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Wednesday, May 28,2014

Out on the Town

by City Pulse

This story was corrected on May 29. Due to a reporting error, this story misidentified which type of award "Book of Mormon" won; it won nine Tony Awards. It also incorrectly identified this tour as the show’s second national tour. It is the show’s first national tour.

Knock knock jokes

TUESDAY, JUNE 10-SUNDAY, JUNE 15 ‘BOOK OF MORMON’ AT WHARTON

The lesson we learned this spring is that you can never underestimate public appetite for religiosity-soaked entertainment. The success of the Bible-thumpy films “Heaven is for Real,” “God’s Not Dead” and “Son of God” — and the backlash against the visionary “Noah” for not being “biblical enough” — proves that a healthy segment of the population will pay to be preached to. God help us all.

If a solid push of satire was ever needed to equilibrate the piety/ blasphemy balance in pop culture, now is the time. And as if on cue, across the Wharton stage comes leaping the envelopepushing Broadway megasmash “The Book of Mormon,” which takes square aim at religion.

And who better to line up the sights than the team behind the aggressively controversial “South Park” and the frenetically racy puppet show/musical “Avenue Q.” Since premiering in New York in 2011, the show has received nearly universal acclaim. Even if it has caused a few pearls to be clutched.

“The Book of Mormon” is about two na've young Mormon missionaries who encounter a brutal warlord while on assignment in a remote village in northern Uganda. There, for the first time, they see war, poverty and AIDS. But trust me, it’s funny!

Writers Trey Parker and Matt Stone had spoofed Mormonism before, on their animated TV show “South Park” and in their live action porno parody “Orgazmo.” Apparently growing up in Colorado makes you resent the LDS. They teamed up with “Avenue Q” lyricist Robert Lopez to create this seemingly perfect storm of irresistible offense.

The show racked up nine Tonys, including best musical, and spawned a soundtrack that went to No. 3 on Billboard and won a Grammy for best musical theater album.

This is part of “The Book of Mormon”’s first national tour, and its first trip through East Lansing. (This tour will also include a stop through Salt Lake City. That ought to be fun.) Alas, with great excitement comes great demand, and nearly every show is sold out. As of Tuesday, only a few single tickets were available for the matinee shows.

But fret not, heathens. Wharton is following Broadway’s lead and enacting a lottery ticket policy for each show. Every night, two $25 tickets will be put up for grabs two and - a - half hours before each show; everyone who shows up will be entered in a drawing, two hours before every show.

And if the offensiveness swings a little too hard in the opposite direction and you feel you need another good soul scrubbing, you’ll be pleased to learn that “Exodus,” starring Christian Bale as a sexy Moses, will be in theaters this Christmas.

—Allan Ross

“The Book of Mormon”

Wharton Center Cobb Great Hall 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 10-Thursday, June 12; 8 p.m.

Friday, June 13-Saturday, June 14; 2 p.m. Saturday, June 14; 1 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, June 15 matinees; pre-show lottery $38-$150 (all evening shows sold out, single seats only for in place) (800) WHARTON, whartoncenter.com


THURSDAY, JUNE 5 >> CHRIS CLARK FELLOWSHIP WORKSHOP

Lansing native Chris Clark was a local DJ, easily recognizable by his trademark fedora. When he died in 2009 at the age of 29, the creative community rallied to create the Chris Clark Fellowship. The fellowship provides access to professional development opportunities and resources through cash grant reimbursement of up to $1,500 for local artists. Through its SmArts program, the Arts Council of Great Lansing will host a workshop to give applicants technical assistance and answer questions about applying. 4-6 p.m. MICA Gallery, 1210 Turner St., Lansing. FREE. (517) 372-4636, lansingarts.org.

THURSDAY, JUNE 5 >> GREEK NIGHT AT CORAL GABLES

For one night, longstanding East Lansing restaurant Coral Gables will transform itself into a bustling Greek restaurant with the sounds of “Opa!” in the air and lemon and olives soaked into authentic Mediterranean meals. Diners can choose from a menu featuring Greek specialties and cuisine. Just don’t go to crazy on the Ouzo. 4-10 p.m. Coral Gables Restaurant, 2838 E. Grand River Ave. East Lansing. Reservations recommended. (517) 337-1311.

SUNDAY JUNE 8, 22 & 29 >> THE MICHIGAN DJ OLYMPICS

Three nights of electronic/hip hop blending features DJs from across Michigan competing in what co-founder Patrick Duke calls “the Decathlon of DJing.” Beginning Sunday, four DJs per night will compete for the highest score in creativity, mixology, turntablism and crowd control. On June 29, the final round includes the three highest scoring DJs and one wild card comepetitor. Each competition will be opened by the ImprovHA!HA! comedy game show, featuring local comedic talent. $5. 8 p.m. House of Eden Rock, 205 S. Washington Square, Lansing. (517) 507-1575, facebook.com/ michigandjolympics.

FRIDAY, JUNE 6 >> WINE DOWN FRIDAY

After a long week, a nice glass of wine and friends is sometimes all you need. Located at the Crown Plaza on Lansing’s west side, Bordeaux-Wine Food Spirits gives oenophiles a way to wind down with its weekly Wine Down Fridays event. The meet-up is held in the restaurant’s intimate Cork Room, which stores 70 labels of wine. Attendees will get a choice of two white and two red wines to sample from and learn about. Made to order hors d’oeuvres will be included. 5:30-7:30 p.m. $15. Bordeaux-Wine Food Spirits (located inside the Crown Plaza Lansing West), 925 S. Creyts Road, Lansing. Reservations recommended. (517) 323-4190, ttravis@bordeauxlansing.com.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11 >> JOHN TWO-HAWKS AT THE GRAND LEDGE HISTORIC OPERA HOUSE

Grammy- and Emmy-nominated musician and multi-instrumentalist John Two-Hawks performs at the Grand Ledge Historic Opera House. Known for his talent on the flute as well as his composing, he has been featured on programs on HBO and the History Channel. Blending the genres of world, folk and New Age, his fusion music projects have sold over a million copies. $12. 7 p.m. Grand Ledge Historic Opera House, 121 S. Bridge St., Grand Ledge. (517) 627-1443, gloperahouse.com.

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