‘Book of Mormon’ musical to open in SLC

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Just two blocks from the global headquarters of the Mormon faith, the smash-hit musical "Book of Mormon" will open at the Capitol Theatre.

The show has been sold out for months, with many eagerly anticipating a chance to see the production (in "Sal Tlay Ka Siti" as the musical describes it) so close to Temple Square. The award-winning musical, about Mormon missionaries in Africa, will premiere Tuesday night.

(c) Joan Marcus, 2013

A promotional image from the production of "Book of Mormon" (c) Joan Marcus, 2013

But how receptive Utah audiences will be remains to be seen. Some local theatre company performers and managers that FOX 13 spoke with on Monday wondered if the show -- which carries a heavy content warning for its profanity, sexual references and jokes about AIDS, poverty and genital mutilation -- might prompt some walkouts, even among those who should know what they're getting themselves into.

The producers of the show declined to comment in advance of Tuesday's premiere. The "Book of Mormon" is written by Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who also created the cartoon show "South Park."

In an interview with FOX 13's sister station, KDVR, when the show premiered on tour in Denver, Parker said the play still carries a message that resonates with audiences.

"The fact of the matter is, if at the heart of it it didn't have a story about two kids coming of age, and a sweetness and a happiness to it, it would never work as a Broadway musical," he said. "That's what we all want to see. That's what I love about Broadway musicals. I want to see dancing and happy and not some big two hour-long bash on some religion."

(c) Joan Marcus, 2013

A promotional image from "Book of Mormon" (c) Joan Marcus, 2013

In response to questions about the Salt Lake City premiere of the "Book of Mormon" musical, the LDS Church referred FOX 13 to a statement it posted when the show premiered on Broadway.

"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," the statement reads.

An LDS Church spokesman told FOX 13 that, like it did in New York, the church has purchased advertising space in the playbill.

See the ads here:

An ad being placed by the LDS Church in the playbill of the "Book of Mormon" musical showing in Salt Lake City.

An ad being placed by the LDS Church in the playbill of the "Book of Mormon" musical showing in Salt Lake City.

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An ad being placed by the LDS Church in the playbill of the "Book of Mormon" musical showing in Salt Lake City.

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An ad being placed by the LDS Church in the playbill of the "Book of Mormon" musical showing in Salt Lake City.