The Book of Mormon
The most talked-about—and downright hilarious—show of the year is also the most decorated, garnering 14 Tony Awards nominations, including: Best Musical, Best Original Score, Best Direction, a whopping four acting nominations, and more. From South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and Avenue Q composer Robert Lopez, The Book of Mormon tells the story of a pair of optimistic Mormon missionaries who go to AIDS and poverty-stricken Uganda to try and attract converts. It lampoons the relentless joyfulness and naïveté of Mormons, as well as the First World's myopic view of Third World problems, epitomized by the ditty, "I Am Africa," where the missionaries hilariously claim they're the voice of the African people. In an ironic twist, there's even a Bono joke thrown in. "That was always in there, too, before Spider-Man or anything else happened!" co-director Casey Nicholaw told The Daily Beast. Above all else, the play is about how all religious orthodoxy is a bit bizarre, and that the real importance of religion is to bond people together to create a better world. "We may laugh at [Mormons'] silly beliefs," co-creator Stone told Newsweek. "but at the end of the day, we really liked them. We wanted it to be a feel-good musical. And one that inspires people as well."