REVIEW ROUNDUP: "Butler" Opened with a ShowScore of 86

Show-Score | Jul 28, 2016

"Butler," written by Richard Strand and directed by Joseph Discher, opened on July 27, 2016 in New York City. "Butler," written by Richard Strand and directed by Joseph Discher, opened on July 27, 2016 in New York City.


12 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 82.

Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 90
"Richard Strand's 'Butler' might just be the funniest play ever written about Civil War-era slavery...'Butler' tackles a serious subject in a way that is simultaneously thought-provoking and sidesplitting...In his own humorous and very watchable way, Strand hits at a larger truth: specifically, that the arc of the moral universe is often bent toward justice by the sophistry of prickly, stubborn individuals."
Samuel L. Leiter
Theatre's Leiter Side
ShowScore: 85
“‘Butler's' style is heightened for dramatic effect, its tone is mildly anachronistic, and its details conflated, so you have to take much of it with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, it’s a historical drama about something that actually happened that manages to be relatively faithful to its source material while being both informative and highly entertaining.”
Elyse Sommer
ShowScore: 85
"Though 'Butler' is indeed talky, it's never a dry history lesson. The talk between Butler and Mallory is both amusing and witty…It was the playwright's challenge to put his own spin on the people involved so that they would be compelling characters rather than documentary-style talking heads. In meeting that challenge, Strand has created a play that will have a solid life."

"Butler" was also reviewed by Howard Miller of Talkin' Broadway, David Roberts of Theatre Reviews Limited, and Carole Di Tosti of Theater Pizzazz.


The show was also reviewed by 13 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 89.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Intelligent, Great acting, Funny, Clever, Entertaining

Teresa 6209, ShowScore: 92
See it if… You enjoy clever dialogue and an uplifting (albeit unlikely, even though true) story.
Don't see it if… You don't want to think.
Robert 5, ShowScore: 90
See it if… You want to see an original, well-crafted play that successfully blends history, biography, drama, and comedy.
Don't see it if… You like plays that fall neatly into one category.
PATRICIA 3, ShowScore: 90
See it if… You are interested in history and the characters who made it. This is a well-told, humorous, and thought-provoking dramedy.
Don't see it if… You don't like talky shows with minimal action, you believe in slavery, you are a Confederate.

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Already closed
98 reviews
Overall Score

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.