For as long as Utah’s cultural divide—that seemingly unbridgeable chasm that separates faithful Latter-day Saints from the Rest of Us—continues to exist, there will be Saturday’s Voyeur.
And that’s good news for Salt Lake Acting Company. Its annual original production has become such an institution that now, years into its third decade, Saturday’s Voyeur sells out far in advance, and its popularity dictates a theatrical run extended several times beyond its original schedule. (Saturday’s Voyeur 2012 is initially slated for a nine-week run, through early September. Past history indicates it stands to be extended to 11, even 12 weeks—and who can name any other production in Salt Lake City that can claim similar longevity?)
It is also good news for the Rest of Us. Those of us living within Utah’s often-oppressive, Mormon-dominated culture need this parody as an opportunity to blow off steam. And as theater-goers, we appreciate not only the play’s irreverent take on Utah’s mores, but realize that Saturday’s Voyeur’s ticket sales help keep SLAC afloat, subsidizing its superior brand of theatrical productions that sustain us during the rest of its season.
Also, this year—believe it or not—it is good news for active members of the LDS Church. Over the years, Voyeur has attained a demonic, near-Fawn Brodie-esque reputation among church faithful. While this season’s iteration is no less satirical than any past, its finale number, “Be Free,” is lovingly conciliatory, reaching out for acceptance and encouragement of nonconformist (read: Democratic) church members.
Yes, it’s a very special election year, and the subject of Mitt Romney’s presidential candidacy is, of course, touched upon, if only lightly. I’d have liked to see more time addressing politics and instant-laugh topical issues of the year, and less time devoted to a rather complicated, overarching double-romance plot; I mean, it’s in three acts, for heck’s sake!
Still, as always, it’s a rollicking good cabaret show (bring wine and cheese and crackers). Saturday’s Voyeur newcomer Kalyn West (MoHanna) is a knockout. The first time I saw her was in 2010, holding up placards in Dark Horse’s brilliant production of Reefer Madness—and even in that mute role, her stage presence and comic expressiveness were impressive. In Saturday’s Voyeur, her strong dance moves and fantastic pipes are simply stunning.
SATURDAY'S VOYEUR 2012
Salt Lake Acting Company
168 W. 500 North
Through Sept. 2