Laugh Your Night Away With SLAC’s ‘Saturday’s Voyeur’

Annette+Wright+as+%22Mary+Poppins%2C+in+Saturday%27s+Voyeur
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Laugh Your Night Away With SLAC’s ‘Saturday’s Voyeur’

Annette Wright as

Annette Wright as "Mary Poppins, in Saturday's Voyeur

Annette Wright as "Mary Poppins, in Saturday's Voyeur

Annette Wright as "Mary Poppins, in Saturday's Voyeur

By Abigail Raasch

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In an effort to “[embrace] this peculiar place we call home,” Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC) has yet again given us “Saturday’s Voyeur.” This roaring production has come to us as the conclusion of SLAC’s beautiful season and is a tradition of the theater to bring laughter and fun to the Salt Lake area. For 41 years, SLAC has upheld this production, and this year definitely did not disappoint. The creativity and humor in their newest rendition of the show can not be beaten.

Saturday’s Voyeur” was created by Allen Nevins and Nancy Borgenicht, both of who have invested years upon years with the annual show and who create intelligent and witty satire within familiar subject material to the local audience. The show was also well directed and choreographed by Executive Artistic Director of SLAC Cynthia Fleming, assisted by assistant director and co-choreographer William Richardson, music direction by Michael G. Leavitt and brought into fruition by an amazing production crew. 

The Cast of Salt Lake Acting Company’s Saturday’s Voyeur 2019

Upon entering the theater, you’ll realize that you’re about to be in for a fun time. Almost every audience member has a bottle of wine in one hand and a glass in the other. People come from all over the area to relax, have a good time and enjoy laughing at Utah culture. In conjunction with the laidback atmosphere, you can bring your favorite picnic basket or cooler and fill it with your favorite snacks and camp out throughout the show. The theater upstairs in SLAC has added on more of a thrust stage in this production to really bring the audience into what is happening onstage. Around the stage, you can reserve your group a small picnic table to have for all your goodies and treats brought to the show. The atmosphere is as welcoming, as though the whole cast and crew want you to fully enjoy your summer vibes.

The University of Utah did not fail to represent at the professional theatre with both current and past students, as well as one of our own U theater department professors, Robert Scott Smith. The cast consists of twelve members, not including the three band members. A handful of cast members jump between well-known reappearing characters such as Mary Poppins, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young (aka “Biggy Young”), Mitt Romney and a couple more. These characters work to bring the realities of the M-word (Mormon) Church, also known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, into a humorous but impactful light. They definitely spare no cost at poking fun at any subject which remotely relates to the church, especially if politics are involved. 

Justin Ivie, Annette Wright, and Robert Scott Smith in Salt Lake Acting Company’s Saturday’s Voyeur 2019.

The talented actors also spontaneously break into song, but not your typical musical songs. Music hopped between a Donald Trump based parody of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” simply titled “Narcissistic Braggadocios,” an ingenious Mormon-style mix of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and more. The mix of music, as well as the lights and tech elements, truly added a comedic drama to the general storyline of the piece.”

Throughout songs and scenes, actors come out in a variety of current Mormon approved wardrobe — rip-away elder uniforms, Vladimir Putin-based attire and at one point the Pope comes along in all his layered wonders. As if the script, musical choices, dances and topics aren’t funny enough, the costumes truly do their job in bringing the final added bit of humor needed.

“Saturday’s Voyeur” is a complete work of its own. U theater students Fiona Hannan and Jacob Weitlauf discussed what they thought of this new work and how it impacts the Salt Lake Valley directly. Hannan said, “Satire is a brilliant and essential way to provoke thought for audiences and actors alike.” Audiences can enjoy through humor, while thoroughly being forced to think about the realities of the joke. While many may think this could be harmful humor, Hannan continued to say, “’Saturday’s Voyeur’ provides a space where students can explore and reject so many of the cultural ‘norms’ here in Utah as we strive to dissect our own individual identities amidst this wild culture. It is therapeutic.” It’s a safe place to discuss, have fun and not be judged. Amongst it serving as a safe place for sensitive topics to come up, it’s also a safe place for complete artistic collaboration. Great shows almost always have some form of collaboration within them. Weitlauf elaborated on this point, explaining, “An actor’s job is to advocate for their character, whereas a director’s job is to advocate for the audience.  When these two things come together — especially in a new work like ‘Saturday’s Voyeur’ — the outcome is a collaborative piece of theater that everyone feels empowered to share.” This new work achieved levels of satire, political commentary and collaboration that many of us rarely have the opportunity of witnessing.

The Cast of Salt Lake Acting Company’s Saturday’s Voyeur 2019

This production was an absolute blast for a Saturday night and is a tradition not to miss over the next several years. Never has a show felt close to home in such a satirical manner before. 

‘Saturday’s Voyeur’ will run through September 1. To find more information on the show and check out ticket prices, visit Salt Lake Acting Company online.

Be sure to check out the amazing deal SLAC offers, called The Starving Student Pass, where university students pay for a season pass ahead of time at a discounted rate. 

There is a content advisory for this production. If you have questions regarding this aspect, please contact Salt Lake Acting Company.

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@AbigailRaasch