The Book of Mormon is a musical that took the world by surprise. The two authors (Trey Parker and Matt Stone) are no strangers to satire as they are also the creators of South Park. About ten years ago, they came up with the idea to write a musical about Mormonism. The musical made its first debut in 2011. They wrote the musical alongside Robert Lopez who wrote Avenue Q. Since then, it has won nine Tony awards and has toured both nationally and internationally.
The Book of Mormon is about two American Mormons who go to Uganda on a mission trip to convert the locals. They are a dynamic duo to say the least. One missionary is enthusiastic in his dedication to his faith. The other is an awkward, well-meaning nerd who has a tendency to embellish the truth. Arriving in Uganda opens their naive eyes to poverty, AIDS, and violence. Clearly, their mission doesn’t go according to their expectations.
While many were excited simply to see a show that satirized the Mormon religion, the message was more complex than that. If one had to sum it up simply it would be that tolerance is important and that one should never take anything to the extreme. It discusses not just the Mormon religion, but the human interest in myths and folklore. But don’t worry, the Mormon religion itself still gets plenty of satirical attention.
The Book of Mormon has defied expectations in the sense that a ton of people have come out to see the Broadway show. The multi-dimensionality of the script as well as the execution by the cast and crew has been credited with the revival of the musical in an era where most people would rather stay at home and watch Netflix than go to the theater.