Light & Verity

The Book of Mormon's Eli origins

Joan Marcus

Joan Marcus

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In some way, the world has Yale literature professor Harold Bloom ’56PhD to thank for The Book of Mormon, the irreverent new Broadway musical about Mormon missionaries in Africa that opened in March.

Robert Lopez ’97, best known for cowriting the music and lyrics for the Tony Award–winning Avenue Q, cowrote the songs inThe Book of Mormon with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. And, Lopez told the New York Post last year, it all started at Yale when his teacher Bloom recommended that he read the Book of Mormon. Years later, Lopez met Parker and Stone and told them he’d like to do something on the subject. The rest is history—or, as the New York Times’s Ben Brantley put it in an opening-night rave, “something like a miracle.”  

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