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Trey Parker and Matt Stone made a surprise appearance ahead of Thursday night’s free fan performance of The Book of Mormon at New York’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre, just a day ahead of the show’s Broadway reopening.
The South Park creators were joined in a box suite by Robert Lopez, who co-wrote the show’s book, music and lyrics with the duo, as well as choreographer and co-director Casey Nicholaw. Walking out to a roaring crowd, the four thanked fans not only for coming, but also supporting Broadway’s return following an 18-month pandemic shutdown.
“I want to thank you guys so much for coming out and to start supporting Broadway again, and getting Broadway back on its feet,” said Parker, who also co-directs the musical.
Announced back on Oct. 18, the fan performance follows a tradition of free shows staged throughout The Book of Mormon‘s run in appreciation of its dedicated fan base. Thursday night’s return of the fan event was prompted in part by the New York theater industry’s ongoing reopening and comes 10 years after the show initially debuted on Broadway. The Book of Mormon officially reopens to the public Friday, Nov. 5.
The Book of Mormon centers on two young missionaries — the dedicated go-getter Elder Price and well-meaning but socially awkward Elder Cunningham — after they’re sent to Uganda to convert citizens to the Mormon religion. But once they arrive at their assigned remote African village, the duo quickly discovers a community facing compounding challenges, from poverty and famine to violence and HIV/AIDS, who aren’t as interested in their religion or mission as they are.
In addition to smashing long-standing box office records in New York, London, Melbourne and Sydney, The Book of Mormon has won nine Tony Awards including best musical, in addition to earning a Grammy for best musical theater album and five Drama Desk Awards including best musical, among other honors.
The show’s set design is by Scott Pask, with costume design is by Ann Roth, lighting design is by Brian MacDevitt and sound design is by Brian Ronan. Orchestrations are by Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus, with music direction and vocal arrangements by Oremus.
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