According to David Ng writing in the LATimes (6 Sep 2012), the LDS Church has purchased advertizing space in the playbill for the LA performances of “The Book of Mormon,” a profane (but upbeat) musical that pokes fun of Mormon beliefs, AIDS, and female circumcision. Ng asks the question: Is the LDS Church “taking the high road, or throwing down the gauntlet?”
According to Ng:
One of the ads that in the L.A. program features the face of a smiling man with the words “I’ve read the book.” Another features a smiling woman with the words “The book is always better.” The ads contain the URL thebookofmormon.org, which takes you to an official site for the church.
If you are worried about the church PR officials developing a sense of humor, you needn’t worry. Michael Purdy, a spokesman for the Mormon Church issued the following statement on 7 Sept:
Patrons of the musical aren’t likely to leave the theater with a better understanding of the Book of Mormon. Our message in the playbill invites the audience to seek a more complete perspective on the book . . . .
What idiot would go see the musical to get “a better understanding of the Book of Mormon?” I actually don’t mind the ad in the playbill. If we must advertize, this isn’t a bad way to do it? But let’s work on the newsreleases.