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.
"'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 "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.
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