Finally. The Tony Award-wining, Drama Desk-winning, Grammy-winning, Drama League-winning, Critics Circle-winning musical The Book of Mormon is coming to Las Vegas.
The national tour of the acclaimed show—created by South Park’s Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Robert Lopez, co-creator of Avenue Q—will play at the Smith Center in the summer of 2014 as part of the performing arts center’s Broadway Las Vegas 2013-2014 season.
The musical, which follows two Mormon missionaries in Uganda, is more parody than public bashing. As Parker told Fresh Air’s Terry Gross, “We love the goofiness of Mormon stories. Some of them are incredulous, and we loved almost all the Mormons that we had ever met. So this was sort of this conundrum that we like to talk about—we think what they believe is really, really ridiculous, and yet they seem like pretty happy people."
Mormon opened in March 2011 to mild criticism from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which released a statement saying, “The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.” It was just the kind of response the play’s creators expected. “Trey and I were like, ‘They’re going to be cool.’” Stone said on Fresh Air. We weren’t that surprised by the church’s response. We had faith in them.”
How the musical will go over in Vegas, which has a large Mormon population, remains to be seen, but the show’s arrival in town has long been anticipated by theater fans hoping for a chance to see the Broadway smash. They’ll have to wait another 18 months, of course, but in the meantime they can see the productions still to come in the 2012-13 Broadway Las Vegas series, including Anything Goes (February 5-10), Billy Elliot the Musical (May 14-19) and West Side Story (June 18-23), among others.