SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah News) -Theatergoers can enjoy “The Book of Mormon” in Salt Lake City and they can enjoy an alcoholic beverage but not at the same time.
It’s the second time the hit musical comedy has come to Utah and attendees at the Eccles Theater on Main Street can buy alcoholic drinks at the The Encore Bistro or beer at the concession stands but they can’t take them into the seating area because of a Utah law that forbids consuming alcohol during performances of a sexual nature, specifically where a person wears a device that “simulates all or any portion of the human genitals.”
Cami Munk, the Communications Director for the Salt Lake County Center for the Arts released a statement saying “Utah State Liquor Laws have clear regulations about alcohol consumption during events with mature themes. In compliance with the regulations, we are limiting alcohol consumption to the lobby and the Bistro.”
On Friday night a few dozen people entered a drawing to win the opportunity to purchase $25 tickets to the night’s performance. When asked about not being able to drink in the seating area, they said it’s kind of silly.
“I think that’s really ridiculous actually,” Salt Lake City resident Ryan Fallis said with a laugh.
“I kind of roll my eyes at it but also it’s kind of funny,” Stephen Marshall said. “It’s like ‘Look at this novelty state that I live in’ and by no means do I have to have a beer when I’m watching the show.”
Amy McCarty said that she doesn’t consider the play sexually explicit.
“I’ve seen it twice and neither time…like I’m somewhat easily offended for someone my age and I didn’t find it offensive at all,” McCarty said. “I thought it was done in a really humorous manner.”
Orange County, California resident Steve Weiss was surprised to hear the law applied to this production.
“There are some parts of it that I guess would fit that definition though you don’t normally think of a Broadway musical as being sexually explicit,” Weiss said. “When you hear these laws that you’re talking about you think of strip clubs and things like that you don’t think of Broadway musicals.”
“The Book of Mormon” continues its engagement at the Eccles Theater through August 20th.