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'The Book of Mormon' brings the church of Broadway to Costa Mesa

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When it comes to presenting top-notch 21st century performances, Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa is notorious for raising the dramatic roof to awe-inspiring levels. Such is the case when prestigious Segerstrom Hall welcomes "The Book of Mormon," a multi-Tony-award-winning musical from the avant-garde creators of South Park. Critically acclaimed and hailed as the "best musical of the year," the zany song-and-dance show is set for a two-week engagement, starting May 13.

To deliver its infectious good-versus-evil message, the eyebrow-raising production manages successfully to hold true to the basics of classic musical theater while whacking with precision adult satire at every opportunity. Those familiar with Comedy Central's South Park's wide range of controversial topics and crude dialogue understand why "The Book of Mormon" carries an explicit-language disclaimer. The humorous musical is designed for mature audiences.

Visually-stimulating and overwhelmingly uplifting, "The Book of Mormon" tells a brilliant story about two naïve Mormon missionaries that are sent to a remote village in northern Uganda, where they encounter a diabolical warlord. The optimistic apostles' mission to connect with the locals is a subversive, yet eye-opening, adventure that ranges from the heart-warming sublime to the offensively absurd.

After nearly seven years in development, the tightly-knitted show opened on Broadway in March 2011, garnering numerous theatre awards. Its national tour began in 2012, amid fireballs of heaven-sent reviews. The show's highly-awaited stretch at Segerstrom Hall will mark the musical's first visit to Costa Mesa, an edge city in Orange County that embraces the performing arts with admirable enthusiasm.

"The Book of Mormon" is slated to run from May 13-25. Patrons attending the Thursday night performances are invited to participate in a question-and-answer session after the show. For ticket information, visit SCFTA.org or phone (714) 556–2787.

To learn how and why co-creators Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone developed "The Book of Mormon" musical, follow this link.

Follow Sharon at CBS Los Angeles.

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