Beginning this August, the critically acclaimed Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon” will be embarking upon its first national tour. The show is set to spend the entire 2012-2013 season touring the country, hitting 15 different cities.
The tour starts off in Denver, Colorado on August 14 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House. It will then move on to play Los Angeles, San Fransisco, Chicago, Portland, Seattle, Des Moines, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Rochester, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, and will finally close the tour in Washington D.C. in August of 2013. The show will even travel to Toronto, Ontario in Canada for a few weeks between May and June. According to Broadwayworld.com, there is a possibility for additional engagements.
The musical features a book, music, and lyrics by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez, with choreography by Casey Nicholaw. The tour production will be co-directed by Parker and Nicholaw. The rest of the creative team includes Scott Pask (scenic design), Ann Roth (costumes), Brian MacDevitt (lighting), Brian Ronan (sound), Stephen Oremus (music director), Larry Hochman (co-orchestrator), and many more.
The tour cast features Tony-nominee Gavin Creel (“Hair,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie”) as Elder Price, Jared Gertner as Elder Cunningham, Samantha Marie Ware as Nabulungi, and Grey Henson as Elder McKinley, plus Kevin Mambo (Mafala Hatimbi), Mike McGowan (Price’s Dad, others) and a talented crew of ensemble members.
Book of Mormon is a nine-time Tony Award-winning musical, having won titles such as Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Direction, Best Featured Actress, Best Scenic Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Sound Design, and Best Orchestrations. It has also won many other awardsincluding New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama League awards.
Besides its inherent commercial success, the musical has also had incredible financial success. According to the Daily Herald, the show was sold out again last week. “Book of Mormon” has Broadway’s current highest ticket price, at $186. This could be one of the reasons the show recouped its capitalization of $11.4 million in the first nine months after its opening.
The show’s creators have fun describing the show, and their excitement about the tour is clear. “Doing a musical is like having a kid,” Parker described to the Washington Post. “It’s not like a movie or a TV show where what we intended is what everyone will see. The kid can act out. The kid’s going to do what it wants to do.” But that’s the beauty of live theatre. Parker, along with Lopez and Price, never expected the show to become such a hit, and never expected that they would be considered the “top dog” on Broadway. Their biggest accomplishment, according to Parker, will be if they “changed” the Broadway scene in any way, and helped create an influx of original works.
In order to specially thank their fans, the show’s creators have also decided to offer low-priced lottery tickets for each show in each city of the tour. That is, $25 tickets for 24 lucky winners of a random drawing. Tickets for the opening city sold out within hours back in January, but Denver’s “hometown heroes,” Parker and Stone, reserved 24 of those seats. From Denver, to Des Moines, to Pittsburgh, these lottery tickets will be available at the box office the day of the show.