Cashing in on popularity for the money

"The Book of Mormon," darling of the recent Tony Awards, will eventually gross (let's see, add 10, carry the one) exactly one gazillion dollars.

All I can say to that is, "Mission accomplished."

For this show was never about the Mormons or the Ugandans and never about creating art.

It was about what entertainment is always about: salesmanship. It was about making people rich.

If you haven't noticed, Broadway shows have been swaying on the horns of a dilemma in recent years.

On one side you have difficult shows filled with artsy music — the new "Spider-Man," Paul Simon's "Capeman" and recent Stephen Sondheim offerings, among others.

They seldom catch fire.

On the other side, you have old-fashioned shows filled with catchy tunes and easy lyrics. The Disney kiddy shows are examples. They are throwbacks to another era, shows that are more for children than adults, with music that could have been written by Hoagy Carmichael.

Adults don't feel like grown-ups when they go to those shows.

So, what to do?

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