Monica L. Patton, David Larsen and Cody Jamison Strand in the second national tour of the nine-time Tony Award-winning “The Book of Mormon” now at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts through July 6, 2014.
Monday, July 7, 2014 | 9:30 p.m.
Smith Center for the Performing Arts CEO and President Myron Martin.
Most touring musicals require a few performances to generate positive buzz in a community.
But not “The Book of Mormon” in its boundlessly successful run at the Smith Center. The strong word-of-mouth accounts of the show percolated early.
Specifically, during intermission of the first performance.
“People were still laughing from the first act as they were standing in line at the concessions,” Smith Center President Myron Martin said today, a day after “BOM,” as we came to know it, finished its four-week stay at Reynolds Hall. “They were repeating lines back to each other. It was amazing.”
“The Book of Mormon” opened with expectations as high as the heavens in which the angel Moroni (who in this musical sounded a lot like Mr. Garrison from “South Park,” fittingly enough) descended to counsel Joseph Smith in 1823. But that lofty hype was met — and maybe surpassed.
“It far, far exceeded expectations,” Martin said. “The biggest challenge of a show this popular and successful and good is having to turn away so many friends who wanted to buy tickets.”
Some gold-plated nuggets as “The Book of Mormon” pulled out of Las Vegas after Sunday night’s show:
• As Martin promised, “Every ticket to every show sold out.” That’s about 64,000 tickets, total, for the entire run.
• Martin was on vacation in Lahaina on the island of Maui in Hawaii for two weeks. While away, he received texts every day from people asking for tickets to a “BOM” performance.
• “BOM” straddled the end of the last fiscal year (ending June 30) and the start of the current fiscal year. “For the last three weeks of June, to end with the strong numbers from ‘Book of Mormon’ was a perfect way to cap off last year,” Martin said, noting the successful runs of “Evita,” “Once,” “War Horse” and “Les Miserables” over that 12-month span. “To start the first week of July and kick off the new season with a bang is remarkable for us.”
• The production that most closely reflects the high hype of “BOM” has been “Wicked,” due to return for its own four-week residency in October. “We’ll see every ticket sold for ‘Wicked,’ again, the show that started the phenomenon of getting tickets early or risk being shut out of a show,” Martin said. “And now we’re looking forward to ‘Ghost’ (Aug. 12-17), and then we’re launching ‘Kinky Boots’ (Sept. 4-14), which is an amazing performance and another must-see type of production.”
• Even beyond those shows, the Smith Center Broadway Series for 2014-’15 is simply loaded. “Pippin,” which Martin saw in New York and deemed “spectacular,” is in town Nov. 25-30; "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” plays Jan. 20-25; “Nice Work If You Can Get It” plays Feb. 24-March 1; “Newsies” is March 17-22; “Cinderella” is April 28-May 3; and “Annie” is May 26-31.
As Martin says, “It’s a big lineup,” the momentum for which was generated by a group of missionaries, a book and an audience primed to be converted.
Smith Center for the Performing Arts The Smith Center for the Performing Arts offers a blend of performances by resident companies and touring attractions. The 5-acre cultural campus features three performance spaces, which includes a main performance area with more than 2,000 seats. This downtown cultural center of Las Vegas looks to educate, entertain and excite community members.
To provide and preserve a high-quality performing arts center that is embraced by the community and recognized as a vital force by supporting artistic excellence, education and inspiration for all.
To entertain, educate, enrich and inspire the southern Nevada community.
Thanks to the generous support of our dedicated founders, members, donors and community partners, The Smith Center continues to provide a wide variety of services for Southern Nevada residents, including access to world-class performances, inspirational Education and Outreach programs for students and teachers, and a unique space to host events, meetings and special occasions. Celebrating our fifth season, we depend upon public support to fulfill our mission and serve as the Heart of the Arts® for many years to come.
With ticket sales covering just 75 percent of our operating budget for each season, the remaining 25 percent comes from the community we serve. Philanthropic support at all levels helps provide programming that entertains, educates, enriches and inspires. By giving to The Smith Center, you play a vital role in providing an important resource for our community.
There are many opportunities to volunteer and play a direct role with your community’s performing arts complex. Volunteers engage with staff and patrons to enhance experiences at The Smith Center, and can serve in various capacities including tour guide/docent, usher, security team member or community ambassador. As important members of The Smith Center team, volunteers help us remain financially sustainable and provide numerous services for the community. Please show your support for The Smith Center’s mission by gifting your time and unique skills.
Members’ annual support provides crucial resources for The Smith Center’s artistic programming, education opportunities and cultural enrichment each year. There are a variety of giving options and levels, and Members receive exclusive benefits and behind-the-scenes opportunities based on their level of support. To learn more, please visit www.thesmithcenter.com/support-us/members.
The Encore Society recognizes those generous donors who have included The Smith Center as a part of their estate plan. Corporate Sponsorship is available to companies to underwrite all, or part, of a program, performance or event.
Fanfare! is The Smith Center’s young progressional networking organization, open to anyone with an interest in the performing arts who is between the ages of 21-40. And our Show Dedication allows for the celebration of an individual or special occasion with unique recognition opportunities during a specific performance.
The Smith Center provides world-class performing arts and outreach and education throughout the Southern Nevada region.
The organization originally formed in 1996 as the Las Vegas Performing Arts Center.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Myron G. Martin President and CEO Donald D. Snyder Chairman Dr. Keith Boman Vice Chairman Mark Tratos Secretary Michael Yackira Treasurer David Dunn Alan M. Feldman Richard Haddrill Fred Hipwell Nancy Houssels Todd-Avery Lenahan Scott MacTaggart Jerry Nadal John Nelson Richard Plaster Rory Reid Kim Sinatra Roger P. Thomas
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