For the first time since it debuted on Broadway in 2011, The Book of Mormon will be performed in Utah, where it is estimated that six in 10 residents are Mormon.
A national touring production of the Tony Award-winning musical juggernaut has been scheduled for a two-week run from July 28 to August 9, 2015, at Salt Lake City's Capitol Theatre, which is located mere blocks from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints flagship temple and headquarters.
An irreverent satire from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone about mismatched Mormon missionaries in Uganda, The Book of Mormon features a character named Elder McKinley, a closeted gay missionary who leads a pink-sequined chorus in "Turn It Off," a showstopper about how to squelch naughty urges.
As reported by The Salt Lake Tribune, LDS Church representative Jessica Moody responded to news of the local run by reiterating the faith’s standard response to the show's content: "The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but The Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ."
Calling The Book of Mormon "as smartly crafted as it is crass" in a 2011 review, The Advocate added that it “almost lives up to the buzz that heralds it as a musical messiah.”
For more on Utah's and the Mormon Church's evolving views on gay people and marriage equality, click here.