- Title: USA: South Park creators bring their humor to Broadway
- Date: 22nd March 2011
- Summary: NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (MARCH 18, 2011) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) MATT STONE, PLAYWRIGHT SAYING: "There's one song, there's one song called "I Believe" in the second act which is, I don't even know if we realized when we were writing it but seeing it now it's a really cool song because it gets huge laughs but there's no jokes in the song it's just a devote Mormon saying I believe in this, this, this and then you kind of do the rules of three in comedy and you put the third one and make it, you put a fact there that's pretty funny and people laugh at it. So it's this whole song that gets huge laughs and it doesn't have a single joke in it's just interesting idiosyncratic things that Mormons believe. But at the same time it's a really heartfelt song by a devote Mormon so it isn't really just all laughing at this person, it kind of works on both levels of really just really respecting this person who is saying I believe so strongly from their heart but at the same time learning what he believes."
- Embargoed: 6th April 2011 13:00
- Location: Usa, Usa
- Country: USA
- Topics: Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA23B8BLP2TLQLONB1XT1QQL2YW
- Story Text: "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are bringing their wild wit and sometimes offensive humor to Broadway. But you wont find Kenny and the gang at this outing, because the duo is tackling Mormon's founder Joseph Smith in the musical, "The Book of Mormon."
"We grew up around a lot of Mormons cause there are a lot in Colorado too. At a pretty young age we started to hear about the stories and just in that part of Colorado too you know there's just lots of tails about like Alferd Packer who we made our first musical about and then you hear about all the Mormons that pass though Colorado it's just a very pioneer kind of state to grow up in and so you're always hearing those kind of stories and I think it all started from there," said co-writer Parker.
On the shows official website the production is described as 'a religious satire musical that tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent off to spread the word in a dangerous part of Uganda.' As soon as word got out about the musical the guys have been faced with criticism. However, since previews begin on February 24 the guys have been getting the reaction they had hoped, with some calling it 'sweet.'
"We always felt like that if people could get past, I don't know, what they thought about what we usually do that we could get them to the point where they would understand that this is a musical and it's not it's a little bit different experience then a 22 minute animated show and it needs to be bigger and richer and deeper and actually like, emotionally like, big satisfying fun time, cause it's a two hour, two and a half hour thing you're asking people to come experience. So we're not surprised by that, but we're glad that people are getting that out of it," explained Stone.
The guys met 20 years ago at the University of Colorado. Parker and Stone first found success with the independent film "Cannibal! The Musical" in 1996. And after a year and numerous viral videos later the animated sitcom 'South Park" launched on the U.S. network Comedy Central. To date the show has won four Emmys and is heading into its 15th season.
But for Parker and Stone where there is success, controversy is sure to follow. In 2005 singer and regular cast-member Isaac Hayes left the series after an episode mocked the religion Scientology. Three years later Catholic groups condemned an episode that portrayed a statue of the Virgin Mary emitting menstrual blood. But the guys say the musical doesn't get that raw.
"We didn't really cut anything out because we didn't come at it from a point - you know we didn't sit down and say, all right let's bash Mormons how should we do it, let's spend seven years of our lives writing a Broadway musical so that we can rip on Mormons," Parker told Reuters.
"We really wanted to just make a very traditional classic musical and you know, just like a Rogers and Hammerstein kind of musical but you know, instead of it being about people in Oklahoma or in the islands during World War II we wanted to make it about Mormons. Right away we knew what we were doing, we knew this wasn't just a big, you know, F you to Mormons ," he went on to explain.
Critics are calling this a must see with some saying it's a shoo-in for a Tony, which prompted the question, what would they wear to the awards.
"The Tony's are cooling then the Oscars and we're older now so I think we would wear something sort of like this," Parker said while laughing.
In 2000 Parker and Stone arrived to the Oscars dressed in drag. Stone wore a dress that resembled Gwyneth Paltrow's 1999 Oscar dress, while Parker wore a version of the Versace dress that Jennifer Lopez made famous at the 2000 Grammys.
"Drag is a different joke at the Tony's then it is at the Oscars, so think about that. You gotta think about where you are," Stone added.
The musical officially openings at the Eugene O'Neill theater on March 24.
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