Saturday, May 7, 2011

Creators of South Park Find Success on Broadway

The Nominations are in, and the battle for the most prestigious award for Broadway musicals begins. A young up and comer with an obvious religious theme has audiences running to the box office. It’s a musical, it’s a comedy, it’s about Mormons, it’s from the creators of South Park, and it’s nominated for 14 Tony awards. Wait, what?
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“The Book of Mormon” is one of the craziest things to hit Broadway since Liza Minnelli. Taking no prisoners, and showing no mercy, the creators of the hugely popular cartoon South Park have taken their talents to the big stage and shown that their wit and crazy does not rely on crude drawings and cursing kids to be popular. Trey Parker and Matt Stone have created a ridiculous show with poignant topics and raunchy dialogue, and theater goers are finding it too awesome to miss. Cartman is the main character in South Park voiced by Trey Parker. Up for Best Musical, two chances for Best Actor in a Musical, and a slew of other prestigious Tony nominations, “The Book of Mormon” is turning the theater world upside down.


The creators had some help from the recently super successful producer Scott Rudin, who recently produced the award gulping "Social Network". Rudin’s interest in the project only proves that the brilliance of Matt Stone and Trey Parker is recognizable by people other than comedy gurus and college students. Along with the scribe Robert Lopez, the creators have been filling the house since the show opened at the Eugene O’Neil Theater on March 24th. The 14 nominations came up short by a small hair below some of the most highly acclaimed shows of all time, including the 2001 “The Producers” with 15 nominations and 2009’s “Billy Elliot”.



As a testament to the lasting power of poignant humor with a dash of controversy, and the ever popular buddy comedy format, “The Book of Mormon” is just an extension of some of the themes used on Comedy Central’s South Park, which is already one of the most successful and long lasting shows of all time. Parker and Stone will hopefully take this as a sign to continue pursuing new avenues to showcase their brilliance. Maybe we’ll get another “Team America”? It should be interesting to follow the evolution of these minds after their Broadway success.