Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Book of Mormon: A Broadway Musical!?

Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the creators of "South Park" are about to unveil a new Broadway musical in New York City next year in which it will be about the Book of Mormon. They plan to tell the history of the LDS Church through a pair of missionaries serving in Uganda.

Some Mormons are thrilled with this news: 
"I realize we believe things that are crazy and unbelievable to outsiders," says Loyd Ericson, a Mormon studying philosophy at Claremont Graduate University in Southern California. "I'm willing to laugh at my culture and beliefs."
Plus, he says, Stone and Parker are smart enough to know that a mean-spirited production isn't going to attract a big audience. After all, they have gone down the Mormon road before on their long-running television show, Ericson says, and each time the topic has been handled in a critical but affectionate manner. 
In one scene, people of diverse faiths are engulfed in hell's flames when Satan tells them, Mormons had the true religion. Another season featured a team of faith leaders, including Jesus, Buddha and Muhammad, taking on the magician David Blaine, who wants to start a religion. LDS Church founder Joseph Smith is among them, "the super friends," as the show is titled.
Then there is one entire episode, "All About the Mormons," which tells the story of a LDS kid who comes to town. He tells his new friends how the church began, a history that is spoofed as "dumb." But the boy, his parents and siblings, Ericson says, are portrayed as loving alternatives to some of the dysfunctional families around them.
The main character in Stone and Parker's 1997 feature film, "Orgazmo," was an LDS missionary who becomes a porn star but uses a stunt double in the sex scenes so he can marry his sweetheart in an LDS temple. 
"Even in that movie," Ericson says, "Mormons were seen as kind of gullible, good-natured people trying to do what's best."
I have no objections either.

When Mormon filmakers tried to go Hollywood and gave us The Book of Mormon: The Movie, it was a flop. 

However, Matt Stone and Trey Parkers just might be the guys to help the LDS Church go mainstream and get people to learn more about our faith.

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