The Book Of Mormon News and Tickets


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The Book Of Mormon News and Tickets

  1. 1. The Book Of Mormon News and TicketsThe Book Of Mormon NewsNEW YORK — In ” The Book of Mormon ,” a group of teenage American missionaries sent toevangelize Ugandans beset by war, poverty, AIDS and drought is getting nowhere until one ofits number — the hapless Elder Cunningham — begins to mix the writings of the prophetJoseph Smith with whoppers of pop culture phenomena, including Disney, “Star Wars”and“The Lord of the Rings.”The cooked-up messianic message is like the musical itself: a sweet-profane amalgam ofscatological mockery and affectionate satire which, since it opened last year, has been drawingconverts of its own along with rave reviews, record-breaking box office, and a slew of topawards, including a best musical Tony Award.But now as “The Book of Mormon” begins its first national tour, the question is whether it cansustain on the road the impossible-ticket status it enjoys at the 1,065-seat Eugene O’NeillTheatre on Broadway. What is about to be tested is not only whether it can fill larger houses —such as Los Angeles’ 2,703-seat Pantages Theatre, where it will have a limited engagementSept. 5 through Nov. 25 — but also if it can be elevated from mere hot ticket to actual culturalphenomenon, joining such rare musicals as “Oklahoma!,” “South Pacific,” “A Chorus Line”and “The Lion King.” 1/4
  2. 2. The Book Of Mormon‘Book of Mormon’ is satirical, crass and a bit crude but not spitefulPracticing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints don’t drink coffee oralcohol, go to “R”-rated movies, use bad language or willingly expose themselves to profanityor blasphemy.That makes it difficult to find devout church members – better known as Mormons – who haveseen the Tony Award-winning (nine of them) musical sensation called “The Book of Mormon,”awash as it is in elements of all of the above. It’s difficult – unless you beg a favor, stuff a ticketin your Mormon cousin’s hand and drag her to a weekend performance in Denver.“South Park” and “Book of Mormon” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, along with RobertLopez, have received rapturous reviews for their story of naive 19-year-old Mormonmissionaries sent to violence-plagued, AIDS-ravaged, starving Uganda. Critics overwhelminglyagree that “The Book of Mormon,” although diligent in spoofing Mormon theology, is more likegood-natured hazing than mean-spirited attack. It’s a nearly miraculous combination of vile andsweet. The satire is there, the smut and all the glee, but by the end of the evening – strangelyenough – no offense has been given and no damage done,” wrote James Fenton in The NewYork Review of Books. 2/4
  3. 3. The literati’s consensus seems to be that, by the end of this high-octane explosion of a play,audiences like Mormons better than they did before – if they’d had any opinion at all of thisAmerican-born church with 6.2 million U.S. members.Society observers have noted that the country is having “a Mormon moment,” what withMormon presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the phenomenal success of “The Book ofMormon” and the LDS Church’s splashing its own self-selected images in a recent nationalmultimedia ad campaign, “I’m a Mormon.”“The Book of Mormon” came to Denver this month after selling out its three-week stay in a fewhours of frenzied ticket buying months ago. New York and Denver critics think the musical israther sweet on Mormons, but how does it strike a nice middle-aged devout LDS woman fromGrand Junction, Colo., towed to the play by a reporter relation? Aside from the crude languageand some amazingly crass images, she liked it.“Parts of it were very cute,” Chele Hawks said. “It shows how lovable the Mormon missionariesare. I loved the way the boys both learned about themselves. They finally realized their missionwasn’t about them.” Both boys go on missions for suspect reasons.”One, Elder Price, is an egomaniac who wants to do something “incredible” because he himselfis so incredible. The other, Elder Cunningham, is a social outcast who is excited about having acaptive “best friend” in the person of his mission companion. Both are completely out of theirdepths in Uganda.“They’re 19. It shows how naive they are – about world cultures and everything else,” Hawkssaid. “It also showed their enthusiasm, blind faith and love of their faith.”The LDS Church’s official statement is short and sensibly understated: “The production mayattempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripturewill change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ.”Jesus, by the way, is portrayed in his cameos as kind of a loopy surfer dude. Christians and anyother God-fearing people of faith can also feel skewered here – the clear message is that allreligions can be silly yet still manage to do good if not taken too literally.Kathryn Skaggs writes in her blog, “A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman,” that most Mormons are,and should be, offended by “The Book of Mormon.” Yet New York Times religion writer LaurieGoodstein wrote that liberal Mormons, jack Mormons (non-observant) and even ex-Mormonshave been making pilgrimages to see it on Broadway – “a sign their faith has finally made thebig time.”Hawks would never have gone to it without prodding, but then she was pleasantly surprised byits weird affection toward Mormons. In the musical and in life, she said, Mormon missionariesare 19 years old, clueless, wholesome, sweet, courteous, immature, flawed and ultimatelyirresistible. The audience seemed to agree. 3/4
  4. 4. “You just want people to love your boys,” she said. “But you shouldn’t see the play and think you’re getting a good doctrinal lesson. I don’t think you can judge the religion based on this, but the feeling was right,” Hawks said. “The (real) pair of missionaries sitting next to me looked like they could jump out of their seats and join the others on stage.” Source : 1),0,5333838.story 2) 4/4Powered by TCPDF (