Cherry Lane Theatre kicks off its 2015-16 season with the Off-Broadway debut of 'Catch the Butcher,' a dark comedy about a woman who sets off to find a serial killer - and love. More…
A serial killer dubbed "The Butcher" has been terrorizing several towns in Texas, having killed eleven women before dropping their remains in the river with a poem attached. While most women are in fear for their lives, Nancy is instead curious. This causes her to search out "The Butcher" and when she finds herself in his basement, she likes it.
"The acting by the three main characters — Jonathan Walker, who you have seen in many a drama (and he is always superb) ... Lauren Luna Velez, a compelling sex pot with a mysterious death wish ... and the short brilliant turn toward the end by Angelina Fiordellisi who has mastered entirely any takeoff of a Texas matron with all attendant flourish and faults... This serial killer drama is guaranteed to haunt your dreams and you won't soon forget it." Full Review
"'Catch the Butcher,' a curious, neatly directed and wonderfully acted new play that defies category but keeps you riveted, changes all that. This is a new one: a play about a mass murderer who kills women, written and performed in the style of a sitcom. Don’t be put off by the subject matter. The play is never remotely gory. In fact, it is delightfully different." Full Review
"The playwright puts these characters in a situation so dire that you want to dismiss it from the get-go as too far-fetched and dramatic. However, you can't because they catch us in their clutches...The dialogue is in turns funny, ironic, ominous and even heart wrenching." Full Review
"The script itself, written by Adam Seidel, is a seriously dark comedy that could easily devolve into something plodding and dark or silly and nonsensical. The show delightfully straddles that line. Laughs come easily, particularly after the story gets rolling...If you’re looking to laugh at some great dark humor, look no further than 'Catch the Butcher.'" Full Review
"Quirky, unsettling and rewarding...The principals gradually find their rhythm, but once they do, they skillfully assay Mr. Seidel’s effective blend of romance, absurdism, satire and - buttressed by Quentin Chiappetta’s haunting ambient music - dread. It’s a tricky balancing act, but the company retains its footing." Full Review
"Though Seidel spends most of the 90-minute evening viciously skewering tropes, in the last seven minutes or so he gives in to them and turns 'Catch the Butcher' into exactly what it's been rebelling against...Violence, in general, is no laughing matter, but once Seidel has started you down that road, you don't want to exit from it quite so quickly. If 'Catch the Butcher' is in the end unsatisfying because of its finale, the run-up to it is a killer in all the best senses of the word." Full Review
"'Catch the Butcher,' for all its implausibilities, actually might have worked as an offbeat comic thriller had it been buoyed by clever direction, sprightly performances, and a flexible setting, none of which it receives. The pace is funereal, the scene shifts...are interminable, and the would-be laughs little more than forced titters...'Catch the Butcher' may be about a serial killer, but that’s no reason for it to be so deadly." Full Review
"'Catch the Butcher' has a wonderful actress, is smartly directed, but goes nowhere, which is odd, because this show about a serial killer and the woman, who intentionally wants to be his next victim, ends pointlessly... 'Catch the Butcher' had the chance to be a really interesting and delve into so really dark places, unfortunately it was just a superficial play done for laughs." Full Review
"Playwright Seidel replaces cliché lines about falling in love with language of finding out what it’s like to be normal. He crafts some notably co-dependent characters in this bizarre play. Director Fratti keeps the story moving, but can't quite find a suitable tone...'Catch' feels sadly forced. It’s neither enough of a black comedy, nor sexy enough for the bondage play it could be. And it’s got nowhere near the nuance it would take to make it a fascinating Genet-like power play." Full Review
"In pairing two people benumbed in contemporary society, 'Butcher' has some promise, but it rapidly becomes preposterous as Nancy initially acquiesces unquestioningly to many of Bill’s demands. Seidel stretches credulity even further, though, once she begins to tire of her existence with her captor-lover. Directed by Valentina Fratti, the actors deliver unevenly." Full Review
"It's impossible to tell what writer Seidel was after - a straightforward thriller, a black comedy, or some combination thereof. I can personally testify to the total absence of tension on the stage, and, regarding humor, I will add that, aside from a handful of snickers, the audience at the performance I attended was a silent as the grave." Full Review
for a previous production "A daring approach, but Seidel largely pulls it off...Siedel's dialogue is often brilliant, and his script is skillfully funny but not frivolous, raising questions about emotions, addictions, self-image, fate, destiny, and the nature of romance and love...'Catching the Butcher' is a striking piece of work, marking Seidel as an up-and-coming playwright to watch." Full Review
for a previous production "Promising script butchered by production values...Enjoyable writing and performances aside, this production of 'Catching the Butcher' is a sloppy mess as far as its staging basics are concerned...'Catching the Butcher' has some undeniably good elements, but ultimately, this play has to get its behind-the-scenes act together to make it stage-ready. This reviewer would have left at intermission had the script not been so fascinating." Full Review
See it if you want a show with a lot of tension and a bit of mystery.
Don't see it if you want to feel connected to characters that have a dark side. I was expecting to really see some deep character analysis; I didn't.
See it if I cringed the first three scenes because I thought it was going to be something dark and predictable. I was pleasantly proven wrong.
Don't see it if You don't like a small off Broadway show. I'd say this was more off-off, but still good.
See it if I saw this show when it was running at Cherry Lane. The actors were amazing. Story was strange at times but stayed with me.
Don't see it if Closed so you can't see it any more. Hopefully it gets remounted.
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