Today, in honor of THE BOOK OF MORMON in previews on Broadway, we are taking a look at one of the most controversial and well-crafted musicals of the last twenty years - strange as it may seem at first to consider it so - the feature film animated musical adaptation of the Trey Parker/Matt Stone Comedy Central juggernaut SOUTH PARK, SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT! Plus, we have a glimpse of the three other Parker/Stone musicals, past - CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL, TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE - and present - THE BOOK OF MORMON - as well as a nod to the man behind much of the music of the SOUTH PARK musical, Marc Shaiman - represented himself by a Broadway musical currently in previews, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN. So, come on down to South Park and see if you can't unwind!
What Would Stephen Sondheim Do?
With the Trey Parker-Matt Stone-Robert Lopez original musical THE BOOK OF MORMON currently in sold-out previews on Broadway - clearly shaping up to be the runaway smash hit of this or any season in recent memory, by most reports - now seems to be as good a time as any to take a look at what is perhaps the finest animated musical outside of Disney - and Stephen Sondheim's own favorite musical of the late-twentieth century: I am speaking, of course, of the R-rated SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT. The soundtrack was co-created by Tony-winner Marc Shaiman who himself has a show in previews on Broadway, the hotly-anticipated CATCH ME IF YOU CAN - and the two shows seem set to duke it out for many of the top honors - most certainly Book, Score and Musical - come Tony time. With both shows opening in the next few weeks who will lead la revolution and who will be the also-ran? Can you even compare them? The answer is: no. THE BOOK OF MORMON is simply its own thing - just as each of the previous Parker/Stone musicals have been alone unto themselves as far as categorization is concerned. I mean, what would you call TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE and the RENT parody - LEASE: THE MUSICAL - therein? And CANNIBAL?! Furthermore, can you compare anything to the bawdy, breathless highs and lowbrow, latrine-laced humor that runs though nearly every lyric of the all-around excellent score of the SOUTH PARK film? Can you even find me a score with catchier melodies? There's some truly thrilling structural and thematic moments evoking LES MISERABLES - and, even, Sondheim - that surely stand among the strongest contributions to the musical genre - whether on Broadway or in Hollywood - at least since the Golden Age of either form. Setting standards high seems to be the forte of Shaiman - with HAIRSPRAY coming before CATCH ME - and Parker/Stone - considering SOUTH PARK is still on the air more than ten years after their first animated musical endeavor (lest we forget CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL) - so, a toast to the most talented teams of the season, Shaiman/Wittman and Parker/Stone - with an emphasis on BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT!
First, for those not familiar with the SOUTH PARK film and the Parker/Stone universe, it is now fair warning that many - if not most - of the following clips and songs contain objectionable content. You've been warned!
For a cursory view of SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT for those not familiar with it - it's only been out for ten years or so, after all (!) - here is the trailer to clue you in on the type of humor and tone of this week's FF given the topic and the bad boys we are saluting.
Here, in full glorious 1080P HD, is the exhilarating and hilarious opening number from the SOUTH PARK film. Be sure to spot the reference to BEAUTY & THE BEAST - perhaps the best animated movie musical to date until BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT came along.
Here is Eric Cartman's ribald and absolutely absurdly addictive big establishing number "Kyle's Mom Is A B*tch". She really is, after all - it cannot be denied.
In a simply brilliant homage to the Act One Finale from LES MISERABLES, "One Day More", here is the Oscar-nominated "Blame Canada". Epic, indeed!
Giving today's column its title, more or less, here is one of the most guffaw-inducing moments from BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT, the energetic and surefire earworm known as "What Would Brian Boitano Do?"
Lastly, here is perhaps the most enduring of the SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT's musical numbers, Terrance & Philip's "Uncle F*cker".
Now, watch Robin Williams perform "Blame Canada" with a cast of thousands - almost - at the 2000 Oscar ceremony. Notice the heavily censored lyrics - the tape over his mouth at the beginning is no coincidence!
Next, we have a look at TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE and the unforgettable parody of RENT at the beginning of the film, LEASE: THE MUSICAL, and its central anthem, "Everyone Has AIDS".
Going all the way back to the pre-SOUTH PARK days, here is "Shpadoinkle" from CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL, the very first movie musical from the pens of Parker/Stone. Yes, that's Trey!
Moving on to THE BOOK OF MORMON, check out this revealing conversation with Trey Parker and Matt Stone where they discuss the long development process of the musical and working with the Tony-winning Robert Lopez of AVENUE Q fame on it.
Be sure to check out all the exclusive clips and content on BroadwayWorld now and in the days counting down to the opening night!
That's all for this week. Please remember that if you have discovered a particularly thrilling, unique, bizarre or hilarious Broadway-related clip to please send us a line at the link below. Until next week…