Butler NYC Reviews and Tickets

88%
(68 Reviews)
Positive
96%
Mixed
3%
Negative
1%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Funny

About the Show

Based on true events, Richard Strand's dramedy explores a Northern Civil War Major General's ethical dilemma about slavery.

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Member Reviews (68)

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703 Reviews | 213 Followers
90
Witty, Intelligent, Historical, Suspenseful, Funny

See it if You would enjoy an entertaining play on words and history, with clever characters and relationships.

Don't see it if You're not interested in the civil war setting.

501 Reviews | 127 Followers
92
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Masterful

See it if you enjoy a gallon of humor with your history lesson. It is a very well acted, well written play about a serious subject. Well done!

Don't see it if you feel history must be conveyed in the usual dry, textbook manner or if you do not enjoy non fiction.

465 Reviews | 256 Followers
95
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, writing, and directing

See it if you enjoy historical plays with a dash of humor! It is very relevant to today's world.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy historical plays.

464 Reviews | 70 Followers
79
Clever, Funny, Entertaining, Overrated, Drags

See it if Like historical shows. It could use some editing, especially in the first scene.

Don't see it if you are expecting something serious. Actors need to toe a fine line between humor and farce. In the first scene, they go into farce.

410 Reviews | 74 Followers
91
Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you like a serious subject done in a humorous way. It is a very funny play about real-life Civil War characters; yet it's also very touching

Don't see it if you don't want Civil War & slavery presented humorously no matter how moving; you don't like plays based on historical events

414 Reviews | 69 Followers
88
Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You want to learn more about a little known important piece of history. Play is entertaining and clever, never preachy

Don't see it if You are put off by good characters who do not act in expected ways.

260 Reviews | 597 Followers
89
Excellent script, Great acting, Riveting

See it if you like great writing well acted. I did not know of Butler prior to seeing this performance, and was very pleasantly surprised.

Don't see it if You don't like period pieces, or prefer musicals. (I saw at 59E59 August 2016)

302 Reviews | 101 Followers
71
Cliched, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you want to see a little known story of the war, have a Civil War fetish

Don't see it if you expect relevance and insight, this is all rather predictable

Critic Reviews (30)

NY1
July 29th, 2016

"As delightfully engaging as it is astonishingly true…Its charm comes from playwright Richard Strand’s amusingly nuanced characterizations…The excellent cast are period perfect. Best of all, Ames Adamson's irascible Butler and John G.Williams scrappy Mallory emerge quite convincingly as kindred spirits. Directed by Discher with an eye for comedy and drama, 'Butler' is quite a marvelous feat - a boffo character study and suspense yarn spun from little more than a loophole in the law."
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Theatermania
July 27th, 2016

"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."
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BroadwayWorld
July 28th, 2016

“With an extraordinary, artful script by Richard Strand, meticulous direction by Joseph Discher and four excellent actors, the show is a wonderfully staged, unforgettable story of humanity...More than an entertaining show, it is a significant piece of theater and a timeless exploration of social conscience and individual responsibility. In the current climate of political discord, it is a refreshing look at how men of very different backgrounds find a sense of commonality.”
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Lighting & Sound America
July 28th, 2016

“The director can't do much with the interminable early scenes, but, under the limitations imposed here, his handling of the second act is fairly solid...Throughout, there's a nagging question of taste: Is this racially fraught moment really the right time for a reassuring comic fairy tale about the ugliest mass crime in American history? I will add that the audience at my performance-which was 99% white-ate it all up with a spoon. I suspect that a black audience wouldn't be nearly as amused.”
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Talkin' Broadway
July 27th, 2016

"The playwright has accomplished two fairly remarkable things. First, he has taken an actual historic event and characters and turned it into an engrossing, non-pedantic play…More surprising, the play is delightfully funny, packed with wit, farce, and slapstick…Each of the characters is splendidly realized, and the production is first-rate all around...All told, this is a terrific show for history buffs and for anyone who can appreciate the savvy mixture of a serious topic with a comic touch."
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TheaterScene.net
August 1st, 2016

“‘Butler’ is a tale of conscience, courage and transcendence. As Major General Benjamin Butler, Ames Adamson has risen to power but is faced with a decision that could change the game for slavery in America. Many of the themes surrounding a nation divided such as injustice, prejudice and lack of understanding remain extremely relevant today. Instead of ignoring the issues or using power as the only weapon, ‘Butler’ uses empathy and understanding as a means to connect.”
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Theatre is Easy
July 29th, 2016

"'Butler's' amazingly talented writer Richard Strand makes great use of such spectacular attention to the detailed specificity of language. Every word is included for a reason…Adamson, Sterling, Williams, and Sitler all are masters at their craft...Each component of the production works seamlessly together, from the clever script and these wonderful actors, to director Joseph Discher, who displays their gifts in the best possible light."
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Theater Pizzazz
July 27th, 2016

"Strand’s set-up in the extremely capable hands of the director and talented actors provides the foundation for the play’s humor, characterizations, future thematic tropes and key issues…Strand’s brilliant writing configures the steps that show how Butler arrives at the logic to override the Fugitive Slave Law. Though we know the ultimate conclusion, it is how Strand takes us there that is surprising and magnificent…The production is just stunning! 'Butler' is marvelous theater."
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