At the event, they said that 5 shows are brand new to the market (in their season, with more as "specials"). And, by the way, Les Miz is a huge movie hit, so timely...and Phantom is a new version (as Nocciolino explained during the roll out event). RBTL brings popular entertainment, they are not trying to say they do anything else.
With popular entertainment events, the marketplace determines what works and what does not...guess I do not have a problem with that.
I realize that the goal of the RBTL is to make money, not promote art or originality, but my god, ANOTHER run of Phantom? Isn't the 4th., or 5th. or 5th. road show of Les Miz in May bad enough?
This season sure is great! I went to the announcement event and could not help but wonder why we are losing RBTL to the suburbs? I rarely agreed with Bob Duffy, but he wanted to keep them, then, later, Mayor Richards did not care. But, even he was at the announcment event. It looks like they are in growth mode while arts organizations are in trouble here,
I guess Rothchild was right in his comments that night...RBTL recognized the change in what was happening in the arts and responded years agoand approached things differently. Now, they are leaving downtown and our city is the loser!
There IS a double standard; Darius is right. And we know why but seldom dare state it.
I'm not against the right of free speech and criticism of anything. I'm saying there is a double standard when it comes to satire and criticism of religion as it applies to Christian religions and Islam.
If I'm understanding you correctly, Darius, you are saying that it's only okay for the members of a religion to talk about or criticize the religion, even if said religion's doctrine has influence on how non-members are allowed to live their lives (see the Mormon influence on Prop 8, please)? That amounts to nothing more than PR, and doesn't serve to introduce the public to the reality of the religion.
The Mormons don't need our support if they are the object of satire. The gays kids who are born into the religion and cast out of the house need our support, for example.
Allowing religious doctrine to be immune to discussion and criticism is a very dangerous stance to take.
I have no desire to see a musical full of "coarse language and frat-boy-adjacent jokes" and "cameos by Satan, Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Johnnie Cochran". I'm just not into that. My point is that the politically correct crowd is offended (or downright frightened) when Islam is satirized, but Christians are fair game. As I said, the Mormons are a class act, turning the other cheek and all (very Christian of them).
Darius: I'm curious, have you even seen "The Book of Mormon"? Or are you just assuming it's offensive because of the creators behind it? Because truthfully, I found the Mormon missionaries depicted in the show to be treated relatively well. The religion certainly isn't demonized here. In fact, it is shown as having an extremely positive impact on a community that desperately needed help.
I also think it's worth noting that the Church of Latter Day Saints took out not one, not two, but THREE full-page ads in the program for the show encouraging people interested in learning more about their religion to come to the church. If they're embracing the show in the spirit in which it was intended, I'm not clear on why a supposed non-Mormon is leaving multiple comments decrying its approach.
If someone were to produce a funny award-winning musical about any other religion, I'd line up to see it. What's not to love about the light of reason & truth being shone on any of the world's religions to reveal that they're all nothing but mythology and superstition?
I’m wondering why there aren’t protests or outrage about this mocking of religion. You would certainly hear about it if RBTL was hosting a production called 'The Book of Islam' or a musical based on Salmon Rushdie's 'Satanic Verses’ or a 'Burka Chorus Line'. At least 'Nunsense' was purportedly made by Catholics. The Book of Mormon was created by the producers of South Park who are not of the Mormon faith. I give the Mormons credit for taking a civilized approach, offering to educate and inform the public about their religion rather than protesting this musical. Still, you would think that other concerned citizens would express support by at least discussing the question of the appropriateness of this production.
I think the musicians are fantastic as well
The most important actor on the Rochester theater scene in the past year was Mayor Richards who had the guts and the fiscal common sense to call the RBTL's bluff when they threatened to pull up stakes and move to Irondequoit.
Said Richards, “I’m trying to be consistent with respect to what I think the civic responsibility is to this project...It would be nice if [the theater] was downtown. It would be nice it if was in Midtown. But not at any price. Because while it’s important, it’s not necessarily the most important thing....I’m not going to get into a stampede, where somebody says, ‘Oh my gosh, it might go out to Irondequoit. You’ve got to come up with $80 million...If they can get some guy to pay for the whole thing and subsidize them, I guess that’s where they’re going to go.”
Please note the following correction: The Rochester Plays run Thursday February 14 - Saturday March 2nd. Schedule can be viewed at: https://secure1.rochester.edu/college/ENG/theatre/box_office.php. Thanks!
Arnold Rothschild of RBTL should be nominated. Also, Don Jeffries as well.
There's an English comedian named Stewart Lee who points out exactly why you don't see much comedy based on Islam. "Life Of Brian brilliantly used the intimate understanding its audience had of the chronology of Christ’s life to substitute him for a bewildered, normal bloke. But it’s not possible to take people under the skin of Islam in the same way, when it remains largely a mystery to most writers and audiences. Comedians who are ‘culturally Christian’ at least understand the taboos they chose to break when writing about vicars and virgin births, and do so knowingly. The Muslim world’s response to the Danish Mohammed cartoons remains deplorable, but the fireworks of the gags contained in them were drowned out by unexpected exploding landmines of depictions of the Prophet. Perhaps a rigorous and thorough satire of Islamic themes would be better executed by someone with experience of it? " http://www.stewartlee.co.uk/press/writtenf…
There are plenty of Muslim comics in the world who make light of their faith. The fact of the matter is that, as a majority Christian culture, we share the frame of reference in shows like Sister's Christmas Catechism. Comedy only works as a result of shared experience. So you'll have to wait until Islam is no longer a mystery to western culture before you see a similar show based on Muslim cultural traditions.
"Religion — just about any religion — is filled with so many ridiculous concepts and stories that it's easy to get laughs by cynically poking fun". I dare anyone to come up with a comedy show like this that pokes fun at Muslims. They are off limits to 'humorists'. You'll hear excuses that Islam should not be mocked because we need to respect their religion, but the reality is that Islam is not mocked because of fear. Ans so a double standard is in effect for parodies of religion.
As Catholic I am offended by shows like 'Sister's Catechism'. I dare Ms. Moore to put on a burka and crack a few one-liners.
We were at the final performance (Sunday, Oct 28th @ 2:00). I totally agree with Allan-I sat there for the majority of it with tears running down my face. My wife, who also very much enjoyed it, but who is also several years younger than I, glanced quizzically at me on occasion, not able to grasp what it was that could so easily bring me to my emotional knees. I was thrilled to be able to meet her (& Beau) afterwards, and she was so accommodating & friendly to those who stayed, patiently signing autographs for everyone who asked, sometimes several for one person. I was told that a couple of promoters from New York came to one of the performances, & are very interested in running it there. I fervently hope they do, because Melanie's fans around the world should have a chance to experience what we lucky few in Rochester did....an amazingly private and emotional look into the life of an artist who spoke to our generation like no other.
Because I am a 40 year follower of Melanie - okay, a devotee! I love the play! I could sit and listen to an additional three hours.
But as much as the draw was Melanie for many, the production is wonderful. It worked. The set, the cast, the choice of music all come together to create an experience that hearkens back to the many festivals and concerts that have been Melanie's life. "To be there is to remember...."
Mandy Hasset captures the young Melanie perfectly! I don't think Peter ever sang or danced, but Nick Faruch has the energy that was a part of Peter. Great voice too! I didn't realize that Janine Mercandetti was playing all the "other" parts ; she became Polly and the French dancer, and is so versatile. Jack Halsoupis, thank you for loving Melanie, and doing a wonderful job of casting the play, and having the genius of getting Melanie and Beau involved! This week has been an event I won't forget. I hope you are all enjoying the success of this week's produciton, and the joy it has brought to so many.
It has been a week since I saw the show and it is still in my brain. Just to be in Melanie's presence took me back to my youth. I went to Woodstock to see Joan Baez but fell in love with Melanie. Watching the Blackfriars production had me mostly in tears (maybe my youth caught up with me) and I am grateful to Jack, Melanie, Cat, and Beau Jarred for creating it.
It was a moment in Rochester theatre history that will be remembered for years.
Such a good review, critical without being mean, I can't wait till the movie comes out. Wanted to be there (fan for over 40 years) but issues prevented my being able to be a part of it all. No big deal, I've lived along side these stories almost all my life. In 1970 I saw Melanie at a 10,000 seat sold out show in Atlanta where firemen lined the stage trying to prevent the lighting of candles. Melanie said," You guys paid good money to hear me and you are being treated rudely", the firemen then quietly marched out of the venue. It was a long show too (almost 3 hours). Nobody wanted to leave. If I hadn't lived the story, I would be real upset about missing this play. It's great the theater was able to sell out all the shows (well almost) . If there are any left, I would encourage you to please buy one. I'm not real keen on hearing others singing Melanie songs (nobody can sing the way she does but, it's nice that people try. Peace.
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