Opening night of any show at the Pantages Theatre is usually a low rumble on the excitement scale. I smile warmly when I see the usual suspects: Jo Anne Worley and Ann Jeffries, stalwarts who appear at each show. For the opening night of The Book of Mormon, however, the buzz was deafening. Autograph hounds hugged every corner, there was a longer red carpet along Hollywood Boulevard as opposed the 10 foot step-and-repeat in front of the theater’s doors, and traffic slowed to a crawl as people gawked at celebs.
Before the curtain rose, the show’s creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker were across the street having a drink at the W Hollywood’s bar. On their way to the show, TMZ tried to get them to make a Mitt Romney comment as they crossed the boulevard, but to no avail. On the red carpet Kathy Griffin obliged me, “I will be picturing Mitt Romney in every Mormon role,” she said. The crawl started with Garry Marshall and ended with Cher. In between Ke$ha, Heather Graham, Kellan Lutz, Viola Davis, Christina Hendricks, Julie Bowen, Dustin Lance Black, Zoe Saldana, Jason Alexander, Marcia Gay Harden, Idina Menzel, Neil Patrick Harris, Kevin Smith and Marissa Jaret Winokur scooted down the great red way. “I’ve lost so much weight,” Winokur bragged before adding, “I’m starving.” Marshall was just the opposite: “Go to Wood and Vine across the street there, it’s very good.” Viola Davis and husband Julius Tennon were on a date, “What’s a more perfect date night than going to the theatre. You don’t get to go that often in L.A.” Afterwards the theatre folk loaded onto a string of double-decker sightseeing buses and hit Lure Nightclub where Parker and Stone celebrated with yet another drink.
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