The Book of Mormon: Twenty reasons you've got to see it, courtesy the cast and crew
If you are one of the lucky people who snagged a ticket to The Book of Mormon's first stop on its national tour before the Denver run sold out in under four hours, pat yourself on the back. If not, get in line now -- or at least get ready. As we announced yesterday, the Mormon producers have established a lottery for the show, which runs August 14 through September 2 at the Ellie; before each performance, 24 previously luckless fans will be able to snatch up $25 tickets. And if the obvious reasons -- the show's creators (and South Park maestros) Matt Stone and Trey Parker are Colorado natives, and the musical boasts awards out the wazoo -- aren't enough reason for you to get in line, Westword sat down with the cast and creators yesterday and came away with an entire list. Click through for twenty insights gleaned from the people behind the scenes.
20. A handful of cast members wait to meet audience members after every show.
"They make you," says Samantha Marie Ware, who plays Nabulungi. "Without them, who's going to sit and watch the show? It's like, 'Thank you for coming and respecting us.' I love talking to them."
19. You can interpret the story however the hell (or heaven) you want.
"At the end of the day, I always maintain you can substitute The Book of Mormon for The Bible: The Musical or The Quran: The Musical," says Gavin Creel, who plays Elder Price. "It's using this particular framework to use an example about what faith means. For me, the story is less about The Book of Mormon and more about one nineteen-year-old who thinks he's got it all figured out and another nineteen-year-old who just wants to fit in. And who hasn't felt those two things? All the other stuff that surrounds it is just Trey [Parker] and Matt [Stone] framing those themes."
18. Mormons aren't just an easy target. They're a lens.
"They definitely took a chance in writing about a religion that is in the news a lot today," says Grey Henson, who plays Elder McKinley. "It's not even just about Mormonism; it's a vehicle for the show to be written. It's funny and silly and happy, and we don't make them caricatures. It's not about putting them under the magnifying glass or picking on them."
17. No topic is off limits.
"The one thing I really respect about Matt and Trey, which I always have, is that nothing is sacred," says Kevin Mambo, who plays Mafala Hatimbi. "The minute you do that, it changes the conversation on the rest of it. We should be able to laugh, or at least discuss all of it, and I think only couching it in some really base, sophomoric humor allows us to look at it directly and not skirt around it or be cute about it. Just here it is. Look at it."
16. Unless, of course, it's just not funny.
"There was a time when we were in tech, and the guy playing the father came out in his Jesus costume, and Jeffrey Dahmer was supposed to be fucking the dad in this scene, but instead he was now fucking Jesus," co-creator Robert Lopez says. "We were like, 'That's not funny, and it's really wrong.' If it's not funny, if it's just gratuitous for no reason, no one likes to be bummed out by offensive stuff."
Click through for the rest of the list.