"South Park" co-creators Matt Stone (L) and Trey Parker (R) are teaming up with "Avenue Q" co-creator Robert Lopez to develop a Mormon-themed Broadway musical. "The Book of Mormon" will open in March, 2011. It's not a South Park musical, but in the great tradition of South Park "ripping on religions" (as Mr. Stone put it in our previous Boing Boing Video interview, below), the story follows two young Mormon missionaries who set out to fix the world—specifically, Uganda, during a violent civil conflict—and soon realize they have no idea what they're getting into.
"Their tale is told alongside the story of Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Latter-day Saints," according to a press release out today. After our South Park interview this week, Stone described a little of the play to me. His impromptu impersonation of a young missionary in wide-eyed, naïve shock, bible in hand as he witnesses atrocities, says it all. I expect the same irreverence and fearless "ripping" one finds in South Park, but accompanied by totally sweet Broadway tunes. Can't wait.
This is the first time the duo have headed to the Great White Way, but Matt and Trey are no strangers to musical comedy. Their cult film classic Cannibal the Musical, which also enjoyed a run in live theaters in various spots around the USA, explored an odd episode of Colorado history: the life and times of Alferd Packer, the first man convicted of cannibalism in the USA ("He and his companions lost their way and resorted to unthinkable horrors, including toe-tapping songs!").
Matt and Trey are writing the "Mormon" script, music, and lyrics, with Lopez, who won a Tony Award for "Avenue Q." Trey will co-direct with Jason Moore, whose credits include "Avenue Q," and "Shrek the Musical." Scott Rudin ("God of Carnage," "Fences") and Anne Garefino (South Park's executive producer) will produce.
Vanity Fair breaks down the individual incomes of people who work on a major Hollywood blockbuster. Assuming a budget of $200m, the breakdown is approximate but based upon average union rates and published figures. [YouTube]
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