MORMON DRAMA SPOTLIGHT
Every month I also plan on setting little spotlights on little news items and tidbits about Mormon Drama along with the monthly Scripting Mormon Drama spot. So here goes our first crop of notables for the month of January:
– The Book of Mormon Musical… by the creators of South Park!
Some of us who have had the misfortune of seeing one of Trey Parker’s and Matt Stone’s strangely malicious AND strangely affectionate lampoons about Latter-day Saint religion, history, and culture on their irreverent and crude show South Park . At least the tongue in cheek South Park segment about the people in hell being told, “The correct answer was… the Mormons,” has some healthy appreciation among Mormons and is often quoted with nervous laughter. There is also a relatively positive spin on Mormon family life and FHE in one episode, but their distorted and erroneous version of Mormon history shows Martin Harris as a duped idiot, with Lucy Harris being the smart one (of course neglecting to mention that Martin Harris and the three witnesses report to seeing the plates and an angel) and showing Joseph Smith as a charlatan offends Mormon sensibilities, making us all seem as much of stupid dupes as their version of Martin Harris. And don’t get me started on their “Super Friends” spoof of creating a super hero team out of major religious figures, including Joseph Smith, Jesus, and Mohammed (at least we’re not the only ones in their cross hairs). Parker and Stone were also the creators of the purportedly filthy film Orgasmo, about an LDS missionary who becomes a porn star to pay for his mission (uh… what?!). So for some of us, the news about Parker and Stone making a Broadway musical about Mormons came with a certain amount of dread and morbid curiosity.
I’ve had my high school students authoritatively quote these twisted, offensive segments to me as if they were true, penetrating exposes on Mormonism, so I’m a little afraid of where these two creators’ morbid fascination with our religion is going to take them this time and how it will again capitalize on us for a few cheap laughs and some dirty jabs. Of course, they’ll do it while stating it with enough of a smile and sense of pretended understanding that will illicit comments like this from Vogue Magazine:
“It is, hands down, the filthiest, most offensive, and–surprise–sweetest thing you’ll see on Broadway this year, and quite possibly the funniest musical ever.”
Here’s a couple of news items about the upcoming show (which begins Feb. 24th), including a filmed interview with Trey and Parker with the New York Post:
The premise of the musical: two Mormon missionaries serving in Africa, seems benign enough until it’s revealed that one of them is a closet homosexual (of course pairing Mormons with this divisive issue hasn’t been done before! Here we go again…) and until you realize that nothing by these two satirists is ever benign.
New Play Project’s Two Upcoming Plays: He and She Fighting, A Love Story and WWJD
On a happier note, New Play Project continues its commitment to producing new Mormon Drama, with upcoming plays by Eric Samuelsen and Anna Christina Kohler Lewis. Continue reading “January’s “Mormon Drama Spotlight””