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‘Book’ books more milestones for Stone, Parker

Britannia Awards 2012: Charlie Caplin Award - Matt Stone & Trey Parker

Just in time for their Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for comedy excellence, Matt Stone and Trey Parker hit another milestone.

The Book of Mormon,” the musical co-created with “Avenue Q” composer Robert Lopez by the longtime “South Park” masterminds, set an L.A. theater one-week box office record the week of Oct. 22-28 by grossing more than $2.25 million at the Pantages, moving past previous L.A. record-setter “Wicked.”

It’s another memorable moment for a production that has earned $142.3 million on Broadway since its March 2011 debut, including February previews, and won nine Tony Awards including top musical, navigating what might have been controversial territory with aplomb.

“I don’t think anybody would want to see a two-hour-long Mormon-bashing, and we wouldn’t want to see that either,” Parker once told NPR. “We love the goofiness of Mormon stories. Some of them are incredulous, and we loved almost all the Mormons that we had ever met. So this was sort of this conundrum that we like to talk about — we think what they believe is really, really ridiculous, and yet they seem like pretty happy people.”

Hollywood took notice of Stone and Parker, who met in college at Colorado, in 1997 when Comedy Central launched “South Park,” now in its 16th season. The misadventures of the four foul-mouthed grade-schoolers provide audiences with their hilarious yet insightful social commentary on current events, with an equal opportunity approach to offend and ridicule. Along the way, the series has garnered 11 Emmy nomination (four wins), and the 1999 feature film “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut” produced an Academy Award nomination for song with “Blame Canada.”

“Book of Mormon,” however, raised the writers’ stature. After its limited 12-week engagement in L.A., the tour will head to its next stop, San Francisco. In addition to its road tour, “The Book of Mormon” will have a limited season in Chicago at the Bank of America Theater, and a West End production is expected to debut in spring.

The only question left is when Parker and Stone will start working on the film adaptation and who will star in it.

“We want to do a movie of it someday but, right now, we’re just trying to get our head around this version,” Stone told Movieline, half-jokingly adding he thinks Justin Bieber should be cast as Elder Price.

Britannia Awards 2012
John Schlesinger Award – Quentin Tarantino | Stanley Kubrick Award – Daniel Day-Lewis | British Artist of the Year – Daniel Craig | Charlie Caplin Award – Matt Stone & Trey Parker | Albert R. Broccoli Award – Will Wright
Britannia Awards discovers jolly-good TV home

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