Theatre preview: “The Book of Mormon,” the Broadway smash from the “South Park” creators, finally arrives in Columbus

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From the May 15, 2014 edition

It seems as if everyone has been gleefully awaiting one of the most popular and talked-about Broadway musicals’ appearance in Columbus. “The Book of Mormon” — created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone (“South Park”), and Robert Lopez (“Avenue Q”) — won nine Tony Awards (including Best Musical), and has been widely praised by critics and audiences.

“The Book of Mormon” is centered on two young, idealistic Mormon missionaries — Elder Price (Mark Evans) and Elder Cunningham (Christopher John O'Neill) — who set out to a war-torn Uganda. The naïve young men don’t understand why they can’t connect with the African villagers, who’re more concerned with famine, AIDS and the malevolent tyranny of a local warlord.

As the devout and extensively knowledgeable Elder Price fails to indoctrinate the villagers with his scripture, Elder Cunningham, who’s never even read the Book, combines pop culture/sci-fi stories with what little he knows about the religion, and it surprisingly clicks with the villagers.