Musical review: Saturday's Voyeur 2010 | Buzz Blog

Musical review: Saturday's Voyeur 2010

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To avoid any possibility of “burying the lead," let me state up front that the 2010 version of the Salt Lake Acting Company’s Saturday’s Voyeur is the best of the six or seven Voyeurs I’ve seen to date.---

Last year, I thought the annual satire of Utah politics and culture was a little too friendly, perhaps pulling its punches when a strong right-cross or uppercut was warranted. Forget about that this year. If you have any question about whether the new Voyeur is edgy enough to sate your left-leaning, newspaper-reading soul, just check the scene when the Voyeur version of right-wing activist and Eagle Forum leader Gayle Ruzicka is seen knitting a scarf covered in swastikas.

No, Voyeur is not subtle, but that’s the charm of the latest chapter in the long-running fundraiser for the Salt Lake Acting Company. This is the most overtly political and pissed-off Voyeur that I’ve seen, and it’s better for it. Authors Nancy Borgenicht and Allen Nevins joyfully skewer figures ranging from Utah locals (Kevin Garn, Carl Wimmer and Sheldon Killpack figure prominently) to national neophytes (Sarah Palin’s underwhelming trip to a Salt Lake City Costco comes under the microscope).

Saturday’s Voyeur is always “ripped from the headlines,” but never more so than this year, when the Newspaper Agency Corporation, er, MediaOne, er, the monopoly of The Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News’ ad agency’s campaign, “How I Read,” acts as the pillar on which the structure of the show hangs. People who have accused past Voyeur productions of being “anti-Mormon” or “too mean” will have a hard time arguing with the honest-to-goodness news headlines providing the preamble to scenes that hilariously send up the ancient Indian relics case in Blanding, the infamous “plaza kiss” on Temple Square and Gov. Gary Herbert’s fundraising prowess.

The ensemble of actors/singers is strong across the board, filling multiple roles with enough attitude and humor to deliver the rapid-fire jokes. The show could have probably been shortened a bit with a couple of judicious cuts, but even with three acts and two intermissions, the show didn’t lag in energy save for a couple of rare moments, usually when one member of the ensemble was alone on stage for a solo tune.

Those are minor quibbles, though. This year’s version of Voyeur is perfect as either an introduction to the show, or a re-introduction for anyone who’s seen past editions and perhaps thought they’ve seen all Voyeur has to offer. It is more blatantly partisan than past versions (yup, even if you didn’t think that was possible, the “Vote for Corroon” moments will change your mind), and the show even finds the time to pay tribute to Michael Jackson during its look at the Blanding grave-robbing scandal.

That’s some equal-opportunity fun right there—dead Indians, dead pop stars and dead Mormon pioneers joining forces for a dance number on stage to the amusement of everyone in the room. If that doesn’t scream Saturday’s Voyeur, I don’t know what does.

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