Charles Sykes / AP
Trey Parker and Matt Stone appear at the curtain call for the opening-night performance of their Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon” on Thursday, March 24, 2011, in New York.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 | 1:56 p.m.
"The Book of Mormon" is part of Broadway Season 2 at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Las Vegas.
"The Book of Mormon" is part of the Broadway Season 2 lineup at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Downtown Las Vegas.
The definition of heresy is any provocative belief, opinion, theory or doctrine at variance with the orthodox or accepted doctrine, especially of a church or religious system.
The definition of blasphemy is the act or offense of speaking sacrilegiously about sacred things with profane talk.
The words “heresy” and “blasphemy” are not likely to be shouted from the Smith Center for the Performing Arts seats as the Tony-winning “Book of Mormon” opens for its nearly monthlong run (June 10-July 6).
However, there’s guaranteed to be some mumbles equating to moral outrage and disapproving out-loud groans at the satire and mockery of the religion headquartered in our neighboring state.
“South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have often ruffled feathers with their bull’s-eye targeting of life’s absurd hypocrisies on their long-running animated hit series, so they are certain, as the show’s writers, to be lambasted here in Las Vegas, our Mormon-centric gaming suburb of Salt Lake City.
After all, the production on Broadway was damned by so-called respectable media while simultaneously being hailed as “the best musical of the century.” It won nine Tonys in 2011, including Best Musical.
“The Book of Mormon” is holy (wholly) irreverent in its satirical storytelling of two clean-cut, short-haired men in trademark white, short-sleeved shirts and ties on a mission to help solve an AIDS epidemic in Uganda. Just the thought of tap dancing in an old-fashioned lineup to deal with an angry, foul-mouthed witch doctor is reason enough to know that it’s going to be an edgy night of entertainment.
The show’s arrival at the Smith Center has been much anticipated and eagerly awaited for months, but at the same time has caused some uncomfortable squirming in season-ticketholder seats. Do you laugh? Do you pray? Do you try to stop your feet tapping along to the music and songs?
We know that flights from SLC to Las Vegas are packed weekly with people wanting their taste of the fruits of our entertainment and gaming capital. Whether any of them will be buying tickets to see the provocative, in-your-face, edgy humor of “The Book of Mormon” is anybody’s guess.
And if they do, will they confess their theatrical experience to the bishop and stake president? Something tells me that we’re not likely to see Mitt Romney and family at tonight’s premiere.
We’ll have a report from the first night right here at Vegas DeLuxe on Wednesday with its ruffled feathers or excited applause.
“The Book of Mormon” is playing at the Smith Center on Tuesdays through Sundays, dark Mondays, through July 6. Go to the Smith Center website for tickets and showtimes.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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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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