The Book of Mormon
Variety/Legit Reviews – by BOB VERINI
After nine Tonys and rapturous notices, Broadway’s “The Book of Mormon” is still evidently selling tickets up to the time when Malia Obama can run for president. Can a touring edition of the scandalously irreverent, Latter-Day Saint-twitting tuner possibly live up to the rep? God, yes. The cast shows no evidence of being second tier, and production values are as lavish and performance style as crisp as at the show’s nativity. As long as you don’t go expecting the Second Coming, you’re unlikely to be let down by this breathlessly funny, solidly crafted musical satire.
Though Trey Parker and Matt Stone are known for a no-prisoners approach to wicked jesting — plenty of which is on display on the Pantages stage, in profoundly NC-17 terms — a deep appreciation of traditional musical theater was first observed in the remarkable production numbers of their hit pic “South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut.” In moving to the legit stage, the team was clearly neither slumming nor out of its element, here in collaboration with Robert Lopez, whose affinity for incorporating outrageousness into a mass smash was seen in “Avenue Q.”
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Come check out new cast member Claire Van Der Boom in Sam Shepard’s HEARTLESS starting September 18! • • • Variety calls Tarell Alvin McCraney’s CHOIR BOY “riveting.” The play is coming to @mtc_nyc’s The Studio in June. • • • Rob McClure on Channeling CHAPLIN, Crying at Puppet Camp & Walking a Tightrope | Broadway Buzz | Broadway.com • • •
Taking Pointers From Web Sites, USA Today Modernizes Its Look
NYTimes.com/Business Day – by CHRISTINE HAUGHNEY
It’s face-lift time for the newspaper known for its pie charts.
USA Today, with its colorful omnipresence on airport newsstands and outside the doors of hotel rooms, is showing off its new look on Friday. And the makeover for the newspaper, based just outside the Washington Beltway, comes straight from Silicon Valley.
Its weather map is sleeker. Its television listings feature conventional television programs while also providing descriptions of related highlights online. Its “Your Say” pages include reader comments from Twitter and Facebook. And as the newspaper starts to look more like a Web site, its new Web site, which is being unveiled this weekend, will function more like an iPad, with a smoother scroll from page to page.
“We are really trying to reinvent a news business,” said Larry Kramer, the paper’s president and publisher, as he sat in a conference room at its glassy high-tech suburban headquarters, reminiscent of the offices where James Bond receives his orders from M. “We are trying to think of USA Today not as a newspaper, but as a news company.”
The broader makeover is part of an effort by USA Today’s parent company, Gannett, to combine the resources of all of its TV and newspaper assets. The company owns 82 newspapers in the United States, including USA Today, as well as 23 broadcast TV stations and some digital media properties. Gannett is also planning to rebuild its newsroom to create a single national news desk to house employees from its newspapers and television stations.
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