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‘Saturday’s Voyeur,’ now 35 years old, keeps the satire fresh
Theater » The musical that introduced Utah theatergoers to homegrown stage satire will mark a 35-year performance milestone.


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Rather than the boon to the theater company’s bottom line that it is today, according to the duo, the SLAC administration at the time instead saw "Saturday’s Voyeur" as an offensive liability to its fundraising efforts. Nevins and Borgenicht said they were dismissed from the company the same day in 1990. They took "Voyeur" with them.

During the early 1990s, the musical satire continued to play to packed houses on Green Street. Meanwhile, SLAC’s financial situation had deteriorated near the point of bankruptcy. In 1993, Borgenicht and Nevins — and their company Saturday’s Voyeur Inc. — were rehired by SLAC’s board to manage the theater company. "Saturday’s Voyeur" was becoming an institution of Utah theater no one would deny.

At a glance

‘Saturday’s Voyeur’ 35th Year Anniversary Edition

When » June 26-Sept. 1. Wednesday-Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 1 and 6 p.m.

Where » Salt Lake Acting Company, 168 W. 500 North, Salt Lake City

Tickets » $39-$55. Call 801-363-7522 or visit www.saltlakeactingcompany.org for more information.

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But it was also time for a change.

Three years later, with Waldholtz’s political troubles making national headlines at the same time as Andrew Lloyd Webber’s "Phantom of the Opera" was rolling into Salt Lake City, Borgenicht and Nevins decided to turn the musical into a chameleon reflecting the colors of the then-current political climate, rather then dwell endlessly on Mormon ways. "Phatman of the Opera," still considered one of the finest editions of the "Saturday’s Voyeur" franchise, was born.

"We were scared," Borgenicht said. "We didn’t know if the audience would go with it. But when it worked, Allen said it proved we could take the show almost wherever we wanted. He gets total credit for that."

Mitt, the sequel » This year’s 35th-anniversary version takes up where last year’s version, "The Mormon Moment," left off.

Nevins said the elation surrounding Mitt Romney’s presidential bid, followed by November 2012 letdown after the re-election of Barack Obama, proved too tempting to leave alone. Part of the attraction was its setting inside the Church Office Building of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with its elevator doors, corridors and rumored underground tunnel passageways — an apt metaphor for the topsy-turvy world of cultural life in Utah’s capital city.

Fans of last year’s show will recognize the milieu, but there’s plenty of current political grist for chewing, including references to the troubled political career of Attorney General John Swallow, who’s taken to bribing the sisters in the church office with doughnuts.

Borgenicht said picking up that thread once more helps "Saturday’s Voyeur" return to its roots.


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"The Church Office Building setting allows for that," she said. "We knew last year that if [Romney] wins, it takes the show in a different direction. If he lost, we’re still in the same place."

After all these years, after which she first saw the comic tension of Utah life set onstage, Borgenicht said she looks forward to many more.

"When I’m 80 years old, I’ll look forward to the 50th year," she said.

features@sltrib.com



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