“Book of Mormon” leads Tony nominations

Kate Robards Contributor
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The 2011 Tony nominations were announced Tuesday morning at The New York Public Library for Performing Arts by former Tony-winning actors and actress Matthew Broderick and Anika Noni Rose. Leading the with a total of 14 nominations was “Book of Mormon.”

The show is the first stage musical by “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. This isn’t the first time the creative team has flexed their musical muscles though. While Parker and Stone were students at the University of Colorado at Boulder, they wrote and produced the black comedy independent film, “Cannibal! The Musical.” Then in 1999 they penned the song “Blame Canada” for their movie “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.” The song ended up nabbing an Academy Award nomination for best song.

The duo teamed up with Broadway alum Robert Lopez to write “Book of Mormon.” Lopez co-wrote the irreverent Tony-award winning musical “Avenue Q.”  With a total of 14 Tony nominations, including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score, the show’s tally is just one nod short of the record shared by “Billy Elliot the Musical” and “The Producers.”

The hit focuses on two Mormon missionaries who are sent to Uganda, Africa. Once there, they realize their goal to baptize the locals — who are suffering from AIDS, female genital mutilation and maggot infected scrotums — will be more difficult than they expected.

The 65th Annual Tony Awards will air on CBS June 12 at 8 p.m ET live from the Beacon Theatre in New York City.