The show is the brainchild of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez of Avenue Q. It’s won 9 Tony Awards since opening at the Great White Way’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre in March 2011, and its soundtrack became the biggest selling cast album for forty years, reaching No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard chart and picking up the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album.
Gavin Creel and Jared Gertner play the lead roles of missionaries Elder Price and Elder Cunningham in the show, which has its official opening on 21 March. The two men have previously played Price and Cunningham in the US tour of the show.
Creel is a fairly familiar face in the West End, having starred in Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre in 2006 and Hair at the Gielgud Theatre in 2010. His other theatre credits include La Cage Aux Folles and Thoroughly Modern Millie, both at Broadway’s Marquis Theatre.
Gertner’s onstage CV includes Ordinary Days with New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company and Band Geeks with the Goodspeed Musical Company. His TV roles include guest appearances in Ugly Betty and The Good Wife.
The Book Of Mormon cast also includes Mark Anderson, Stephen Ashfield, Benjamin Brook, Daniel Buckley, Daniel Clift, Ashley Day, Terry Doe, Candace Furbert, Patrick George, Nadine Higgin, Tyrone Huntley, Evan James, Chris Jarman, Michael Kent, Alexia Khadime, Matt Krzan, Oliver Liddert, Daniel McKinley, Luke Newton, Terel Nugent, Haydn Oakley, Olivia Phillip, Lucy St. Louis, Giles Terera, Kayi Ushe, Tosh-Wanogho-Maud and Liam Wrate.
Sharply satirical, wildly irreverent, more than a bit rude but somehow sweet and endearing as well, the show gleefully skewers a truckload of sacred cows including organized religion, consumerism and the musical genre itself.
It tells the story of two earnest young Mormon missionaries, Elder Kevin Price and Elder Arnold Cunningham. Dispatched to small-town Uganda to spread the word of the Latter Day Saints, they’re smacked in the face by culture shock and wind up in a showdown with a tyrannical warlord.