Who knew what to expect when The Book of Mormon opened on Broadway in March 2011? After all, the show’s creators—South Park’s Matt Stone and Trey Parker and Avenue Q’s Robert Lopez—were best known for dreaming up Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo and puppets who loved porn. But the musical, which follows two missionaries sent to a Ugandan village ravaged by famine, AIDS, and a warlord, was heralded as both blasphemous and heartwarming. Stone explains the appeal: “Can people have really goofy beliefs but be good people? That’s The Book of Mormon.” After racking up nine Tony Awards, the show is finally coming to the town that launched Stone and Parker; it opens at the Pantages Wednesday. Amen to that.
When you were writing the show, was it driven by the song lyrics or by certain themes you wanted to hit?