When "The Book of Mormon" visits the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in November, the raunchy musical penned by Matt Stone and Trey Parker will deliver scatological lyrics, cursing Mormon missionaries and cameo "appearances" from Adolf Hitler, Johnnie Cochran and Jesus.
If that sounds like the past 15 seasons of Comedy Central's cable hit "South Park," that other celebrated skewering of pop culture created by Stone and Parker, you're not wrong. Tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. Monday for "The Book of Mormon," the touring Broadway Across America show running Nov. 26 through Dec. 22. The original show won nine Tony Awards (including Best Musical) and one Grammy (for Best Musical Theater Album) during its 2011 run on Broadway.
As a sprawling, R-rated religious satire that lampoons the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, "The Book of Mormon" has the sort of adolescent- and adult-skewing material that is familiar to "South Park" fans and leaves no confusion about its explicitness, says Broadway Across America spokesman Charlie Cinnamon.
"The show says, 'explicit language,' and parents know 'South Park.' I mean, come on," Cinnamon says. "Adults have intelligence, and they know when and when not to take their children to an explicit musical."
Think of "The Book of Mormon" as an extended "South Park" episode, with toe-tapping numbers and F-bombs. Gross-out humor arrives in abundance, filled with references to dysentery, infant rape and AIDS. The show follows two teenagers raised in the Mormon faith, Elder Price and Elder Cunningham, who embark on two years of missionary service in a dirt-poor section of northern Uganda. ("Africa? Oh, boy, like "Lion King"! one of the naive Mormons exclaims.)
The subject of Mormonism and Joseph Smith, the church's founder, is well-tread territory for Stone and Parker, who satirized the faith in the 2003 "South Park" episode "All About Mormon." That episode also featured musical numbers, and lyrics such as "Joseph Smith was a prophet, dum-dum-dum-dum-dum."
Cinnamon is boastful about the musical, characterizing the show as "a monster" and "in a class with 'The Lion King' and 'Phantom of the Opera.' " The Broward Center's Ticketmaster website on Monday afternoon already showed brisk first-day sales, with Nov. 26's opening-night performance as two-thirds sold-out. The Nov. 29, Nov. 30 and Dec. 7 dates — all taking place on the weekend — also had few tickets remaining.
"The Book of Mormon" will run Nov. 26-Dec. 22 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, 201 SW Fifth Ave., in Fort Lauderdale. Showtimes vary, and tickets cost $52.51 to $182.31. Call 954-522-5334 or go to Ticketmaster.com.