New York | 1h 40m | Already closed

Catch The Butcher

From 13 critic and 22 member reviews
Members say: Clever, Entertaining, Absorbing, Funny, Edgy

About the show

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.

New York Social Diary

"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

The Observer

"'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

Entertainment Hour Blog

"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

Talkin' Broadway

"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

The New York Times

"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

Theater Pizzazz

"'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

Times Square Chronicles

"'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

Theatre is Easy

"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

American Theater Web

"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

Lighting & Sound America

"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

Stage and Cinema

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

Absorbing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if Saw this back in 2015. Great show!

Don't see it if Special effects could have been better but still loved it.

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Original, Hilarious

See it if You like quirky comedy. Loved Angelina Fiordellisi

Don't see it if You're easily offended by dark humor

Absorbing, Funny, Morally questionable

See it if you enjoy small performances spaces and a twisted plot.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy a slow plot.

Disappointing, Great singing, Overrated

See it if You like Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Don't see it if You want more than a story about cats being bullied.

Absurdist, Peculiar, Dark, Slow

See it if you'd like a play about a serial killer whose latest victim falls in love with him.

Don't see it if you dislike absurdist plays.

Disappointing, Fluffy, Overrated, Slow, Indulgent

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.

Edgy, Great acting, Funny, Original, Weird

See it if This show popped up in my list of shows I saw this year. Holy cow it was nuts. Which is great. More theater should take as many risks

Don't see it if If you like safe theater.

Off beat, Entertaining, Quirky

See it if You like Cherry Lane

Don't see it if You don't like intimate shows about dark material

Funny, Quirky, Resonant

See it if You enjoy great acting

Don't see it if You don't like serial killers falling in love

Clever, Entertaining, Confusing

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.

Absorbing, Clever, Edgy

See it if I really liked this show. At moments it made me feel uncomfortable but that was kind of the point.

Don't see it if You don't care for theatre that challenges the way you look at the world.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Funny

See it if You like a show in a small space.

Don't see it if You don't like shows about serial killers

Absorbing, Edgy, Confusing

See it if Before seeing this show this past October I actually saw a reading of this thing at a theater in Newark. I loved it both times.

Don't see it if You can't. It's closed.

Original, Thought-provoking, Resonant

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.

Absorbing, Clever

See it if Lauren velez is awesome.

Don't see it if Closed

Entertaining, Ambitious, Romantic

See it if You enjoy sick romances.

Don't see it if You are turned off by violence.

Delightful, Intense

See it if You want your dark side appealed to.

Don't see it if You find comedies about serial killers distasteful.

Clever, Resonant, Quirky

See it if You like a show in the Dexter vein

Don't see it if Don't like humor about serial killers

Clever, Bizzare, Delightful

See it if Time and time again I thought this show was going to go one way and it always went the other. For the better mostly.

Don't see it if You don't like a slow moving plot

Dizzying, Intelligent, Intense

See it if Like Lauren velez

Don't see it if You don't like small cast shows

Entertaining, Exquisite, Great singing

See it if You enjoy musicals

Don't see it if You don't enjoy musicals

Clever, Edgy, Confusing

See it if I saw this in 2015 at Cherry Lane. Good show not without it's flaws.

Don't see it if If you prefer shows that don't make light of dark subject matters.

Cast & Creatives (10)