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Mormons, Musical Theater, and Belonging in America$
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Jake Johnson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042515

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042515.001.0001

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(p.1) Prologue
Mormons, Musical Theater, and Belonging in America

Jake Johnson

University of Illinois Press

Whenever people found out I was writing a book on Mormons and musicals, the typical response was a skeptical, “Well, I know one.” To be fair, the Broadway hit Book of Mormon is nearly unavoidable and has really upped the ante in terms of Mormon representation in popular culture. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone brought a queer version of Mormonism to the stage in 2011 and largely, I think, showed Mormons a version of themselves they found unbelievable yet showed non-Mormons a version of Mormonism that instinctively felt true and real. Where you fall within these two camps probably has less to do with the kind of Mormon history you know and more to do with how much you are aware of just how entwined Mormon ideologies and musical theater really are. Mormons and musicals (and Mormons ...

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