Following Saturday night’s preview performance of smash musical The Book of Mormon, which begins a 12-week west coast run at the Pantages tomorrow night, FishbowlLA and a select group of other media folks hung around for an informal press conference with show co-creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. (Robert Lopez, the third person responsible for the scintillating book, music and lyrics, did not attend.)
The Tony Award winning tandem confirmed not a word has been changed from the Broadway and Denver incarnations. That includes the genital double-down line repeated throughout by a resident of the Ugandan village where Latter-Day Saint newbies Elder Price (Gavin Creel) and Elder Cunningham (Jared Gertner) arrive to spread the Mormon gospel. We don’t want to spoil the fun by mentioning the specifics. However, to FishbowlLA’s opening press conference question about whether other dialogue was considered for this hilarious running gag, Stone confirmed a longstanding previous punchline.
“It’s funny,” he recalled. “That particular song, “American Prophet,” used to be called “The Bible is a Trilogy.” It was kind of a joke about how the third part of a film trilogy is always the best movie, and how the first Matrix was *actually* the best… The African guy stepped forward and said, ‘Can you imagine if The Matrix had ended after the first one?’ And then he sang, “I actually thought the third Matrix was the worst one.”
“We had that in there for the longest time,” Parker continued. “But then we finally thought we can’t do the Bible as a trilogy thing [The Book of Mormon being the additional, third part to the Old and New Testaments], so we changed it to this other song and realized we had lost that great line. We wondered what else the villager could say when he comes forward and we came up with…”