As an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I think I have a pretty darn good sense of humor when it comes to being poked at for my "peculiar" beliefs. That being said, I think there are times when people actually mean to cross the line and offend. I think the producers of The Book of Mormon Musical are specifically of this type.
Over the last few months I've been hearing quite a bit of buzz about The Book of Mormon Musical. Perhaps it's because I happen to be "friends" on Facebook with an interesting member of the LDS Church who tends to like to promote the more controversial side of Mormonism. A few weeks ago he was trying to find, in particular, members who were willing to share their feelings about the play. He was also trying to find some pre-launch reviews. I believe he's even planning on flying to New York so he can actually see the play for himself. This with a group of other curious Mormons. Let me just say, that these are members who are basically on the fringe and enjoy being what I consider critical of the Church, but not so much as to get themselves booted out.
The play is expected to debut on Broadway, March 24, 2011. As far as reviews go, there's not much. What we do have is more than enough to let conservative LDS members, as well as all good people of faith, know that they don't want to be spending $150.00 for tickets to a show that they would no doubt get up and walk out on!
"Vogue Magazine called the show "the filthiest, most offensive, and—surprise—sweetest thing you’ll see on Broadway this year, and quite possibly the funniest musical ever. "The New York Post reported that audience members were "sore from laughing so hard" during rehearsals. It praised the score, calling it "tuneful and very funny," and added that "the show has heart. It makes fun of organized religion, but the two Mormons are real people, not caricatures." Wikipedia
After reading the few current reviews for The Book of Mormon Musical, I personally have no desire to see or support those who would purposefully offend to make profit at the expense of my "peculiar" beliefs.
Now, about being "offended"... I'm perfectly aware that to be so, is a choice. So, this Well Behaved Mormon Woman is making a conscience choice to be offended by this play. I invite you to join me whether you are Mormon or not. Some are calling this our "Fiddler on the Roof" moment. Seriously?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made an official statement regarding The Book of Mormon Musical:
"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.”
I find the statement interesting. The Church has only one concern about this play and that is how The Book of Mormon (the actual volume of scripture) is portrayed and how it could potentially alienate people from reading it. That's huge. Certainly much more important than me being offended, or making our missionaries look stupid, or slandering Joseph Smith, etc... With that understanding I can clearly see why the Church has taken the time to make this brief "official" statement.
Church Statement Regarding The Book of Mormon Musical
To learn more about the Book of Mormon, please watch this brief introduction:
The Book of Mormon Musical: Practical Religion for Modern Times?
Africa and Mormon Musical Bandwagon
The Book of Mormon - The Most Correct Book Of Any On Earth