The Book of Mormon is finally almost nearly just about here.
Tempe's ASU Gammage Auditorium will host a touring production of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints-skewering hit from October 20 through November 8. Tickets to the show will be available starting at 10 a.m. on August 3 through Ticketmaster and Gammage's online box office.
Created by South Park brain trust Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with Robert Lopez of Avenue Q fame, the satirical musical follows two young Mormon men on a mission trip to Uganda. Book of Mormon has amassed accolades in the form of nine Tony Awards and a Grammy, as well as, ahem, praise from outlets including The New York Times (Ben Brantley called it "heaven on Broadway") and Vogue since its 2011 debut. Even the brief and official response from the LDS Church conceded that the show has the propensity to entertain.
The musical embarked on its first US tour back in 2012, but this 2015 show marks its Arizona debut. When Gammage announced in April 2014 that the show would be part of its 2015-16 season, New Times speculated whether the delayed visit had something to do with our large LDS population. However, it seemed that many factors, including a run in Las Vegas, contributed to the late arrival.
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Actress and ASU theatre graduate Alexandra Ncube (Spring Awakening, Rent) is part of the cast coming to Phoenix. She plays Nabulungi, the leading woman in the show who lives in the Ugandan village where Elders Kevin Price and Arnold Cunningham are sent. Turns out, she's not the only one with Valley stage experience. A.J. Holmes, who portrays Elder Arnold, performed in Arizona Theatre Company's Next to Normal, and ensemble player Michael Buchanan performed in ATC's production of HAIR.
It's all quite exciting, but of course, you've still got a while until the show opens. In the meantime, give the original Broadway cast recording a spin or 70.
The Book of Mormon plays at ASU Gammage from October 20 through November 8. For more information and tickets ($25 to $150), visit Gammage Auditorium's website.