Saturday’s Voyeur

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This year’s incarnation of “Saturday’s Voyeur,” the madcap musical skewering of Utah news and culture, does not make fun of the LDS Church quite as viciously as it sometimes does.

Aside from that, it’s business as usual for Salt Lake Acting Company’s annually updated cabaret: bawdy, funny, occasionally memorable, and too long.

Producer/writer/directors Allen Nevins and Nancy Borgenicht chose the odd goings-on in Southern Utah to focus this year’s plot on, with the fictional gun-toting town of LaVirgin, run by town sheriff and patriarch LeGrand Lee (Spencer Ashby) and his dutiful wife Thorla (Annette Wright), declaring itself off-limits to the United Nations. The Lees run a diner in the podunk town, where they ask outsiders, “Are you a member?” — referring not to the Mormon church, but to the N.R.A.

The convoluted and confusing plot deals with a space alien (Dan Larrinaga) stirring up trouble by telling LaVirgin that the U.N. is invading, while telling the U.S. government that LaVirgin is trying to secede from the union. He’s opposed by another alien (Jeanette Puhich), who tries to warn everyone but is thought crazy.

Subplots abound: Disgruntled daughter Vara Lee (Marylynn Alldredge) is in love with a Navajo animal control officer (Aaron Swenson), even though her parents want her to marry redneck cousin Guebler (Jacob Johnson). Son Lee Lee (Michael Bryon Boswell), also the deputy sheriff, is in love with Logan (Arika Schockmel), a Bureau of Land Management ranger. The other daughter, Happa Lee (Emily Brooks), is the good one, busily preparing for the town’s annual Sorghum Festival.

Then there’s a Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance biologist named Neldon (Christopher Glade) and his trashy girlfriend Eve (Brenda Sue Cowley), in town to look into some errant goats.

The satire is not especially insightful — right-wing nuts are a pretty easy target — and it’s a shame the show got so single-minded. There are only a few brief references to the Olympics, or to much of anything other than the goofiness in Southern Utah.

Unfortunately, that single-mindedness does not make the show any more concise. Neldon and Eve could have been cut from the show altogether, and the forbidden romances aren’t funny or satirical enough to justify the time they take.

The performances, though, are zealously, enjoyably reckless all around. There are moments of high hilarity interspersed throughout the show, enough to make it a worthwhile endeavor.

Should you go? It is R-rated, to be sure, but if you can get past that, it’s good for a lark.

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