Fate of ‘Saturday’s Voyeur’ uncertain after SLAC split

The long-running, crowd-pleasing Utah satire "Saturday's Voyeur" has been shown the door after decades of productions at the Salt Lake Acting Company.

SALT LAKE CITY – In a surprise move, the Salt Lake Acting Company has evicted its most popular resident attraction, the annual Utah satire “Saturday’s Voyeur.”

After a 41-year run, SLAC will no longer produce and host its crowd-pleasing annual summer event, according to Cynthia Fleming, the theater company’s artistic director.

“The time has come for Salt Lake Acting Company to bid farewell to ‘Saturday’s Voyeur’ and to produce an all-new summer cabaret series,” Fleming said July 9. “SLAC is grateful to the show’s co-creators, Allen Nevins and Nancy Borgenicht, for their contribution not only to SLAC, but also to the arts and political communities of Utah … The laughter and summer party atmosphere will continue at SLAC and we look forward to doing it in the most diverse and inclusive way possible.”

While SLAC spokesman Joshua Black said the theater company wishes Nevins and Borgenicht “all the best,” the playwrights have indicated that the decision to end the run of “Saturday’s Voyeur” at SLAC was by no means a mutual one.

“This is sadly a time for unwanted endings and loss …” Borgenicht and Nevins said in a press statement. “In all honesty, we do not understand this decision. It is not how we wanted to say goodbye and thank you to ‘Voyeur’ audiences and the (Salt Lake) community …”

“Saturday’s Voyeur” is an original musical comedy parodying contemporary events, politics and religion in Utah. A new version of the show has been written each year since 1978. The show’s unusual title is itself is a parody of the 1973 Latter-day Saint morality play “Saturday’s Warrior” by Douglas Stewart and Lex de Azevedo.

Normally performed June through September, “Saturday’s Voyeur” was SLAC’s annual fundraising event. The play was presented in a dinner theater style, with patrons bringing their own food and beverages.

“Saturday’s Voyeur” was particularly popular with liberal-minded audience members from all parts of Utah. The 2020 version of the satire was eagerly anticipated, since it was expected to touch on the recent impeachment crisis, Mitt Romney’s continuing foot-in-mouth episodes and the upcoming general election among other hot button issues.

Like most local live theater productions, however, the 2020 version of “Saturday’s Voyeur” was cancelled due to the coronavirus.

Fleming said that the SLAC staff has been pondering a replacement for “Saturday’s Voyeur” for more than a decade. Their plan is to develop a new original show that will be delivered cabaret-style starting in the summer of 2021. The extended lay-off due to the ongoing pandemic made this an ideal time to implement that change.

“In regard to our next steps for summer programming,” Fleming said, “all I can say is that the raucous energy that our patrons enjoy and expect isn’t going anywhere.”

“We’re uncertain what future plans Nancy and Al might have for ‘Saturday’s Voyeur’,” Black added. “Whatever it is, they have SLAC’s support and best wishes.”

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