BWW Reviews: WHAT THE BUTLER SAW is Riotous at Odyssey Theatre

‚Äč

Riotous-Butler-at-Odyssey-Theatre-20010101

What the Butler Saw
by Joe Orton
directed by Alan Patrick Kenny
Odyssey Theatre/through March 11

 
Joe Orton's insanely insane world is no better displayed than in his What the Butler Saw now onstage at the Odyssey Theatre. A terrifically energized cast make the play soar under the astute guidance of director Alan Patrick Kenny through March 11.
 
Orton's way is rigorously raunchy whether satirizing sex, religion or politics. Like his other riotously funny play LootWhat the Butler Saw,as a true farce should do, keeps moving at lightning speed with more exits and entrances than one can count.... which barely allows a moment or two for the actors to come up for air. Mistaken identities - girl dresses as boy and boy dresses as girl - would of course be natural in the mind of Joe Orton who lived a vigorously homosexual life. He did it all ... ended up paying for his sins, but despite the consistent censorship abroad, the plays in modern time are more popular than ever. Even heterosexuals love them! Why? Audiences who get easily bored with the mundane will not do so as they watch Butler. There's one silly joke/embarrassing situation after another, and what is indeed remarkable is that the Orton insight into what makes a marriage work effectively or any organized chaos, for that matter, is so on target.
 
The one question most raise is "Why is the title What the Butler Saw, when the play takes place in an asylum and there is not one servant to be found?" We are the butlers, if you will, peeping through the keyhole to witness all the foul deeds perpetrated by our leaders onstage. It's as if the lower middle class were privy to all the dark secrets of their masters, relish all their splendid naughtiness and can't wait to share them with everyone else.
 
The entire ensemble is so marvelous that no one stands out over anyone else. Bravo to Geoffrey Wade, Jerry Della Salla, Ciaran Joyce, Melinda Parrett, Amanda Troop and John Walcutt! You all deserve a kiss, a hug and a medal for keeping up to the pace the show requires. Again, bravo...in fact a double bravo, bravo! Let's add another: bravo, bravo, bravo!
Ellen Lenbergs is to be credited with the great set design. I really felt locked inside a loony bin!

More Los Angeles!
Go to the Homepage


Comment & Share


About Author

Subscribe to Author Alerts
Don Grigware Don Grigware is an Ovation nominated actor and writer whose contributions to theatre through the years have included 6 years as theatre editor of NoHoLA, a contributor to LA Stage Magazine and currently on his own website:

www.grigwaretalkstheatre.com

Don hails from Holyoke, Massachusetts and holds two Masters Degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in Education and Bilingual Studies. He is a teacher of foreign language and ESL.

Don is in his sixth year with BWW, currently serving as Senior Editor of the Los Angeles Page. He received a BWW Award for Excellence in 2014 as one of the top ten Regional Editors across the globe.


 
🔀LOS ANGELES SHOWS
In the Heights in Los AngelesIn the Heights
(Runs 11/14 - 11/22)
Illusions in Los AngelesIllusions
(Runs 11/1 - 11/23)
I Love Lucy Live on Stage in Los AngelesI Love Lucy Live on Stage
(Runs 11/28 - 11/29)
Grease
(Runs 9/18 - 11/30)
Kinky Boots in Los AngelesKinky Boots
(Runs 11/11 - 11/30)
Oklahoma! in Los AngelesOklahoma!
(Runs 11/8 - 12/6)

View All | Add Show | Auditions

Message Board

BWW BLOGS