approach the altar of Parker, Stone and Lopez and expect to drink from a cup of some of the sweetest poison ever poured”.
Without giving too much away, here’s a basic rundown of the plot. The Book of Mormon is the story of two naïve and plucky young missionaries (Elder Price and Elder Cunningham) who are sent to a Ugandan village to spread the divine word. When they get there, they must face a one-eyed, tyrannical warlord and a population more concerned with famine, poverty and disease than learning about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Since opening on Broadway in March 2011, The Book of Mormon has smashed ticket sales records at dozens of theatres around the US, including breaking the house record at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre more than 50 times and broke the record for the biggest day ever in West End sales. Hours after the production collected nine Tony Awards in 2011, The Book Of Mormon set a new record – the most expensive ticket with a top price soaring to $US487.25.
The Book of Mormon is coming to Melbourne's Princess Theatre in January 2017. Details on tickets sales yet to be announced. You can sign up for alerts and priority booking opportunities at the website.