Sure, we’re noted for being “nice,” but it doesn’t mean we Mormons can’t at least share how we feel about how our faith is being portrayed on Broadway, where The Book of Mormon (the musical, not the book) has just won 9 Tony awards, including Best Musical.
“Dealing with parody and satire is always a tricky thing for churches,” wrote Michael Otterson, head of public affairs for the Church in the Washington Post. “We can easily appear thin-skinned or defensive, and churches sometimes are.”
But he goes on to share exactly how he feels about the show.
“Specifically, I’m not willing to spend $200 for a ticket to be sold the idea that religion moves along oblivious to real-world problems in a kind of blissful naiveté.” Read Michael’s full article, Why I Won’t Be Seeing the Book of Mormon Musical.
►Braden Bell, who has three degrees and a job in theatre, notably musical theater, blogged about what a musical theater guy is supposed to make of this show that everyone loves and has officially taken Broadway by storm.
“I don’t think it’s productive to get upset or boycott or things like that, either. The Church’s official statement is a one sentence thing that basicaly amounts to: ‘Meh.’ Personally, I think we all just need to grow a thicker skin and stop being offended at everything. Freedom of Speech is an incomparable gift and the cost is that we might hear things that offend us.
“I just wish this were practiced more equitably. Why is it ok to mock Mormon beliefs and things we hold sacred, but jokes about other more favored minorities are immediately off-limits?”
Read Braden’s full post, A Musical Theatre Mormon’s Thoughts on The Book of Mormon Musical.
►Davison Cheney is a “poor Idaho boy living in Utah,” who has not seen The Book of Mormon musical. But the former BYU musical theater major has followed the rise of the show with interest.
“What bugs me is not that this stereotype is poorly researched or shallow or incomplete. On the contrary. Nor is the problem that others will look at the stereotype and go no further in their pursuit to understand Mormons and Mormon beliefs. I know that, having been trivialized, there will be many who won’t be able to get past the caricature of rose-colored-glasses-wearing, naive and unsophisticated Latter-day Saint trying to save the world. That kind-a describes me.
“Mormons are not the first group of people to be lampooned. But Mormons are the ones who won’t fight viciously in retaliation. There will be no picket lines. And other than folks like me commenting, the response will be decent and faith affirming (http://newsroom.lds.org/). Mormons will weather that storm with a smile — not unlike the stereotype.”
Read Davison’s post, About Mormons and Broadway.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.