Two blocks from LDS Church headquarters, ‘The Book of Mormon’ musical premieres

Posted at 8:16 PM, Jul 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-28 23:56:45-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Crowds poured into the Capitol Theatre to see "The Book of Mormon" in Utah, the first time the smash-hit musical has played here.

On both sides of the stage, people were excited and curious about how it was going to play in the global headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The theatre itself is two blocks away from Temple Square.

"I think it’s about time that we brought it here," said Ian Liberto, a "Book of Mormon" cast member.

Ever since FOX 13 first reported last year the musical was going to be staged in Salt Lake City, anticipation has been high. Tickets for the two week run sold out within hours. On Tuesday, people lined the street outside the Capitol Theatre for a chance to score 20 tickets available in a lottery.

A huge line outside the Capitol Theatre as people try to win tickets to

A huge line outside the Capitol Theatre as people try to win tickets to "Book of Mormon" in a lottery drawing.

"I’m so excited to see it opening night here back home!" said Kate Hickam, who won a pair of tickets.

The show about Mormon missionaries in Africa has won nine Tonys and been heaped with critical praise. But the production, which is known for its vulgarity, has also caused some worry for crowds who may not realize exactly what they're getting themselves into (it is written by the creators of "South Park").

In brief comments to FOX 13 as he prepared to walk backstage, Liberto admitted he was both excited and "a little nervous" about performing in Salt Lake City. But he said the themes of the show will likely resonate more with local audiences, noting the great response nationwide.

Ian Liberto, a member of the cast of

Ian Liberto, a member of the cast of "Book of Mormon" talks briefly with FOX 13's Ben Winslow outside the Capitol Theatre on Tuesday.

"Because we’re in Salt Lake City, so many of our audience members are familiar with the religion itself. A lot of the humor, and a lot of the touching moments of the show resonate with people more because they have more of an idea of what we’re talking about in the show," Liberto said.

Beyond a statement it issued when the show debuted on Broadway, the LDS Church had no comment. It did purchase a series of ads in the playbill.

As she walked into the theatre, Olivia Custodio said she was excited to finally see "Book of Mormon." A local actress, she stars in another production that satirizes Utah, "Saturday's Voyeur."

"I feel like there’s a good chance some people who are trying to have an open mind and are going to give it a shot, but I don’t know if they’re quite ready for what lies in store. But I am ready. I am so ready," she said. "And I think it’s going to be so amazing! Who would have ever thought it would come here?"