Meet the Colorado creators of the smash hit ‘Book of Mormon’
DENVER — The Broadway musical that’s been called “The Best Musical of the Century” and “Heaven on Broadway” just opened it’s national tour in Denver.
“The Book of Mormon” was written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, the Colorado natives that created South Park fifteen years ago. They say it was just a natural fit to be opening their tour in their home state.
Stone and Parker have been working together since 1992, when they met in college at The University of Colorado, Boulder. Trey said, “Every big thing we did, we’ve done together. People say ‘remember one time’… I say ‘we were there!’”
Before “The Book of Mormon”, their biggest hit was South Park, which has been on the air for 15 years. In many ways, it laid the groundwork that would eventually become the hottest ticket on Broadway.
Parker told Colorado’s Own Channel 2, “This is something we did when we weren’t doing South Park. We’d put South Park down for a while and go work on this, not knowing if this would ever really be anything.” They describe it as a labor of love that lasted seven years.
Their cast describes them as creative geniouses. Actor Kevin Mambo said, “I think that’s kind of like their ninja move. Even though we assume a lot of the jokes we hear are sophomoric, underneath that is a very sophisticated understanding of human nature.”
Jared Gertner said, “I think everyone in my generation was sort of a South Park fan. We all kinda grew up watching their shows and their movies. I always thought they were two of the funniest men out there.”
The cast says they are very hands-on and involved in the production of the show.
They know exactly how they want the show to go. But that doesn’t bother the actors. Samantha Marie Ware said, “They’re so laid back. They’re like the funny uncles you never had. They’re so great.”
Stone and Parker had no idea how big their show would become, but they strive to deliver every single night. Parker said, “We really didn’t even know doing this show we’d even be doing any of this stuff. We honestly thought if we do really good, we’ll have a show on broadway for a year. We did not expect it to be like this.” Stone added, “Like a Broadway musical, people pay a lot of money for, they dress up, they go out to dinner. You better not just deliver a few cynical laughs, it better feel like a big night out.”
The creators say they have no idea what’s next for them, except that they have to start working on the 16th season of South Park this fall. Beyond that, they say it may take another seven to eight years to come up with their next big hit.