Arts Post
Posted at 12:53 PM ET, 10/27/2011

Stephen Sondheim, Elton John featured in ‘South Park’ love letter to Broadway

I wish I could tell you more about the Broadway-themed “South Park” episode “Broadway Bro-down,” but anything more than the simplest plot synopsis would be unfit for a family newspaper. Suffice it to say, the character Randy finds there are marital rewards in taking his wife to Broadway musicals. When Randy tries to write a musical of his own, he’s challenged by Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Schwartz and Elton John to a “bro-down,” where they fight for male domination of Broadway.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, as depicted on South Park.

Broadway domination is what “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker have achieved, or course, with their smash hit “The Book of Mormon.” And with “Broadway Bro-down,” Parker and Stone have reaffirmed that they are the unlikely champions of musical theater, whether musical theater likes it or not.

“Stephen Sondheim” has hovered near the top of Google Trends all morning. And with the show name-checking more than 15 musicals (among them: “Jersey Boys,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Godspell,” “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” and, naturally, “The Book of Mormon”), “South Park” was as much of a bawdy spoof of Broadway as it was a valentine to the American musical.

The musical greats included in the bro-down agree. Stephen Sondheim, depicted as a macho Steelers fan, once said, “Oh, yes, I think ‘South Park Uncut’ is just terrific, and the numbers in it are wonderful.” On City Unlisted, a blogger says that Sondheim laughed so hard at a rehearsal of “Book of Mormon” that he feared he might need a cardiologist.
Elton John, left, and Stephen Sondheim, as depicted on South Park.

Stephen Schwartz, whose cartoon avatar can’t be featured here because of an inappropriate slogan on its shirt, once said in a concert, “You know you’ve made it when ‘South Park’ does a satire on your music.” And Elton John is no stranger to “South Park”: He appears in the episode “Chef Aid,” singing “Wake Up Wendy.”

You can watch the full episode here, but it’s extremely NSFW.

By  |  12:53 PM ET, 10/27/2011

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