Sneak Preview: The Book of Mormon Decoded
Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 06:00 AM
The Book of Mormon is the toast of Broadway (with 14 nominations for June’s Tony Awards) for its “charismatic” performances, “sublimely kitschy” choreography, and inspired use of poop humor (“blasphemous, scurrilous and more foul-mouthed than David Mamet on a blue streak”). But it’s also striking how the music carries the show — there's very little dialogue — propelling the story forward efficiently without missing an opportunity to be silly, artful, joyful.
The genius of the score is that it's both a parody of the form and a stellar example in its own right. Trey Parker and Matt Stone teamed up with Robert Lopez, best known for Avenue Q, the longest-running R-rated puppet show on Broadway, to put the spring in their Mormons' steps. Lopez‘s signature blend of brash lyrics sung to sweet melodies accomplishes something remarkable: it makes Mormon both obnoxious and heartfelt.
Lopez came to the studio recently to talk with Kurt Andersen and noodle around on the piano — pure catnip for a musical theater fan. We'll broadcast the interview the weekend of the Tonys, June 12.
But here’s a preview: Lopez deconstructing “All-American Prophet,” which mashes up a disco groove with a Bible lesson. He explains how the song came to be and revives hooks previously lost to the cutting-room floor.
Listen to "All-American Prophet" performed by the Broadway cast:
The cast of the Broadway production of The Book of Mormon (Photo by Joan Marcus)