"South Park" makers eye Mormon-inspired musical

Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:08pm EDT
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By Christine Kearney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The creators of television's satirical "South Park" animated show are set to cast their brash brand of humor on the Mormon church in a new musical comedy on Broadway, producers said on Wednesday.

The Emmy-award winning "South Park" creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, will write and direct the musical, called "The Book of Mormon," according to producers of the show. It is set to premiere on Broadway in March 2011.

It centers on two young Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda to spread the gospel of the church, which is formally known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A subplot revolves around Joseph Smith Jr., the church founder.

Calling it a "a dream come true for us," Parker and Stone said in a joint statement: "Growing up in Colorado, a lot of our friends were Mormons and we always thought their book would make a great musical."

Parker, 40, and Stone, 38, previously co-wrote the songs for the "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut," a musical movie based on the hit television show. The cartoon series, famous for its politically incorrect humor, debuted in 1997 and will celebrate its 200th episode this week.

The pair will team up with Robert Lopez, creator and composer of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical "Avenue Q." The show is being produced by Scott Rudin and Anne Garefino, an executive producer of the "South Park" television series.

"It really is in many senses a big traditional musical comedy, with, as you might expect, untraditional subject matter. I can't wait to see how Broadway audiences are going to react when they experience it," Lopez said in a statement.

The musical may prove to be controversial.   Continued...