The moment we've all been waiting for is here. Today, the Tony-Award winning musical that everyone is talking about kicks off its first preview for the musical's first national tour. The Book of Mormon, written by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker with lyrics by Avenue Q songwriter Robert Lopez, tells the satirical story of two missionaries from the Church of the Latter Day Saints who venture to Uganda to share the scriptures.
The musical, which has taken home nine Tony-Awards including 2011 Best Musical, is co-directed by Parker and Casey Nicholaw and first opened March 24, 2011 to outstanding reviews. The New York Times called The Book of Mormon "something like a miracle" and Jon Stewart said, "It's so good it makes me f**king angry."
The first preview opens tonight at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver, Colorado and runs through September 2. The production stars Tony nominee Gavin Creel and Jared Gertner. In December, a separate Chicago production premieres at the Bank of America Theatre.
Fingers crossed the national tour makes it a bit easier to get a hold of the magic ticket.
Current Tour Dates:
Denver, CO (Aug. 14-Sept. 2 at Ellie Caulkins Opera House)
Los Angeles, CA (Sept. 5-Nov. 25 at the Pantages Theatre)
San Francisco, CA (Nov. 27-Dec. 30 at the Curran Theatre)
Portland, OR (Jan. 1-6, 2013, at the Keller Auditorium)
Seattle, WA (Jan. 8-20, 2013, at the Paramount)
Des Moines, IA (Feb. 5-17, 2013, at the Civic Center of Des Moines)
Minneapolis, MN (Feb. 5-17, 2013, at the Orpheum Theatre)
St. Louis, MO (Feb. 19-March 3, 2013, at the Fox Theatre)
Rochester, NY (March 5-10, 2013, at the Auditorium Theatre)
Detroit, MI (March 12-24, 2013, at the Fisher Theatre)
Pittsburgh, PA (March 26-April 7, 2013, at the Benedum Center)
Boston, MA (April 9-28, 2013, at the Boston Opera House)
Toronto, ON (April 30-June 9, 2013)
Buffalo, NY (June 11-16, 2013, at the Shea's PAC)
Cleveland, OH (June 18-July 7, 2013, at the Palace Theatre)
Washington, DC (July 9-Aug. 18, 2013, at The Kennedy Center)
See a slideshow of the Book of Mormon fan day in New York this summer:
Scott Dennis and Eden Sela were the first ticket-holders to arrive for Wednesday's show, at midnight. They camped through the night, and ended up getting the seats they'd hoped for: central orchestra, row F, a location they settled on after "consulting with many theater-goers."
After attending their nephew's graduation ceremony at NYU last week, Ben and Deb Vanderkoois returned home to Minnesota only to find out they'd won the ticket lottery, which they'd entered on a whim while in New York. They used airline points and flew back for the day. "It seems like there's a lot of ins and outs in this city and you have to know someone to get tickets. But this was pure luck," Deb told us.
Laurie and Steve Harris are veterans of the standard discounted lottery system: that's how they saw "Wicked," "Memphis," "Million Dollar Quartet," "Young Frankenstein," "West Side Story," and "In The Heights." But Wednesday's experience was novel for more reasons than the absolutely free entry. Steve -- who's never seen an episode of "South Park" (Laurie's seen one) -- expected the notoriously raunchy musical to be "a little shocking, even for me."
Actress Sarah Donaldson ("Grease") won two tickets through the discounted lottery but wasn't able to make that show. When she won again for Fan Appreciation Day, she brought her mom, Antoinette. "I think the best thing we saw all day today while we were waiting in line were the four Mormons across the street taking pictures and pointing to the sign," Antoinette told us.
Matthew Nieves, a theater buff with 62 shows under his belt, entered the lottery twice before getting lucky. He and his companion Angela Pedoncin guessed if they hadn't won tickets this way, they wouldn't have been able to get them until 2014.