Time Out for Tonys

There should be a more substantive post later today, but I’ve fallen terribly behind on everything.  I was in NYC all day yesterday waiting on line for tickets to the Shakespeare in the Park production of All’s Well that Ends Well which was an absolute riot.  If you’re in the NYC area, definitely spend a morning in Central Park on line waiting for tickets.  Between the line and the show, my mom and a college friend of mine went to see the “Savage Beauty” Alexander McQueen installation at the Met, which I also recommend highly (and which also entails a lengthy queue).  The images above and below are from the exhibit.

Of course, since I was out Sunday night, I missed one of the most exciting televised events of the season.  I’m not going to engage in any cutesy, NBA-related misdirection, when the title of the post has given my priorities away.  This morning was a Tony-watching party with my family and at least one of the Best Musical nominees is marginally related to the theme of the blog.  When I was at Daylight Atheism, seeing The Book of Mormon on Broadway provided inspiration for two posts, and one of the songs I cited was performed last night:

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Norbert Leo Butz’s performance in the Catch Me If You Can musical is relevant to… my previous hardliner affinity for Kantianism?  Well, relevant or not, it was phenomenal.

About Leah Libresco

Leah Anthony Libresco graduated from Yale in 2011. She works as a statistician for a school in Washington D.C. by day, and by night writes for Patheos about theology, philosophy, and math at www.patheos.com/blogs/unequallyyoked. She was received into the Catholic Church in November 2012."

  • Michael Haycock

    Argh, that song is obnoxious. It combines things from LDS scripture ("ask in faith, nothing wavering" – which is the *Bible*) with non-canonical (though somewhat common) LDS rumor, speculation and lore (getting one's own planet, God living "on" Kolob) and their own judgments about how Mormons are supposedly intended to act ("just believe"). If it were a thoughtful critique of LDS culture directed as a warning to Mormons about where they might be misunderstanding doctrine, I could understand the intention to point out the extant tendency of conceptualizing faith in such a drastically wrong way in an effort to aid people toward a correct, healthier idea of faith and how it works; however, in the context of Broadway and the Tonys, subtlety about the LDS church is not the goal – the musical wasn't written for Mormons, so it's just a ploy to act out everyone's misconceptions and stereotypes about Mormons to the delight of the audience. And everyone can laugh – atheists and evangelicals alike often believe Mormons are unthinking drones addicted to a cult of happy weirdness, and the musical does nothing about that (from what I've seen and heard). Sorry for the little rant; it's just a touchy subject for me.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16496144988509668275 Leah

    If the LDS church ever posts a kind of FAQ in response to the musical, let me know and I'll be glad to link it here.One thing that is interesting about the way the show was received in NY: many people got a mostly positive impression of Mormons as people, even if they didn't think much of Mormonism as theology. Reviewers and people I chatted with liked the earnestness and desire to do good for others that was embodied by the Mormon characters. I guess, if the NYC audience already think all forms of Christianity are absurd, you kind of come out ahead? No one leaves the show hating Mormons, which is sure a sharp contrast to how New Yorkers feel about evangelicals.

  • Michael Haycock

    Unfortunately, providing a FAQ is probably not on the list of things the LDS church will do; in fact, part of the reason why folk doctrines and lore can crop up so often is because, outside of essential doctrines about life and church operation, there's often very little enforcement. I've known people to call the Mormon approach to be "Do It Yourself Theology". For such a list you'd have to consult a variety of LDS scholars, and even there there's bound to be disagreement. However, they could clarify areas of greater apochryphality and uncertainty.While the view of Mormons as people might be to a degree positive, as influenced by the show, I still think the misrepresentations of our doctrine (exaggeration for comedic effect and shock value) were inappropriate, and merely enforced stereotypes of LDSaints as unthinking, gullible – but nice – people. However, if we were not a minority about which people have often have a thoroughly flawed view already, I doubt I would have the same problems I do now.


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