Broadway stars singing with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir... why is this still accepted!

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Call_me_jorge
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I dont understand why so many theatre stars end up singing with them. Singing with a group that advocate anti LGBTQIA+ propaganda just a seems off to me. I understand the choir may be a well respected group, but perhaps it shouldnt be anymore. You dont really ever see ads about so and so broadway star singing with the gay mens choir of insert city. It just seems weird to me.
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They must figure Mormons have money to spend.
...
mailhandler777
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Call_me_jorge said: "I dont understand why so many theatre stars end up singing with them. Singing with a group that advocate anti LGBTQIA+ propaganda just a seems off to me. I understand the choir may be a well respected group, but perhaps it shouldnt be anymore. You dont really ever see ads about so and so broadway star singing with the gay mens choir of insert city. It just seems weird to me. "

There are performers that are Mormon. 

Hi, I'm Val. Formerly DefyGravity777(I believe)
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Free Speech.

You dont have to like it.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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Because America is a pseudo-theocracy that privileges religious belief over morality and truth.
"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
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I have to believe that the Mormon attitude towards issues so important to the theater community has to be influenced by the theater community’s acceptance of the nightly ridicule of the Mormons and their beliefs. Some even suggest that the Mormons don’t find it offensive.
 

So, in this time when the country is so divided, should the parties stay 2000 miles apart and lob grenades at each other, or should they come together over the mutual love of Broadway music?

Kelli O’Hara was raised in an Irish Catholic family on a farm in rural Oklahoma. As a Catholic she was ostracized by the girls of the mainstream Protestant religions. She is the perfect ambassador to express disapproval of the Mormon positions without hostility. I would also be very interested in her views on Book of Mormon.

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Doesn't a lot of it simply come down to where, why, and how do individual performers draw the line on if they apply their personal beliefs to professional decisions?

It is on a far different scale, but each of us does that every time we make a purchasing decision: how much do we choose to vote with our dollars versus succumbing to other variables: convenience, cost, quality, et al?

We see that playing out here on a small scale right now with people saying they will not see West Side Story because of the casting.
Updated On: 11/14/19 at 08:39 AM
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dramamama611 said: "Free Speech.

You dont have to like it.
"

Well, that explains why they can't be arrested for doing it. smileyIt doesn't answer the question that the OP is getting at. It is curious to me that someone who wouldn't be caught dead associating with an anti-LGBT political group would choose to sing with an anti-LGBT religious group. To me, there is no distinction. They're both voluntary groups of bigots.

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OlBlueEyes said: "Kelli O’Hara was raised in an Irish Catholic family on a farm in rural Oklahoma. As a Catholic she was ostracized by the girls of the mainstream Protestant religions. She is the perfect ambassador to express disapproval of the Mormon positions without hostility. I would also be very interested in her views on Book of Mormon."

Mormonism is not a Protestant religion, so I'm not sure what any of this means.

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I think a lot of people, for better or worse, have a sort of mental disconnect between the church and the choir because the choir is so prolific and has such a positive reputation and the church has such a negative one. Most people don't know the technicalities of who is allowed to be in the choir and the decisions going on behind the scenes because for the most part they just seem like a really good, really big choir. A performer to get invited to sing with such a prestigious choir to such a huge audience is very flattering and a once in a lifetime experience. Many performers are willing to put aside personal issues with the church to further their careers and have such an experience. Many people in general are willing to do that for a lot of things they might find mildly uncomfortable. 

Also, as someone who grew up around Mormons as an atheist, Mormons have a lot of backwards beliefs, but so do most other sects of Christianity. We're just more used to the fact that a large group of people believe the greatest person who ever lived was a zombie and the only way to not be tortured for eternity is to eat little bits of that zombie's flesh and blood every week.

Mormon beliefs about LGBT+ people are also not that conservative compared to many churches. They preach that homosexuality is not a choice, they let LGBT people attend services, and in 2003 and 2015 they publicly supported an anti-LGBT discrimination bill in Utah. For reference, the Southern Baptist Church, which is the largest protestant religion in the US and has more than 16 million followers, has done none of these things. This isn't to say that Mormon beliefs are progressive in any way or not deeply homophobic, but they really don't stand out as anti-LGBT as much as a lot of people seem to think.

TLDR: Mormons tend to be weird people with conservative but not extremist views, but they tend to be outwardly nice and they support the arts, so a lot of performers seem willing to accept a large paycheck and boost to their careers in exchange for not debating theology and politics while they're there.

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I guess I meant more: individuals don't need to accept it, but it's not like its something that can be legislated or officially disbanded.

 

There ARE organizations that try to effect it.   I found these articles pretty easily.

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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Call_me_jorge said: "I dont understand why so many theatre stars end up singing with them. Singing with a group that advocate anti LGBTQIA+ propaganda just a seems off to me. I understand the choir may be a well respected group, but perhaps it shouldnt be anymore. You dont really ever see ads about so and so broadway star singing with the gay mens choir of insert city. It just seems weird to me."

There have been many Broadway stars that have performed with the New York City Gay Men's Choir over the years. Hugh Jackman had some of them perform with him at Madison Square Garden this year (and earlier in the year they sang at Demi Lovato's concert). Broadway stars that have joined them off the top of my head: Peppermint, Carolee Carmello, Kelli O'Hara, Victoria Clark. 

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A gig's a gig. Especially if it means starring in their PBS holiday special. 



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"Also, as someone who grew up around Mormons as an atheist, Mormons have a lot of backwards beliefs, but so do most other sects of Christianity."

I do find it ironic when other Christians would likely sit in the audience of The Book of Mormon and laugh at some of their beliefs, not having the self-awareness that their own beliefs are likely just as absurd. And that the musical has a wider commentary on religion. 

"Rose in Gypsy was like going through therapy for me. Playing Rose helped me put a lot of emotions to bed. There was so much lacking in Rose and that's why she had to prove herself through her children. [interviewer]In ways that reminded you of your mom?[/interviewer]. Let's just say the role was very interesting for me. That one was the most interesting [I've ever played]" - Bernadette Peters (2018)
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Fredrich Yeager said: 

"Mormon beliefs about LGBT+ people are also not that conservative compared to manychurches. They preach that homosexuality is not a choice, they let LGBT people attend services, and in 2003 and 2015 they publicly supported an anti-LGBT discrimination bill in Utah. For reference, the Southern Baptist Church, which is the largest protestant religionin the US and has more than 16 million followers, has done none of these things. This isn't to say that Mormon beliefs are progressive in any way or not deeply homophobic, but they really don't stand out as anti-LGBT as much as a lot of peopleseemto think.

TLDR: Mormons tend to be weird people with conservative but not extremist views, but they tend to be outwardly nice and they support the arts, so a lot of performers seem willing to accept a large paycheck and boost to their careers in exchange for not debating theology and politics while they're there.
"

This^  Well said, Friedrick Yeager.

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Because $$$

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unfortunately it is a long standing tradition

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When the new Eccles Theatre opened in 2016 in Salt Lake City, the choir performed a rousing rendition of ON A WONDERFUL DAY LIKE TODAY.
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As a Phoenix-based theater person, I have worked with a lot of Mormons. You would be surprised how many of them really don't give a s*** if someone is gay. I imagine that Salt Lake City has more "old school" Mormons than Gilbert AZ, but the religion really does emphasize loving thy neighbor and all that, and some of the nicest people I know here are Mormon. As they say in the musical, they are indeed "really f***ing polite to everybody," and they are huge performing arts supporters. Not all of them are bigots, and historically speaking, ostracizing an entire religion never goes well.

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The Distinctive Baritone said: "Not all of them are bigots, and historically speaking, ostracizing an entire religion never goes well."

Of course not all Mormons are bigots. Not all Republicans are bigots, either. But both have made a choice to affiliate with an organization officially opposed to LGBT equality, and that's not nothing.

Updated On: 11/16/19 at 09:23 AM
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You know the Catholic Church is very anti-gay as well yet there are many Broadway performers like Chita Rivera who will perform with St Malachy's and it's choir--and worship there!
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Exactly. Most religions are at least a little bit anti-LGBTQ unfortunately. But nowadays it is very common for even avid church/templegoers to actively disagree with some of the more archaic attitudes of their religion, especially among younger people.

Besides, a lot of musical theatre performers make a good chunk of their living by being church soloists, cantors, choir directors, etc. Work is work, and you’re not always going to love your boss.
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The Distinctive Baritone said: "Exactly. Most religions are at least a little bit anti-LGBTQ unfortunately. But nowadays it is very common for even avid church/templegoers to actively disagree with some of the more archaic attitudes of their religion, especially among younger people.

Besides, a lot of musical theatre performers make a good chunk of their living by being church soloists, cantors, choir directors, etc. Work is work, and you’re not always going to love your boss.
"

It's ANY kind of performer type but yes, exactly this. If we refused to to never work for entities that are Anti-LGBTQ, immigrant, etc. we'd never have any work at all and just like any job, it's true, you're not always going to love your boss. Hardly ever, really. And while many religious institutions will claim to not be be Anti-(pick your group), there's still a degree of what harm is being done. I can easily stay away from a certain theatre company in PA and MO who's made no qualms about being discriminatory in their hiring and firing practices v another employer who might have a similar attitude but at least doesn't discriminate so overtly with their actions. While "being nice to everyone" isn't the cure all, it's a start to a change of heart. 

 

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TLDR: Mormons tend to be weird people with conservative but not extremist views, but they tend to be outwardly nice and they support the arts, so a lot of performers seem willing to accept a large paycheck and boost to their careers in exchange for not debating theology and politics while they're there.

Past participants have included Kristin Chenoweth, Sutton Foster and Sierra Boggess (twice).

Kelli O'Hara needs neither the paycheck nor the career boost. She sang with the Gay Men's Choir and last January she appeared with Seth in San Francisco in a benefit for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and BC/EFA.. Should the subject of gays comes up, I assure you that she will not hide her opinion.

She just recently joined a benefit for the ACLU hosted by Laura Benanti. How do you think that goes down with the Mormons?

Some of you have to get over the idea that you must hate and avoid every group with whom you have a disagreement, unless they are clubbing you in the head,.

 

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OlBlueEyes said: "TLDR: Mormons tend to be weird people with conservative but not extremist views, but they tend to be outwardly nice and they support the arts, so a lot of performers seem willing to accept a large paycheck and boost to their careers in exchange for not debating theology and politics while they're there.

Past participants have included Kristin Chenoweth, Sutton Foster and Sierra Boggess (twice).


"

I actually don't think Boggess ever did it. Laura Osnes stepped in when she cancelled. (https://www.thetabernaclechoir.org/about/guest-artists.html)

I also think it's worth mentioning that Audra McDonald did it when she was in the thick of fighting for marriage equality.

Updated On: 11/17/19 at 11:11 PM