Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

What the Butler Saw

Posted on

What the Butler Saw

type:
Stage
Current Status:
In Season
director:
Scott Elliott
author:
Joe Orton

We gave it a C+

The decency watchdogs in Washington would have a field day with Joe Orton’s masterful 1969 farce What the Butler Saw: Everyone — from a horny psychiatrist to a phallus-toting policeman — is out for sex or pursued for sex. Then they all end up stripped, sedated, shot, and/or straitjacketed. But in director Scott Elliott’s hands, all of this risqué business is about as animated as a presidential debate. Fortunately, there’s Lisa Emery, spot-on as a boozy nymphomaniac, plus a hilarious and genuine Chloe Sevigny as a naive secretary. The Boys Don’t Cry actress is even convincing, wouldn’t you know, impersonating a boy. C+