Frantic preview pace matches 'South Park' process
To hear the “South Park” creators tell it, the animation process for an episode of their TV toon is a mad dash of writing and refinement that goes right up until around midday on the very day the seg is going to air.Now that they’re making their Broadway debut with “The Book of Mormon,” Trey Parker and Matt Stone are reining in their smallscreen legerdemain as they deal with the realities of the live stage. The experience can be frustrating. “We’re pretty used to being able to change something and see it immediately,” Stone says. “Sometimes when we write something new for ‘Mormon,’ we have to wait two shows just to see it.” But their legit work can still benefit from their speedy style. “They’re geniuses at working fast,” says composer Robert Lopez (“Avenue Q”), who co-wrote the songs and the book with Parker and Stone. “And they have the ability to change just a line or two, and suddenly a whole scene works in a way it didn’t before,” adds Casey Nicholaw (“The Drowsy Chaperone”), who co-directs with Parker. Another difference between Broadway and TV? No standards and practices depatment to contend with. “In TV, at some point late in the game, you get this note back that says, ‘You can’t do that,’ ” Parker says. Not with “Mormon.” But despite some tube-unfriendly cursing, the creators say it’s nothing you can’t see on TV. “Content-wise, this is on par with an average episode of the show,” Stone says. Adds Parker: “We’ve done much filthier things on ‘South Park.’ “
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