David Larsen as Elder Price 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.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Two things to get straight right off the bat: First, I’m no prude.
Second, I hold no grudge against and won’t judge people who see "The Book of Mormon" — even though I choose not to.
The hit musical is playing at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts to sold-out crowds after wowing New York and winning a bunch of Tony Awards. From everything I’ve heard, the show is funny, entertaining, sacrilegious and maybe even vile. But the songs are catchy.
I’m an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — the church lampooned in the show. I've read the Book of Mormon. I served a mission. And I’m curious about the show everyone is talking about.
But I hadn’t even thought about going until our arts and entertainment editor asked if I was interested. Turns out we were too late to get in for the media night (go read Robin Leach’s review or John Katsilometes’ report on the show).
But it made me think a little. Should I see the show? Should I avoid it?
I think that I am open-minded. I didn’t grow up surrounded by other Mormons in Utah; I’m used to ridicule and people questioning my beliefs.
I like laughing. I can certainly understand the desire for a night out at an entertaining show. I even like musicals.
But I decided not to see it, even though I absolutely understand why some Latter-day Saints want to go. Some of my reasons are more practical than moral, but mostly I just don’t see how going would be a benefit to me.
Here are my Top Four reasons not to go to "The Book of Mormon":
4. It's sold out. The only way to get tickets at this point is to go down to the Smith Center and hope to win the lottery — literally. I have a job and a family. Who has time to stand around and try to win a chance to buy tickets?
3. If I’m going to spend money on a dinner out, tickets for a show and pay a baby sitter, there are plenty of options in this town that I know I’ll enjoy instead of this show where I’m unsure how it would leave me feeling.
2. I don’t need to go to a show to hear "offensive adult language, double entendres and in-bad-taste names (even Robin Leach is) not allowed to write." I work in a newsroom; I hear that stuff all the time. Plus, this is Las Vegas, where there are plenty of billboards that I wish my kids didn’t have to see. I’m used to it and don’t need to seek more of it. Surely there are plenty of more positive ways to spend my time.
1. The book is always better. It’s always true for movies and shows. I find inspiration and encouragement from the Book of Mormon. Even if the show is entertaining or amusing, I’ll stick with the original.
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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