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Two stars of L.A. 'Book of Mormon' taking their roles to London

November 09, 2012|By Mike Boehm
  • Phyre Hawkins, left, Gavin Creel and Jared Gertner in a scene from "The Book of Mormon." Creel and Gertner, now starring at the Pantages, will take their roles to London in February.
Phyre Hawkins, left, Gavin Creel and Jared Gertner in a scene from "The… (Joan Marcus )

Gavin Creel and Jared Gertner, now starring as the lead missionaries in the Los Angeles production of “The Book of Mormon,” will get to hear British laughter come Feb. 25, when the show opens in London’s West End.

The Daily Mail reported Thursday that the producers changed their mind about hiring an all-British cast and opted for the two Americans in the lead roles of Elder Price and Elder Cunningham.

Sonia Friedman, co-producer in London, said “it became clear early on during the audition process in London that we needed the real thing.” She noted that Creel’s role, Elder Price, requires that “sort of square-jawed Mormon, and you can’t create that all-American look.”

One shudders for the British thespian community if that kind of thinking really takes hold.

Creel and Gertner figure to earn better notices in London than Mitt Romney – presumably “the real thing” when it comes to “that all-American look,” not to mention true-life experience with overseas Mormon missionary work. While visiting earlier this year, the then-Republican presidential candidate was roundly criticized by the Brits (and the Democrats) when he said he'd seen "disconcerting" evidence that their preparations for the Summer Olympics were lacking, and expressed uncertainty as to whether the British would "come together and celebrate the Olympic moment."

The L.A. moment for “The Book of Mormon” at the Pantages Theatre has brought record-breaking sales. The show's 12-week run ends Nov. 25.

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