Mormon elders await their missionary assignments in the song "Two by Two" in the musical comedy "The Book of Mormon," playing Tuesday through Sunday at the Tivoli Theatre. (Julieta Cervantes photo)

LISA DENTON: Barry, today let's start with some new names for old hymns. Like "Precious Lord, Take My Hand (And Help Me Up)." Or "It Is Well With My Soul (But My Knees Hurt)."

As religious humor goes, I think that's pretty tame — tame enough for a church bulletin even. But I can tell you from experience that not every newspaper reader agrees, and some have even called to complain about renaming hymns this way. Thou shalt not joke about Jesus.

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Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

My point is, if you are offended by the warning "Jesus is coming ... look busy," then "The Book of Mormon" probably isn't for you.

BARRY COURTER: I went to Catholic schools growing up. I know from religious humor. One of my favorites is about the pope from years ago who, after dying, was given free run of all of Heaven. All he was interested in was the library, where he spent all of his time.

After quite some time, a terrible shout could be heard from there, and as others entered, he was heard to scream, "I knew there was an 'r' in the word. It's 'celebrate!!'" But you are right. I've heard two things about "The Book of Mormon": It is really good, and the easily offended might want to try something else.

LISA: For those not in the know, the musical is a satire of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It follows two mismatched missionaries who are sent to Uganda to spread the Gospel. It was created by the writers of "South Park," so if you're OK with the profanity and dark humor in that animated series, then maybe you'll be entertained by "Mormon."

BARRY: They are doing something unusual with tickets, too. You can go to the Tivoli Theatre each day of a show (Tuesday through Sunday) and fill out a form to be put into a lottery for one or two tickets for that night. If you win the lottery, you'll pay just $25 each for the tickets.

LISA: Not a bad deal. Normally, tickets range from $42 to $99.

One of the events everybody can get behind is the U.S. Navy Concert Band in concert Friday night at Soddy-Daisy High School.

BARRY: They are really good, and tickets are free.

And if you've been looking for a place to get your Latin dance groove on, Salsa on the Southside returns to Songbirds on Friday. DJ Mike Arana from Atlanta will provide the music.

Get event details every Thursday in ChattanoogaNow or online anytime at

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281. Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354.