Already closed | 2h 0m | Midtown E


From 68 member  reviews
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. More…

While leading his troops, Civil War Major General Benjamin Butler of the Union Army finds three escaped slaves seeking sanctuary. Despite the obvious conflict between the North and South, Butler, a lawyer in civilian life, is forced to make a decision about whether to uphold the law and return them to their 'rightful owners,' or provide the sanctuary they seek.

Member Reviews (68)


Great acting, Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Funny
Avg Score

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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)

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

Intelligent, Great acting, Funny

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.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Funny, Thought-provoking

See it if you like reenactments of historical events, have an interest in ethical dilemmas, or have a personal connection to antebellum slavery.

Don't see it if you prefer musicals, or frothy comedies, or dramas about romantic entanglements.

Riveting, Must see, Absorbing, Astounding

See it if You want to see a marvelous dramatization of an actual piece of history that's funny and absorbing.

Don't see it if You don't like excellent theater if it has to do with Civil War history.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy historical Civil War dramas about real events

Don't see it if you don't enjoy a show about the civil war and slavery

Absorbing, Clever, Funny

See it if Very intelligent and funny.

Don't see it if You do not like talky shows

Ambitious, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you're interested in history, a funny and thoughtful play with great acting.

Don't see it if you are in the mood for a song & dance musical. This is a comedic play.

Absorbing, Clever, Great writing, Smart dialog, Great story

See it if you like historical drama, great acting, a meaningful story, many laughs.

Don't see it if you want to miss a terrific play

Enchanting, Entertaining, Original, Relevant, Funny

See it if you enjoy fun, thought-provoking historical fiction. The performances are first-rate and the two hours flies by!

Don't see it if you want something very heavy and serious. While the themes are important, it's presented with great humor and a light touch.

Ambitious, Funny, Great acting

See it if you are interested in a little known piece of Civil War history played out as, largely, a comedy.

Don't see it if the idea of (often times) reducing the Civil War and its complexities to a simple bow-tied comic romp is troubling to you.

Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if Want to be totally entertained with great acting, writing, and a thought provoking topic.

Don't see it if Just see it. It's great!!!

Disappointing, Farce about enslaved people?, Wordy opening, Interesting historical event, Predictable dialogue

See it if You are ok with seeing actors who are better than the play they're in, don't mind dialogue that sounds like it's lifted from a sitcom

Don't see it if You can't deal with a farcical treatment of slavery (I couldn't), you have a hard time with a play made up of mansplaining

Clever, Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Smart

See it if You like a clever, smart story well acted

Don't see it if See it if you can.

Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Great acting

See it if Outstanding cast, excellent play,well directed with "something to say"! Important to see!

Don't see it if The subject or racism done with humor is not for you.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Must see, Relevant

See it if you love GREAT acting and need a history lesson not often talked about. Funny and so heart breaking at the same time. Go see it!

Don't see it if you only like flashy productions that say absolutely nothing. don't want to be reminded of a part of history that we should be ashamed of.

Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Great acting, Intense

See it if You are interested in less widely known history about real persons during the Civil War; you love great acting and great dialogue.

Don't see it if You are bored by history or historical fiction; you are not delighted by the mastery of language.

Absorbing, Clever, Great writing, Great acting, Must see

See it if you enjoy incredibly well written and acted plays about complicated and controversial issues, and have a sense of humor.

Don't see it if you struggle to understand very rapid dialogue, are easily offended by issues of race, or do not enjoy period pieces.

Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if You want to have a fun evening. Educational, meaningful, & funny.

Don't see it if N/A

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 s...
read more
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, t...
read more
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 ...
read more
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 ...
read more

Related content