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Mormon News: All the News about Mormons, Mormonism and the LDS Church
Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended December 29, 2000
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Arts & Entertainment News

  Diminutive Mormon Entertainer Billy Barty Dead At 76
Billy Barty, the diminutive entertainer who turned the ability to spin on his head into a seven-decade career in show business, died on Saturday, December 23 at the Glendale Memorial Hospital. The 3-foot, 9-inch actor had been hospitalized since November 30, with heart and lung problems. A memorial service was held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in North Hollywood, where Barty was a member.

  U of U Press History of Utah Printing Released
Utah's first printing press arrived in Salt Lake Valley in 1849, barely two years after the first settlers. Purchased by printer W. W. Phelps at the behest of Mormon leaders, the press was initially the church's private venture but also became a tool to project political interests onto the national stage. The first document produced was a general communique to the church at large. Other early jobs included the second printing of the Constitution of the State of Deseret, part of an early, unsuccessful statehood bid, and the first issues of the Deseret News.

Other Arts & Entertainment Articles

Deseret Book Releases 2nd "Sacred Places" volume
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Deseret Book has released the second volume in its "Sacred Places" series. "Sacred Places: A Comprehensive Guide to Early LDS Historical Sites" volume two covers New York and Pennsylvania. The series by BYU professor emeritus of church history Lamar C. Berrett and historian Larry C. Porter offers a "practical" tourist-oriented guide to LDS historical sites in the U.S.

Hot off the press
Deseret News 29Dec00 A3

See also:
Sacred Places
More about Lamar C. Berrett and Larry C. Porter's "Sacred Places: A Comprehensive Guide to Early LDS Historical Sites" at

New Church Museum Display Includes 2 new paintings
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The Christmas display at the LDS Church's Museum of Church History and Art included two new paintings of a newborn Jesus with his mother, Mary. The museum is also displaying four creches, including one on loan from the Karl Wiehweger family that fills a 20-foot-square display case. Also on display is "Flight into Egypt," a painting by LDS artist Minerva K. Teichert, borrowed from the Salt Lake City School District.

Yule display has 2 new paintings
Deseret News 17Dec00 A1

Gladys Knight Joins MoTab For Christmas Concert
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Famed rock vocalist Gladys Knight joined the Mormon Tabernacle Choir for its annual Christmas concert on Saturday, December 16th. For the first time the annual concert was held in the Church's new Conference Center.

'Saints and angels sing'
Deseret News 17Dec00 A2

Gladys Lives a Dream, Roma Is Magic and the Tabernacle Choir Fills the Evening With Song
Salt Lake Tribune 20Dec00 A2
By Jeff Manookian: Special to the Tribune

LDS Composer de Azevedo's "Gloria" performed in Salt Lake
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- "Gloria: The Life of Christ Part I" by LDS composer Lex de Azevedo and his wife Peggy de Azevedo already made history when it debuted in 1999 at the Citadel, Tower of David Museum in the old city of Jerusalem. The work was presented in Salt Lake City's Abravanel Hall on December 22nd in a performance by Christeena Michelle Riggs and tenor George Dyer, Peggy de Azevedo's 50 voice choir Millennium, and a full symphony orchestra. The 1999 performance was broadcast on many PBS stations in the U.S.

"Gloria" is somewhat unique because it is an Oratorio, a musical form rarely seen today. de Azevedo says he had to study hard to understand. "I spent six months studying the works of the masters, trying to get inside their heads, trying to figure out why they did what they did," he says.

Worshipping through music
Deseret News 17Dec00 A2
By Carma Wadley: Deseret News senior writer
Lex and Peggy de Azevedo's 'Gloria' is the first of an oratorio trilogy

Composer Bestor Says Mission Was Motivation for "Prayer of the Children"
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- LDS composer Kurt Bestor explains how the faces of the children of Yugoslavia seen during his LDS mission there were the motivation for his song "The Prayer of the Children." The prolific Bestor specializes in film and TV scores, in addition to the music he writes and arranges for the LDS audience.

In this interview, Bestor also tells about his childhood and how he joined the LDS Church.

Kurt Bestor's Prayer of the Children
Meridian Magazine 21Dec00 A2
By Maurine Jensen Proctor

MoTab's Other Christmas Album Reviewed
SAVANNAH, GEORGIA -- A book and CD package of Christmas Carols, including carols sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, was called 'sumptuous' by this reviewer in the Savannah Morning News. The package includes 25 carols that author Ronald Clancy calls the 'best loved.' The book includes a history of the carols, engravings from old carol books and paintings from the world's great museums.

Joy to the world!
Savannah GA Morning News 17Dec00 A3
By Doug Wyatt: Savannah Morning News
A sumptuous new package celebrates the songs of Christmas

See also:
More about Ronald Clancy's "Best-Loved Christmas Carols" at

Latest Mission Novel, "Angel of the Danube" Called 'strong and original' but flawed
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- Deseret News reviewer Jerry Johnston reviewed the recent missionary novel, "Angel of the Danube" and was impressed with author Alan Mitchell's writing and skill. However, Johnston, who says he has been reading missionary novels since Bela Petsco's "Nothing Very Important and Other Stories" in the 1970s, says Mitchell's approach in the novel is flawed. Johnston says, "like a lot of secular fiction, it portrays 'compliance' as uninteresting and the battle for identity as paramount." In a mission context, Johnston says "heady individuality carries the scent of 'false pride' and irony sounds like mocking." But Johnston says that a missionary novel literary masterpiece will eventually be written.

LDS mission novels not a big hit
Deseret News 16Dec00 A4
By Jerry Johnston: Deseret News staff writer

See also:
Angel of the Danube
More about Alan Rex Mitchell's "Angel of the Danube" at

Book About 'Geeks' in Idaho Mormon Town To Be Movie
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- New Line cinema has hired scriptwriter Matt Hoge to bring the bestselling book "Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho" by Jon Katz to the screen. The book talks about two youths who used the Internet to get out of a small Mormon Idaho town and move to Chicago.

Michelle Yeoh eyes ''Matrix'' sequels
Boston Globe (Reuters) 19Dec00 A6
By Michael Fleming: Reuters

See also:
More about Jon Katz's "Geeks: How Two Lost Boys Rode the Internet Out of Idaho" at

Tribune Excerpts 'Sojourner in the Promised Land'
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The Salt Lake Tribune carried excerpts from sociologist Jan Shipps' new book, "Sojourner in the Promised Land: 40 Years Among the Mormons" on December 16th. The excerpts, like the book, cover a wide variety of topics in Mormon history and current events. The excerpts talk about the importance of Mormonism in Western history, the changes in Mormonism over the past 40 years, the Church's treatment as a religious minority and Shipps' "calling" as an interpreter of Mormonism for the general public.

Reflections on the Saints: Excerpts From the New Book by Jan Shipps
Salt Lake Tribune 16Dec00 A6

See also:

More about Jan Shipps' "Sojourner in the Promised Land: 40 Years Among the Mormons" at


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