My 25-year-old cousin recently won the lottery. No, not the Powerball.—the lottery to snag front row tickets to see The Book of Mormon. They loved the play written by “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The Book of Mormon returned to Broward Center for the Performing Arts after originally touring in the 954 in 2013.
The play, which opened Jan. 27 and runs through Feb. 7, is a hilarious tale about love and finding one’s purpose. Although the play pokes fun at the Mormon faith, it isn’t so much about religion. Two innocent Mormon missionaries are sent to war-torn Uganda to attempt to convert local villagers to their faith. Actual Mormon missionaries stood in the rain near the theater’s parking garage on opening night passing out literature on the real “Book of Mormon” and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took out multiple full-page ads in the show’s Playbill to encourage theater goers to “read the book now that you’ve seen the play.” But again, this play is more about acceptance and searching within to find the strength to answer some of life’s biggest mysteries.
Cody Jamison Strand was the perfect Elder Cunningham. He adds a touch of Jonah Hill-like flavor to this already side-splitting production. Ryan Bondy ignites the stage as Elder Price. The entire touring cast of this productions is top-notch as they pull off now classic Broadway numbers such as “Hasa Diga Eebowai” and “Making Things Up Again.” This show has truly opened up a niche spot for a new generation of theater fans. There are plenty of expletives, relatable lyrics and feel good moments. The show also addresses real life epidemics in Africa such as Aids and female genital mutilation. It’s hard to imagine anyone poking fun at such subject matter, but somehow, this show is able to pull it off. It’s a show you won’t be able to stop talking about for days.
Get tickets here.
There are many more exciting Broadway Across America shows coming to Broward Center for the Performing Arts. Visit Browardcenter.org for details.
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical easily made my heart grow three times bigger. I’m very impressed with this intermission-less show starring Stefan Karl as the evil yet strangely endearing Grinch. Karl slithers through this musical with plenty of sinister swagger as the classic Christmas-loathing villain of Whoville. On opening night at Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Karl demonstrated the Grinch is wittier than ever as he had a couple of live interactions with some overzealous children in the office who were trying to snatch his spotlight for a moment. Karl glowed as a traditional Seuss-created Grinch but added a few modern twists. The 2015 Grinch uses hashtags when he’s ranting about how much he despises Christmas.
Bob Lauder does a superb job narrating the show as Old Max, The Grinch’s former dog. While the play is definitely suited for children as maybe even a first taste of the theater show, this is one holiday play that will appeal to the child in all of us. Don’t miss this magical show that includes an epic audience sing along to the beloved tune: “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch.” After all, it isn’t Christmas without The Grinch!
Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical runs at Broward Center for the Performing Arts through Dec. 27. There are no performances on Christmas Day.
Tickets start at $35.
The show takes place at Broward Center for the Performing Arts
201 S.W. Fifth Avenue, Fort Lauderdale.
For tickets visit browardcenter.org or call 954-462-0222.
I have always been intrigued with Dia de los Muertos, but I never actually went to an event celebrating it until last night. On Nov. 2, the streets of downtown Fort Lauderdale were flooded with giant skeleton puppets, mariachis, luchadores, women covered in skeleton face paint and rose crowns and many other characters that invoked a double take.
I interviewed the local event’s founder, Jim Hammond, a few weeks ago for South Florida Parenting magazine. I took my 1-year-old son to the event along with my husband and a few friends. It was a truly fun night. My favorite part of the event was the ofrendas exhibit at the New River Inn Museum of History. There were three ofrendas that really caught my eye and as I looked closer, I was shocked to see three familiar names. One of the ofrendas was created by local stylist Darla Golin and two were tributes to the late great guitarist Dave Shelley and South Florida music scene staple, Lisa “Noodles” Hayden-Gordon, whose death made national headlines.