Salt Lake City Reporter Buttonholes The Book of Mormon

According to showbiz columnist Roger Friedman, The Book of Mormon Broadway musical producer Scott Rudin is having a big media elite pow wow lunch tomorrow in New York to stoke the fires of Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s highly anticipated new venture, set to open Thursday March 24th.

But from a west coast media perspective, it makes much more sense to see how the show is being advance-played in the state of its creative genesis. Salt Lake City Tribune reporter Peggy Fletcher recently shared an intriguing Q&A with Stone. The lede is pretty funny:

Matt Stone, one half the South Park writing duo, is not now, nor has he ever been a Mormon. Neither is his creative partner, Trey Parker. They don’t have Mormons in their family trees, despite rumors to the contrary circulating madly online and in Mormon circles.

Actually, it turns out Stone and Parker grew up in the Denver area alongside quite a few Mormon friends. A few years ago, the pair took show collaborator Robert Lopez to Salt Lake. As Stone recalls, the trio had no trouble finding waiter-missionaries or self-professed gay members of the church.

But overall, it sounds like the Mormon musical humor is going to be gentler than that of South Park. “We never wanted to be mean,” Stone tells Fletcher. “You don’t go to the theater to watch something mean. That’s no fun.”

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.