'Book of Mormon' musical is "sure to offend and succeed"

Hilarious, audacious -- and guaranteed to offend just about everybody.

That's how theater insiders are describing "The Book of Mormon," the much-anticipated new Broadway musical from "South Park" creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

Backers' auditions for the show, which will open in March at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, were held this past week, and I know of several insiders who are still sore from laughing so hard.

One of them is Stephen Sondheim, who was "doubled over" a few times during the reading, says a source. Sondheim has said that he thinks the film "South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" is the best musical of the past 15 years.

Mike Nichols was roaring, too, especially at what one person calls a "brilliantly funny rip-off" of the "Circle of Life" number from "The Lion King."

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