Coloradans and visitors from other states put on their short-sleeved button-up shirts, ties, backpacks and bicycle helmets and made their way down to the Ellie Caulkins Opera House last night for the opening of The Book of Mormon. And even if they didn't don full-on Mormon attire, these fans felt lucky to be attending opening night of the show by Colorado natives Trey Parker and Matt Stone. And we know, because we spoke to a handful of those who scored tickets for the hottest gig in town. Click through for more photos and hometown reactions to the Tony award-winning hit, starting with the fan above.
See also: - The Book of Mormon: Twenty reasons you've got to see it, courtesy the cast and crew - The Book of Mormon: Catch up before you go with our ten best posts on the play - Slide show: Waiting for The Book of Mormon - Denver's toughest tickets: Did Mumford, Book of Mormon or GABF make the list?
Westword: What brings you to this show on opening night?
Nick Casias: It's the grand opening. I really wanted to go see it, so I got all my friends together. I'm a big South Park fan and I'm big into musicals, so it kind of aligned. It had to be on opening night, though. Five years from now we're going to remember not only that we were there, but that the first [touring] night was in Denver.
Rebecca Sunshine and Matt Zelinger.
Westword: What have you heard about the musical that made you want to see it?
Rebecca Sunshine: I have a friend who saw it and said it was South Park on stage.
Matt Zelinger: I like the idea that it's debuting in Denver and then we can say "I remember when..."
Sunshine: And it's exciting, as CU grads, that the writers are CU grads and they're doing well in the world.
Westword: Do you think the show will live up to your expectations?
Brad Ficek: I've been following it ever since it opened in New York and, you know, it just happened to open in my home town. I expect to laugh until I cry because everything I've heard about it is just amazing.
Westword: Do you think anyone will be offended by the show, considering the controversial subject matter?
April McAlister: I actually went to a Mormon church and learned about the religion. I don't see why anyone would get offended; it's a show and that's not their intention. If anyone has seen South Park, they should know what's going on.
Westword: Do you expect to see people getting offended by the content of the show?
Dan Condon: Any kind of poking fun at organized religion excites me. I would hope folks know enough about Parker and Stone to know what they're in for.
Abi Dvoark and Paige Nalow.
Westword: Based on what you've heard about the musical, do you think some people might find it offensive?
Paige Nalow: We've heard it's the best musical ever written. It's not offensive, it's humorous.
Abi Dvoark: I think that [writers Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Robert Lopez, of Avenue Q fame] have enough intelligence where it's written in a way that's satirical.
Carrie Murphy and Brad Trexell.
Westword: Why do you think the show has been so successful?
Carrie Murphy: I heard the soundtrack, and it's hilarious, so I want to see the actual musical. The music is great, so I assume the staging will be on par with that.
Brad Trexell: I've already seen the show. I loved it. It was funny and filthy and naughty and all those things, but it was also not necessarily just about Mormons. It could have been any religion, really. And I thought musically it was genius. They clearly knew a lot of the history of Broadway musicals and worked that all in.
Westword: Is it weird to see the names Matt Stone and Trey Parker associated with a Broadway musical?
Lexi Strickland: It shows how musical theater is becoming more a part of our culture, that it's being accepted. This show is going to bring a lot of people that aren't necessarily musical theater people, but people who appreciate comedy.
Westword: How did you land tickets for tonight's show?
Cheryl Hansen: We're season ticket holders and it was part of our package. Plus I think we probably wanted to see it anyway; I've heard so much about it. I think it's going to be funny and thought-provoking. It will be an experience.
Chris Narum, Ann Marie Brown and Jeremy Make.
Westword: Have you been holding on to your tickets since January?
Ann Marie Brown: Yes. [Narum] waited in line for four hours, they ran out six people in front of him and he still managed to get them on his phone.
Jeremy Make: And then gave them to his best friends and didn't over-charge them at all.
Virginia Potratz and Alex Ghiggeri.
Westword: Do you expect the show will be worth all the trouble some people have gone through to get tickets?
Virginia Potratz: We were going to wait for New York but then we decided we were not going to miss this for the world. We actually got our tickets this morning. Being huge South Park fans, there is no way we were going to miss this.
Alex Ghiggeri: [I expect to be] pissing my pants with laughter. I know it's funny, I've read reviews, I've been studying it for a while. I know it's going to be a great show.
Phil Reed and Kate Rafferty.
Westword: Have you read any reviews on the show?
Phil Reed: I deliberately avoided that on the expectation that I would end up seeing it. So no expectations for me.
Katie Frances and Rich Zizik.
Westword: What have you heard about the musical?
Katie Frances: That it's the most awesome musical ever.
Rich Zizik: I haven't heard too much about what it's like or anything, so it will be a surprise.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!