Salt Lake Acting Company’s annual satire Saturday’s Voyeur is always dependent on Utah’s latest cultural quirks and political adventures to provide fodder to playwrights Allen Nevins and Nancy Borgenicht. As a result, it’s natural to expect some primo material in years when, say, the Utah Legislature delivers something like hot-tubbing trysts with teenage girls or another in a long line of idiotic revisions to Utah’s insane liquor laws.

In watching the 2013 edition of the long-running SLAC fundraiser, it would seem Utah politicians have been on their best behavior because the show is unusually lacking in homegrown flavor, instead dwelling on the 2012 presidential election and Mitt Romney’s role as savior to Mormon voters hoping for a national leader they can call their own.

If the Romney-Obama showdown seems like a lifetime ago, well, it seems the same as one watches the latest version of Saturday’s Voyeur, this one subtitled 2013: The End of the World. In fact, it seems like a direct sequel (or maybe even rerun) of last year’s version, taking place in the Church Office Building in Salt Lake City and showcasing largely the same characters, from Austin Archer’s charming Nephi Jensen (one of only two Democrats allowed to work in the COB) to Justin Ivie’s obsequious Elder Neldon Marriott to Kalyn West’s island girl-turned-female missionary MoHanna.

With the collection of LDS security guards, elders, docents and (of course) Gayle Godzicka—this year played by Eb Madson, stepping in for long-time favorite Steven Fehr—anxiously awaiting confirmation of the Romney landslide prediction given by Karl Rove, aka the “oracle of Olympus,” on their beloved Fox News, the story seems to stagnate, veering between episodes of characters bemoaning Obama’s policies or fantasizing about what Willard Romney’s ascension to the White House might mean.

Nevins and Borgenicht do briefly touch on some more recent hot-button issues, including the Boy Scouts’ curious choice to allow gay scouts, but not gay scout leaders, as well as the Salt Lake Valley’s atrocious air quality. But considering Utah Attorney General John Swallow has been wallowing in scandals since around the same time as the 2012 election, it was disappointing that his dalliances with alleged bribery and influence-peddling didn’t get more than a couple passing mentions. The same goes for Sen. Mike Lee’s obstinate, out-of-touch style of “leadership” his first year in Washington, D.C.; he seems like a natural target for the playwrights’ barbs, but he gets off largely unscathed.

While the subject matter of this year’s Voyeur is ultimately stale, you can’t say the same for the performances. Director/choreographer Cynthia Fleming elicits some stellar song-and-dance routines from a cast full of familiar faces like Alexis Baigue and Jacob Johnson as the security guards and the three docents (played by Janessa Bowen, Connor Norton and Emilie Starr) who collectively act as a walking, talking, dancing Greek chorus of sorts.

With winning backing by the three-piece band delivering adaptations of songs like “Leader of the Pack,” “Can’t Touch This” and “Call Me Maybe,” the production did provide its share of energetic performances and laughs from the audience I saw it with, but there was no shaking the feeling that 2013’s version of Voyeur left a lot of potential on the table. Given the playwrights' consistently strong past scripts, that was a bit disappointing.

Here’s hoping the Utah government and dominant religious culture find a way to inspire a whole new satire next year. Or at least some new situations for these characters to sing and dance their way through.

Saturday's Voyeur 2013: The End of the World runs at Salt Lake Acting Company through Sept. 1. Visit the Salt Lake Acting Company Website for tickets and showtimes. All photos by David Daniels.