Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Jul 30 2015, Page 35

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - July 30, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE C12 FUNDERS SPONSORS ® F O L K L O R A M A E X P E R I E N C E T H E F E S T I V A L F I R S T C L A S S Tour options include: two and three- pavilion tours, late night and party tours, cycle tours, walking tours and accessibility tours. Book your VIP Tour at Folklorama. ca or call ( 204) 982- 6222 or 1 ( 800) 665- 0234 . S E E I T A L L A U G. 2 - 15 , 2 015 V I P T O U R S Monday, August 10, 2015 Niakwa Country Club, 620 Niakwa Rd. Winnipeg, MB. 10: 30 a. m. Registration, 12 p. m. Shotgun start, 4: 30 p. m. Cocktail reception Manitoba’s Premier Charitable Golf Tournament Is Back! Register your team Today! 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Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Medtronic of Canada National Bank Financial Wealth Management Richardson International Limited Solinsky Consulting Inc Starlite TechWeb Breast cancer screening saves lives. SUPPORTED BY up town WINNIPEG FREE PRESS œ THURSDAY, JULY 30, 2015 12 ¥ S ALT LAKE CITY — The biting satirical musical that mocks Mormons received a rousing reception Tuesday evening in its first- ever showing in the heart of Mormonlandia, kicking off a sold- out, two- week run at a Salt Lake City, Utah, theatre. The audience cheered wildly as the Tony Award- winning The Book of Mormon began, with the show’s gleefully naive missionaries singing in front of a backdrop of the Salt Lake City skyline and Mormon temple that resembles the real one just two blocks away. They laughed loudly as the jokes played out, many touching on Mormon lingo and culture that is intimately familiar in Utah. Some of the most raucous applause came during a scene when an African character sings, “ Salt Lake City, the most perfect place on Earth.” At the conclusion, attendees at the Capitol Theater gave the actors a standing ovation. Despite the jokes and jabs that create a caricature of Mormon beliefs, there were no protests outside and no mass walkouts. The audience included a cross- section of non- Mormons, ex- Mormons and some practicing Latter- day Saints like Omar Ledezma Soto, a student at Mormon- owned Brigham Young University. He drew attention by coming dressed as a missionary, wearing a white shirt, tie and the name tag he wore when he was an actual missionary. He said he knew other BYU students who were planning to attend other showings. “ The humour is crude and offensive, but I don’t think it’s meant to attack or belittle Mormons,” said Soto. The show’s creators, Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame, weren’t at the show, but told The Associated Press this week that bringing the show to Salt Lake City feels like validation and also brings the creative process full circle. “ It feels like a really cool thing that it finally gets to play Salt Lake City,” Stone said. “ It just feels very much like it’s coming home.” They were hopeful the show’s jokes would get even bigger laughs in a crowd likely to be more familiar with Mormon culture than most audiences. “ It’s like playing Fiddler on the Roof to a bunch of Jews,” Parker said. That certainly seemed to be the case, as audience howled at jokes about Mormon beliefs, practices and idiosyncrasies. “ It pokes fun without being mean,” said Eric Kriss after the show. Two hours before the opening, about 100 people lined up in a ticket lottery, a group that included ex- Mormon Brandon Haden. The 26- yearold theatre teacher hoped to see the show again after attending a production in Los Angeles, but he said his parents have no plans to attend. “ My parents said they wouldn’t come see something that makes fun of their religion, which I totally get,” Haden said, adding, “ I don’t think they make any like sacred, doctrinal jokes, they just poke fun at the stereotypes.” He didn’t win tickets, but 24- year- old Kate Hickam did. Hickam, who isn’t Mormon, had seen the show in Denver, but was anxious to watch the hometown crowd’s reaction. “ They have so many inside jokes that Utahans will appreciate,” she said. Leaders with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints have been quiet about the musical over the years, repeating a one- line statement that has now become synonymous with the show: “ The production may attempt to entertain audiences for an evening, but the Book of Mormon as a volume of scripture will change people’s lives forever by bringing them closer to Christ,” it reads. Some curious Latter- day Saints may go see what all the fuss is about, but most will probably turn the other cheek and let the state’s non- Mormons revel in the fun, said Scott Gordon, president of a volunteer organization called FairMormon that supports the church. Gordon said he has mixed feelings about the musical. It has brought extra attention to Mormonism, and most Latter- day Saints can take some ribbing, but he said, “ I just wish it didn’t go so far.” Parker and Stone said they’ve never received any blowback from Mormon leaders or church members, which they say proves a theme that carries through the musical about Mormons being so darn polite all the time. “ I think it legitimizes them,” Stone said. “ You’re not really real until somebody makes fun of you and makes a big Broadway show about you. Then you’re really, really part of the American fabric.” — The Associated Press By Brady McCombs Salt Lake City gives warm welcome to ribald satire Mission accomplished for mockery in Mormon- land RICK BOWMER / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Opening- night ticket- holders were in good spirits before and after the show Tuesday. ‘ The humour is crude and offensive, but I don’t think it’s meant to attack or belittle Mormons’ — Omar Ledezma Soto, a student at Mormon- owned Brigham Young University, who took in the show dressed as a missionary. C_ 12_ Jul- 30- 15_ FP_ 01. indd C12 7/ 29/ 15 7: 48: 33 PM

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