‘The Book of Mormon’ in Boston: ‘No reason to get offended’

O'Neill, far right, says of his character, "He's very socially awkward." (PHOTO CREDIT: Joan Marcus)
Chris O’Neill, far right, says of his character, “He’s very socially awkward.”
Credit: Joan Marcus

A musical about Mormons? It’s a premise that sounds both hilarious and controversial, especially considering the creators of “South Park” are behind it.

“I think a lot of people come to the show expecting us to beat up on the Mormon religion, but it’s actually not that at all,” says Chris O’Neill, one of the leads in “The Book of Mormon.” “It’s really about faith and being a good person.”

O’Neill plays Elder Cunningham, one of two Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda to convert the poverty-stricken, war-fearing natives.

“Elder Cunningham is basically the nerdy character that doesn’t really have any friends. He’s really into ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’ and science fiction. He’s very socially awkward,” says O’Neill about his character.

The Tony Award-winning musical satirizes all organized religion, with catchy and crass Broadway-style songs. Audiences should know that however ludicrous they appear to be, all the references to Mormonism in the show are true.

“They have definitely done their research,” says O’Neill of writers Trey Parker, Matt Stone (both of “South Park”) and Robert Lopez (of “Avenue Q” fame). “The script has so many facts in it, which makes you trust it more.”

This show is O’Neill’s professional debut in a theater production, but he’s no stranger to making people laugh. He’s toured extensively as part of a sketch comedy duo.

“I feel very comfortable with the comedy part of this,” he says.

The religion angle doesn’t intimidate him either.

“If you do it properly, there’s no reason to get offended,” he says.

‘The Book of Mormon’
Through April 28
Boston Opera House
539 Washington St., Boston
$26-$194, 800-982-2787
www.boston.broadway.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.