March 23, 2013 |
“The Book of Mormon” and “Once,” Broadway musicals that dominated the two most recent Tony Awards, will come to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa during the three-venue complex's 2013-14 season. Bernadette Peters (Oct. 11) and Patti LuPone (March 22, 2014) are the season's top Broadway concert divas, each performing in Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra led by Wynton Marsalis plays Segerstrom Concert Hall (March 14, 2014)
March 18, 2013 |
The spectacle of Charlie digging into a family-size bucket of fried chicken is one of the sadder sights in "The Whale," Samuel D. Hunter's mordantly funny, bitterly angry and ultimately deeply moving portrait of a morbidly obese man stuffing himself to death after his lover's death. As played by Matthew Arkin (with fleshy prosthetics and makeup wizardry adding elephantine girth to the actor's medium build), Charlie is willfully drowning in his own flab - nearly 600 pounds of it. But please don't get the idea that this play, having its West Coast premiere at South Coast Repertory under the direction of Martin Benson, is setting up a situation that could be resolved by the dictatorial intervention of celebrity fitness trainer Jillian Michaels.
March 12, 2013 |
During the 2012 presidential election, Republican candidate Mitt Romney's openness about his Mormon faith brought to the surface many of the generalizations Americans maintain about what it means to be a Mormon. Ryan McIlvain's debut novel " Elders " might serve as a fascinating and lively fictional corrective - a portrait of what it can mean to be a Mormon missionary - complete with all the doubts, hesitations and temptations that come with the territory. McIlvain, who was born in Salt Lake City and left the Mormon Church in his mid-20s, tells the story of Elder McLeod and Elder Passos, two young missionaries in Brazil, each struggling with specific aspects of their faith.
February 22, 2013 |
The 2013-14 season at the Pantages Theatre will feature last year's most decorated Broadway musical, “Once,” Andrew Lloyd Webber thrice, and a second helping of "The Book of Mormon. " The Webber trifecta will consist of his production of “The Wizard of Oz” (Sept. 17-Oct. 6), adapted from the classic MGM film musical, with new songs by Webber and Tim Rice added to the movie's Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg score; “Evita,” (Oct. 23-Nov. 10), whose recent Broadway revival closed last month; and a touring revue, “The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber” (June 3-24, 2014)
January 28, 2013 |
One of the nation's leading gay-rights advocacy groups, the Human Rights Campaign, has formed a coalition of major companies calling for the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. It's no surprise, of course, that the HRC in Washington would use its considerable clout to organize big businesses to fight DOMA, the law that excludes recognition of same-sex marriages. What will be a surprise to many is that one of the first companies to join the effort was Marriott International Inc., which was founded by a devout Mormon, John Willard Marriott.
January 15, 2013 |
The Pantages Theatre has added an asterisk or two to its claim in October that "The Book of Mormon" had set a new record for the biggest single-week box-office take in Los Angeles theater history. On further review, Pantages spokesman Wayne McWhorter said, the theater jumped the gun a bit on Oct. 23 when it sent out a news release saying that the musical comedy about Mormon missionaries in Africa had set a new record by raking in $2,246,093 during the week ending Oct. 21. After The Times reported the claim, McWhorter said that "we got a polite call from 'Wicked,'" whose general manager's office reminded the Pantages that the musical about budding witches in Oz had pulled down $2,291,511.50 in the same house for the week ending Jan. 4, 2009.
January 5, 2013 |
Josh Gad found religion - along with huge laughs, rave reviews and an adoring fan base - as part of the original cast of "The Book of Mormon," the smash stage musical from the creators of "South Park. " The rotund actor was center stage as the overeager Mormon Elder Cunningham, dancing and singing his way to a Tony nomination for best leading actor in a musical. Gad has now traded Broadway for the Beltway. He stars in NBC's new comedy "1600 Penn," playing Skip Gilchrist, the bumbling member of a dysfunctional (and fictional)
December 14, 2012 |
Mormon feminists have hit on fashion to promote demands for a larger say in church affairs: This Sunday is “Wear Pants to Church Day," intended as a show of solidarity for women's religious rights. Their sartorial flair has triggered some support - along with some bitter anger. The event, which was being promoted on a special Facebook page, had drawn more than 1,200 supporters, a relative handful compared with the 6 million practicing Mormons nationwide. But by Thursday evening, the original page had been taken down and a new one posted, with this note: “The event page got taken down due to the death threats.
December 12, 2012 |
A Delaware man on Wednesday sued the Boy Scouts and the Mormon Church, charging that he was sexually abused by a scoutmaster, the latest suit to be filed in connection with the scandal that has rocked the youth movement. Melvin Novak, 28, announced his suit, filed in Philadelphia, at a news conference. In his complaint, Novak alleges that pedophiles were involved in scouting for decades, as demonstrated when the Boy Scouts of America in October released confidential documents -- known as the “perversion files” -- that list 1,200 alleged abusers who were weeded out of the organization between 1959 and 1985.
December 3, 2012 |
SALT LAKE CITY - When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently reduced the age requirement for missionaries by one year for men, to 18, and by two years for women, to 19, the number of women applying to serve jumped five-fold. At the same time, the church reaffirmed that women would serve just 18 months, compared with two years for men. That rule, combined with the one-year difference in age requirements, touched off a new round of questions from Mormon feminists about how much progress women in the church are actually making.