“1820: Musical” tells the story of Joseph Smith through music and dance


The original title of George Nelson’s play on Joseph and Emma Smith was “The Story of Lunatic?” “.

after that, “1820: Musical” because Brigham Young University Theater / Arts Professor None of the award-winning playwrights wanted to offend The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a member of his own faith.

Nonetheless, Nelson thinks the original title is more “provocative” and accessible to more viewers.

A movie poster for “1820: The Musical” which opens Friday August 6 and will be held at the Coby Arts Center in Provo, Utah until Saturday September 11.
1820: musical

“He was called crazy,” Nelson said. “The original idea for me was to come and see if he was crazy. Come see, and when you’re done seeing was he crazy or what happened to him and he said Did what you said really happened to him? ”

It starts on Friday August 6, and Nelson wants audiences to think about it when they come to see his Broadway-style play “1820: Musical,” which will be performed at the Coby Arts Center until Saturday, September 11. This is a profound question. In Provo, Utah.

As opening night approaches, the director talks about the inspiration behind the musical, its religious themes, pandemic delays throughout the year, and his desire to reach a wider audience with stimulating messages. I spoke on the news.

What influenced “1820: Musique”?

As Latter-day Saints, it bothers Nelson when people attack Joseph Smith.

He said, “The ‘musical’ Book of Mormon minimizes the prophet, the Church, and its missionary work in an irreverent, vulgar, and profane way.

Nelson was inspired to write “1820” as a result of this experience. He wanted to revisit some of the important moments in Joseph’s life and show the audience a more faithful side.

“There’s a clear message from the Book of Mormon musical, and our musical, a clear message, ‘Look again, see for yourself, and understand this.’ He’s either a prophet or a fool. He has nothing in common. ”

What is “1820: Music”?

The theatrical production is a contemporary and personal portrayal of the life of Joseph when Emma’s lives and trials in a small vignette, told through Emma’s eyes and strongly motivated by song and dance.

Nelson’s goal is to show the human side of the decisions and choices made by Latter-day Saint leaders. The show does not avoid sensitive topics like polygamy.

“We tried to stay on top,” Nelson said. “The Prophets Joseph and Emma cannot really face it without seeing the role that multiple marriages have played in their relationship. Many attacked Joseph with it, and many attacked Joseph. I tried to protect them all. I’m trying to show Joseph and Emma what they’ve done. “

BYU drama and art teacher George Nelson is the director of “1820: The Musical” in Provo, Utah on Friday, August 6.
Chloe johnson

Will Zach Wilson Act When Do you play soccer?

The role of Joseph Smith is played by a person whose name is familiar to football fans.

The name of the actor / performer is Zach Wilson, but don’t confuse him with Zach Wilson, now New York Jets quarterback.

“Isn’t that interesting? Nelson said. Former BYU football player himself. “People were like, ‘I didn’t know Zack was an actor.’ But our Zack is probably one of the most numerous athletes I have ever met. “

Actor Zach Wilson is one of 17 performers from a racially diverse cast. Keririn Johnson plays blonde Emma Smith and black Konron Bonner plays Hyrum Smith.

“We’re in costume, in dance, telling the story from our perspective,” Nelson said. “The look we want to get into the past is very eclectic, but now we want it to look like what it is here.”

The production music was written and composed by Kendra Row Holt, Keirian Row Juarez and Doug Row.

According to a press release, artist David Archuleta describes the show and the music as “awesome and well written.”

Delay due to COVID-19

The play was originally scheduled to take place in 2020 as part of the Church’s 200th anniversary to celebrate Joseph Smith’s first vision, but has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had a set under construction, a costume under construction, we had a cast in place,” Nelson said. “When it was unplugged, we were all ready to move on.”

Despite the pandemic, the soundtrack for the show was recorded and distributed, allowing audiences to get a feel for the music in advance. According to Nelson, most of the performers stayed because they were excited about the show.

What is the ultimate goal of “1820 Musical”?

Ultimately, Nelson wants to serve the play to a larger audience.

He showed the “1820” to a very interested New York producer.

“In her opinion, it could be as universally appealing as” Joseph and Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat. “For him, it was about human issues and real-life characters,” Nelson said. He said, ‘The only thing I knew about your religion was what I saw in The Book of Mormon musical or Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. He said, ‘I didn’t know nothing about your religion. “

Nelson invites people of all faiths to “come and see for themselves who this Joseph Smith really is.”

For more information on “1820: The Musical”, please visit the official website. 1820musical.com Find ticket information with and coveycenter.csstix.com ..

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