The Book of Mormon on Broadway is one of the most popular musicals currently running in New York City. Written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the musical follows two mismatched missionaries as they journey to a remote Ugandan village hoping to convert locals to Mormonism. With its clever tunes, laugh-out-loud humor and surprisingly touching moments, The Book of Mormon has earned its place among Broadway classics. From the catchy opening number “Hello!” to the show-stopping eleven o’clock number, “I Believe,” this hilarious show will surely leave audiences singing and dancing in their seats. Featuring some of the best writing and performances on the Great White Way, The Book of Mormon’s biting satire and outrageous comedy will keep you engaged from start to finish. We talked with Kevin Clay, who plays Elder Price in The Book of Mormon, about the show’s continuous success since its opening.
The Book of Mormon Continues to Wow on Broadway
The Book of Mormon has been a hot ticket ever since its opening over a decade ago. To what do you attribute the show’s success?
Clay- The core of this show’s success and lasting power is its uniqueness to the Broadway world. The writers, Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Bobby Lopez, pay plenty of tribute to the musical theatre canon, but they have created something unlike anything seen before and anything still to come to New York.
Many shows that feature a significant level of satire come across as cheesy or overdone, but not The Book of Mormon. How does the production tow the line so well?
Clay- I think the oftentimes ruthless satire and raunch keep audiences off balance in a way that fuels their desire to see just where this crazy show is going to take them. At the core of everything, though, beyond the witty writing and brilliant music, this show has a pure heart. The message of this show is ultimately one of absolute positivity, to find a life and a world that allows a person to be their truest self while serving your community with specificity and goodness.
The show has been featured internationally and has seen success in numerous other countries. What do you think makes The Book of Mormon appeal to the masses internationally?
Clay- I had the privilege to perform with this show throughout Europe, so I could see with my own eyes the impact it has internationally. Firstly, so many European countries love musical theatre but don’t get a ton of it. Our show, especially musically, fits the bill of classic musical theatre at its finest, which is received so well. Secondly, they have the added bonus of watching Elder Price and Elder Cunningham as the displaced yet overly confident Americans that they are. I chatted with many viewers during my time overseas, and they were never shy about how funny it was to laugh at “us Americans.” Then that heart of gold I spoke of earlier shines through, and the universal message to do good and not do what is expected resonates and creates fans wherever the show goes.