"South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have conquered Broadway, earning rave reviews for their first musical, "The Book of Mormon." The pair have teamed with Tony champ Robert Lopez ("Avenue Q") for a saucy, sassy satire on organized religion. The story follows two Mormon missionaries and their attempts to "save" an African village.
Look for the trio to be strong contenders in the Book and Score races at the Tony Awards. And while there are four other new tuners still to open this season -- musical adaptations of the movies "Catch Me If You Can" and "Sister Act," original work "Wonderland: A New Alice" and jukebox musical "Baby, Its You" -- this critically-acclaimed show looks like a solid contender for Best Musical and a bevy of other categories.
New York Times scribe Ben Brantley was among the chief cheerleaders leading off his rave review by noting, "a newborn, old-fashioned, pleasure-giving musical has arrived at the Eugene O'Neill Theater, the kind our grandparents told us left them walking on air if not on water. So hie thee hence, nonbelievers (and believers too), to 'The Book of Mormon,' and feast upon its sweetness"
Peter Marks (Washington Post) lauded this, "pricelessly entertaining act of musical-comedy subversion that opened Thursday night at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.The mighty O’Neill himself would have to have given it up for this extraordinarily well-crafted musical assault on all things holy."
And Elysa Gardner (USA Today), thought, "For all its cute, knowing moments, there is an exuberance in the show's spirit — particularly in its score, which combines musical-theater, rock and world-music textures with above-average dexterity — that makes it feel both fresh and unabashedly traditional."
Earliest Oscars Predictions Ever
Our Oscarologists are busy updating their predictions as they see more and more contenders. Make your early picks now -- click here -- and change them later as the derby heats up.