Liz on Theatre

'What the Butler Saw'

48d65e7b3191afc8acf9_STNJ_What_the_Butler_Saw_3.jpg
59c74d88a1ad4806fe4e_STNJ_What_the_Butler_Saw_6.jpg
c787dba555f1b8323973_STNJ_What_the_Butler_Saw_1.jpg
4af377fe0e310842537d_STNJ_What_the_Butler_Saw_2.jpg
dce93da704f3c1fa3815_STNJ_What_the_Butler_Saw_5.jpg
cf0e2d315a3d909e8e4e_STNJ_What_the_Butler_Saw_8.jpg
367f028e3b29810d5e3b_STNJ_What_the_Butler_Saw_9.jpg
4afbffefd20917120591_STNJ_What_the_Butler_Saw_4.jpg
060226eb8ade3ddbf5e9_STNJ_What_the_Butler_Saw_7.jpg
48d65e7b3191afc8acf9_STNJ_What_the_Butler_Saw_3.jpg

‘What the Butler Saw’ brims over with innuendo and farce

By Liz Keill

MADISON, NJ – Joe Orton’s outlandish farce, “What the Butler Saw,” is a hilarious change of pace for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey.

Sign Up for E-News

While Shakespeare himself has written his share of comedies, Orton’s play, written in 1967, takes a cunning, if cynical view, of psychiatry.  It’s a free-for-all take on lurid activities, mistaken identity and fast paced action.

Peter Simon Hilton is Dr. Prentice, a psychiatrist who has more than mental concerns on his mind. Hilton generally possesses a calm, bemused exterior, often keeping his cool despite an ever more frenetic plot. He can hardly resist the temptation of his potential receptionist, Geraldine Barclay. When he interviews Miss Barclay (Allison Layman), he convinces her that he needs to make a physical examination. Once she’s taken off her clothes, bedlam ensues.  Layman has just the right mix of innocence and righteous indignation.

Prentice’s wife (Vanessa Morosco) walks in, so the doctor must quickly hide any garments that Geraldine might have shed. But, it turns out, Mrs. Prentice has been having a fling with the bellhop, Nicholas Beckett.  Morosco manages to be all in a dither one moment, yet game for whatever happens next. Robbie Simpson plays the befuddled lover with aplomb. She thinks he would be a perfect receptionist, which of course complicates the situation.

Enter Doctor Rance (John Hutton) who is there to inspect the clinic and assess Dr. Prentice’s work. Hutton is superb has Rance, immediately attributing ulterior motives or psychological problems to any behavior he considers questionable, if not downright devious.

 Jeffrey M. Bender as Sergeant Match comes in to find out what has happened to Miss Barclay, who has mysteriously disappeared. By that time, she is in disguise as the bellhop. Then the bellhop must pretend to be Miss Barclay and somehow the policeman ends up in the midst of it all. And there are allusions to missing parts of Winston Churchill, just to add another bizarre twist.

 It all ends up in a profoundly funny and frantic muddle, under the astute direction of Paul Mullins.  The play is very British and very clever, with a convoluted scenario and lightning fast transitions.   (A butler never appears.) The stark set by Brittany Vasta and challenging costumes by Kristin Isola add to the complicated goings on in this crazy, but definitely delightful, entertainment.  Performances of “What the Butler Saw” continue through Oct. 1. For tickets, call 973-408-5600 or visit  ShakespeareNJ.org.

Liz Keill reviews professional theatre in the New Jersey area, ranging from the McCarter Theatre in Princeton to Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. In addition to writing for Tapinto.net, she does theatre analysis for HometowneTV in Summit. She holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from Penn State and a Master's in Communication from Syracuse University. Liz is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, which holds seminars at regional theatres across the country as well as in New York City.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Clark

Mark Zuckerberg Should Be Concerned About His Legacy; Punishing Legitimate Media Organizations and Small Businesses Isn’t the Answer; Regulation Is

Facebook recently announced it will be changing its feed and algorithms so that news from publishers and posts from businesses will be relegated in favor of posts about your neighbor’s cat. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook is making these changes because he is concerned about his legacy and that of the company he founded. If ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_2fd27e9a9f89b30e01a0_mini_magick20180115-9314-1kp5vy8

Sat, January 20, 3:30 PM

Clark Public Library , Clark

Teen Tech Help

Carousel_image_2fd27e9a9f89b30e01a0_mini_magick20180115-9314-1kp5vy8

Fri, January 26, 3:30 PM

Clark Public Library , Clark

Teen Tech Help

Carousel_image_248cea245b872fb9c722_resolve_house

Fri, February 2, 12:00 PM

Resolve, Scotch Plains

Free Teen Anxiety Group (Ages 14-17) at Resolve

G.B. Architect LLC – Who We Are and What We Do

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself and my architectural practice located here in Clark.  I am the Principal and founder of G.B. Architect LLC.  I started my practice in 2005 and moved to Clark in the summer of 2016.  As we head into the New Year, I look forward to making and establishing new relationships with the community of Clark. 

My experience in ...

Kindergarten Registration is Coming Soon for Clark Public Schools

January 19, 2018

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Registration for the Clark Public School District Full-day Kindergarten Program will take place on the following days:

Thursday, February 22, 2018 – FRANK K. HEHNLY SCHOOL

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 – VALLEY ROAD SCHOOL

Registration will be between 9:00 A.M. and 10:00 A.M.  Registration forms are being sent out to all eligible students.  ...

Organizing Your Goals for 2018

Is it time to take hold of a plan for the new year?   You can start by organizing and setting goals for 2018.

Financial Goals: Take a look at your financial goals for the new year. Organize your budget and make a plan to eliminate debt and to save for short and long term goals. Maybe 2018 will be the right time to buy a home or sell and downsize. 

Household Goals: Getting ...

Dog Found in Roselle Still Being Held at Newark Shelter

January 15, 2018

ROSELLE, NJ - A dog that was found on January 9, is still being held at the Newark Animal Shelter because no owner has claimed him. 

Roselle Police said the dog was found in the area of the Roselle side of Warinanco Park. The dog has a distinct blue eye and brown eye. Police also said the animal was checked and had no chip or tags. 

The Newark Animal Shelter ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 010

On this week’s AtlantiCast, we take you to the groundbreaking for an expansion to Morristown Medical Center, introduce you to the newest babies of 2018 at Atlantic Health System and share some must-see winter weather tips!

 

Obituaries

- Dec 16, 2017
On Saturday December 16, 2017, Mark Warszawa, husband, father and son, passed away suddenly at the ...
Read more
South Plainfield - Susan M. Sutton, 51, died Tuesday September 19, 2017 at Robert Wood Johnson ...
Read more