It's been called 'Broadway's most offensive musical.'
'Koran, The Musical' is opening on Broadway and there is quite a buzz about this musical comedy.
The show reportedly features catchy songs that will no doubt be vying for Tony Award nominations, songs like 'F*ck you, Allah.'
The play tells the hilarious tales of two Islamic missionaries, one happens to be a bumbling fool who has not read the holy book, choosing instead to mix in parts of 'Star Wars' and 'Lord of the Rings' in his preaching. We follow the duo in their side-splitting antics, as they spread their message in North Africa, dealing with local people who believe that raping children is the only way to cure AIDS.
Mocking religion, cursing at God and child rape. . . Sounds like a fun night in the theater, no? How could a show that mocks Islam and pins comedy on the rape of children be allowed to open? Aren't the producers, writers and performers afraid of death threats from Islamic fundamentalists?
There is a very simple answer to those questions. The musical comedy is NOT about Islam.
There is no outrage from the Islamic community because there is no song called 'F*ck you, Allah' - the song in this show is titled, 'F*ck you, God' and the musical just opened is called 'The Book of Mormon' and obviously it is about Mormons and the Mormon faith. The play came to Broadway via South Park's Matt Stone and Trey Parker, with an assist from 'Avenue Q' writer Bobby Lopez.
The initial announcement about the musical raised concerns a year ago:
Stone and Parker are not outwardly religious people, in fact, Stone calls himself an atheist. Both have made hundreds of millions of dollars tip-toeing along the lines of what might be considered offensive. Just a year ago they were threatened by Muslim extremists after an episode of their cartoon South Park featured the prophet Muhammed as a Teddy Bear.
There is currently no wave of anger building against this show, but then again the 'charm offensive' has been in full swing with the show's producers working overtime to pre-emptively strike against any negative press that might arise. Parker and Stone have been more visible on this project than any other in recent memory, or perhaps there is more interest from the mainstream media. Mr. Parker calls the show; 'an atheist's love letter to religion.'
One interview on the history of the play seems to sarcastically predict that the Mormons will embrace the show and shower Parker and Stone with gifts.
At the show's premiere in late March, the local New York City media was on hand to cover the event and let the world know what celebrities (America's real 'chosen' people) thought about this musical called 'Broadway's most offensive.'
Mormons find musical 'Book of Mormon' surprisingly sweet
It should be noted that the Salt Lake City Tribune is a newspaper known to have had an anti-Mormon editorial position, so one might not be surprised by the Tribune's support for a play that mocks or parodies the Mormon faith.
As previews wrapped up the New York Post printed a story about the opening of the play that explained just how far the basic cable shockmeisters have gone:
For the debut of their first Broadway musical, “The Book of Mormon,” which is currently in previews at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre and opens on Thursday, the disclaimer has been toned down to a mere “Contains explicit language.” Which doesn’t necessarily prepare audiences for repeated lines such as “I’m going to go out and rape a baby” — a riposte that gets laughs every time.
Baby rape? Really? Has the Broadway of Rogers and Hammerstein really fallen this far? Apparently so.
And yet with all of the warnings posted, anyone offended by the show, has only themselves to blame. As Matt Stone tells reuters.com:
"If you can't watch an average episode of "South Park" with your kids, you probably shouldn't bring them to the musical. But it's by far not the rawest or filthiest thing we've ever done. We could do much more."
You could do much more? It is good to know that the brains behind an animated show with a character named 'Mr. Hankey,' a character that good taste standards prohibit us from describing or even explaining here, have held back something.
Perhaps we should consider ourselves lucky.