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ENTERTAINMENT
November 9, 2012 | By Mike Boehm
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.
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NATIONAL
November 8, 2012 | By John M. Glionna and Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
PROVO, Utah - Sitting cross-legged on a lawn with two other students, Whitney Call, a 23-year-old creative writing major at Brigham Young University, took satisfaction in at least one aspect of the outcome of the 2012 presidential election: Mitt Romney might not have won, but he demonstrated that being a Mormon, like her, was no barrier to winning the nation's highest office. "His faith was not a factor in the election at all. Maybe that means that people are beginning to realize that Mormons are more mainstream than they thought," she said.
NATIONAL
October 25, 2012 | By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Celebration Church sits tucked away in the corner of a repurposed shopping mall, one of the more modest venues for worship in this city of booming megachurches and superstar preachers. It has no cafe, bookstore or multimedia wizardry, but it compensates with warmth, friendliness and an especially erudite pastor who has a day job as an entrepreneur. Still, the message from the pulpit on Sundays this month is not so different from that being heard in conservative evangelical churches across America.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 23, 2012 | By Mike Boehm
This post has been corrected. See note below. Mormons in Africa apparently have elbowed aside witches in Oz to achieve what the Pantages Theatre claims is the highest one-week box office gross in L.A. theater history. "The Book of Mormon" raked in $2,246,093 for the week ending Oct. 21, the Pantages announced Tuesday, but a theater spokesman declined to say what the previous record had been, citing a policy against spilling such beans. A web search turned up an announcement by the producers of "Wicked" that it had taken in a Pantages record of $1,949,068 during the final week of 2008 to wrap up its nearly two-year run at the 2,703-seat Hollywood theater.
NEWS
October 11, 2012 | By Jenn Harris
The presidential campaign has placed a spotlight on the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “The Book of Mormon” musical is pushing the religion to the forefront of pop culture. And with Ann Romney's recent appearance on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” semi-secret Mormon undergarments are no longer so secret. Not that Mrs. Romney's underwear was showing. But the fact that it didn't show under her sleek, knee-grazing skirt stirred up debate among some members of the faithful about whether she was or wasn't wearing the “temple garments” required for most adult Mormons.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 10, 2012 | By Martin Miller, Los Angeles Times
The idea that Salt Lake City could be a paradise is meant to be absurdly funny to the big city folks piling into the touring production of "The Book of Mormon" now at the Pantages Theatre. As it turns out, the notion is also humorous to someone from Lincoln, Neb. "I've never been to Salt Lake," said Nebraskan Samantha Marie Ware, who stars as the innocent Ugandan teen Nabulungi in the Tony Award-winning musical. "Maybe I'll make it there soon. " Ware's song "Sal Tlay Ka Siti" - what the Utah capital sounds like when pronounced with a heavy Central African accent - marks a critical moment in the hit musical created by "South Park's" Trey Parker and Matt Stone along with composer and lyricist Robert Lopez.
HOME & GARDEN
September 29, 2012 | Chris Erskine
I'd wanted to take an actual Mormon to see "The Book of Mormon," but the closest I could come was the lovely and patient older daughter - so well scrubbed and shimmery that she looked like an Irish coin. "Come on, Coin, let's go to the Pantages," I texted her. "OK," she said after I agreed to spring for dinner. My daughter and I have a complicated, almost biblical relationship, so she's the perfect sidekick for a religious-themed event. Of course, this "Book of Mormon" is a comedy, with barely a serious moment.
NEWS
September 28, 2012 | By Mitchell Landsberg
Politics is at best an imprecise science. Who knows what goes into an election victory? Was it the economy? Was it the advertising? Was it personal magnetism? Was it … the fast? If Mitt Romney wins the presidency on Nov. 6, consider the last of those. A group of his fellow Mormons is organizing a fast Sunday so "that he will be blessed in the debates" with President Obama, which begin on Wednesday. "I know that fasting and praying brings about miracles," reads an email reportedly sent by a fast organizer.
NATIONAL
September 21, 2012 | By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
When the bottom fell out of the real estate market, Jason and Liz Anderson reached out to the institution they trusted most: the Mormon Church. Meeting with their bishop in Rancho Cucamonga, they laid out the problem: Although Jason was working two jobs, he was barely earning enough to make ends meet. The bishop "was really open and loving," Liz recalled. But it was tough love. "We're not going to pay bills. We can't pay your mortgage," she recalled him as saying. He offered food assistance and a blessing.
NATIONAL
September 21, 2012 | By Mitchell Landsberg, Los Angeles Times
Mitt Romney is the first major-party nominee for president who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - the Mormons. Here is a brief primer about Mormon history and beliefs: Who are the Mormons? The LDS Church claims some 14 million members, more than half outside the United States. Most American Mormons live in the West, with more than a third concentrated in Utah. American Mormons are overwhelmingly white (88%) and Republican-leaning (74%), according to the independent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
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