“The Book of Mormon” Broadway musical, co-written by South Park Creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, received 9 Tony Awards Sunday.
“The Book of Mormon” is a religious satire that follows two Mormon missionaries to Uganda. The show portrays “Mormons” as naïve and their beliefs as bizarre. but in the end they are the heroes because they stand by their convictions. The success of the show has Utahans talking about how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Saints or Mormons is being portrayed; especially since 60 percent of the state are members of the church.
“People will engage in parody at others expense to raise their own profile, said Ryan Garrison, Orem resident, “it is like dealing with the bully on the playground he will continue to tease because he knows he has hit the mark, but once he is ignored the bullying will stop You can’t control other people but you can control your response to it.”
The show is targeting a specific religious group and with that comes the question of what group will be the next subject. Will it be Gays, Catholics, or Jews? A Jewish New Yorker said “shame on you Broadway” for allowing this type of genre to fill the stage.
“All Broadway is doing is to discriminating against people that are different and that aren’t like them,” said Erica Bowman, Highland resident.
This show has put the church on the map and awakened the interest of some that may have not otherwise been familiar with “Mormons.”
“I think tons of people are going to go see it and will peak people’s curiosity, said Steve Hirchak, Provo resident. Any publicity is good publicity. Think of all the people that saw the Tonys. I’m sure the church’s website was hammered after it won all those awards.”
Some Utahans that have seen the show say they have been more offended by the profanity than any ridicule against the church.
“I know a handful of people who have seen it, and I have yet to talk to one person who's seen it and not liked it” said Shelby Ferrin, Centerville high school drama teacher, “any offense taken was on account of the bad language and boundary-pushing topics (most of which is done by the African characters), not because of the depiction of missionaries or members of the Church. In my experience, the most concerned reactions have come from those who know the least about it.”
Some Utahan’s through blogs have expressed the need to laugh at “ourselves and culture.”
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints official statement on the show is: “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.”