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RIALTO CHATTER: BOOK OF MORMON to Play Eugene O'Neill?THE BOOK OF MORMON, a new original musical comedy from "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q composer and co-creator Robert Lopez, will premiere on Broadway in March, 2011. The world premiere will be co-directed by Casey Nicholaw with Trey Parker and choreographed by Nicholaw as well.

In today's New York Post, columnist Michael Riedel reports that the show will take the Eugene O'Neill theatre (currently home to FELA!, which has already announced a January closing). 

In a reading this week, which starred newcomers Andrew Rannells and Josh Gad, the plot is said to follow two young Mormon missionaries who are dispatched to Uganda alongside the story of Mormon church founder Joseph Smith. The reading is said to have gone quite well, with investors now lining up to back the show. 

Parker and Stone's landmark animated television series "South Park" celebrates its 200th episode this week. "South Park" premiered on Comedy Central in 1997. Parker and Stone have won four Emmy Awards and a Peabody Award for the controversial, critically acclaimed series.

Their credits also include the critically acclaimed films, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut and Team America: World Police.

The team co-wrote the musical numbers for South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. The film's accomplished and outrageous score surprised and delighted critics and audiences. Parker received an Academy Award nomination for Best Song for his music and lyrics for "Blame Canada" from the musical's score. The New York Film Critics Circle also honored South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut with the organization's first award ever presented for Best Animated Film.

Parker and Stone make their Broadway musical writing debut with THE BOOK OF MORMON.

"Growing up in Colorado, a lot of our friends were Mormons and we always thought their book would make a great musical," Parker and Stone said. "We loved Avenue Q and are having a blast working with Bobby Lopez. Having a show on Broadway is a dream come true for us and we can't wait to share THE BOOK OF MORMON with everyone."

Robert Lopez is co-creator, composer and lyricist for Avenue Q, which won 2004 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Score and received a Grammy nomination for its Original Cast Album. Avenue Q played for six years on Broadway and is currently running Off-Broadway and in London.

"It has been such a thrill to get to work with two guys I've always admired so much, Matt Stone and Trey Parker," Lopez said. "Their "South Park" movie musical is beloved within the Broadway community - it was certainly one of my biggest influences writing Avenue Q. It's been a lot of work and a lot of laughs, and I'm so excited by the show. It really is in many senses a big traditional musical comedy, with, as you might expect, untraditional subject matter. I can't wait to see how Broadway audiences are going to react when they experience it." 
THE BOOK OF MORMON will be produced by Scott Rudin and Anne Garefino.

Theatre, cast and additional creative team will be announced at a later date.



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