The Book of Mormon
Satire in theater has long been a staple for laughs and song. Trey Parker and Matt Stone, known as the creators of popular animated series South Park, collaborated with Robert Lopez in a continuation of satirical tradition with The Book of Mormon. The story revolves around three Church of Christ and Latter Day Saints (Mormon) missionaries in Uganda, only one of whom has read the Book of Mormon. Amid the war and poverty they go about their good work and also go on to asking themselves what they are really doing.
It is not only a satire about Mormon and their missionaries, but also a pointed satire about theater. It is good clean fun, however. Poking fun at religion and theater has never sounded this good. Like most satire about religion, some people thought that there would be some backlash from the Mormon church authorities. Friends of the show's creators asked them whether the Mormon would picket the play, and if they were afraid of they of any rallies. Parker and Stone supposedly answered that they were confident that the Mormon church would be cool about it. The official reaction by the Mormon church has been described as “measured”. The Mormon church bought space in the show's playbills during its road trip. The ads encouraged play goers to read the book, stating that “the book is always better.”
Making fun of religion is not that easy. It does need an open mind to appreciate the humor. The Book of Mormon did not set out to make a laughing stock of the Mormon faith, but used it as a stepping stone for humor on a wider scale. This is also a satire about musical theater, with plenty of inspiration from earlier works and musicals. The satire of both musical theater and organized religion works as shown by the audience reaction and the critical acclaim. In 2011, The Book of Mormon was nominated for 13 Tony awards, winning 9. It was also nominated for 12 Drama Desk awards, of which it won 5. In 2012, the original cast recording of the show's music also picked up a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.
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