There’s no butler in Joe Orton’s farce What the Butler Saw, but if there were he’d be spending the play, now at Court Theatre under the direction of Sean Graney, running from one end of the door-filled set to the other, getting his knickers in a twist as he tried to keep up with a script filled with twists and knickers.

Here’s the plot in a press-release nutshell: "When a psychiatrist invents a series of increasingly outrageous lies to cover up his attempts to seduce his young secretary, all manner of pandemonium breaks out in the ward."

In his Court debut, Graney—founder of Chicago’s Hypocrites Theater Company—takes Orton’s play into the 21st century by pulling out all the stops. Sight gags and sound gags, schtick und drang, abound.

Butler runs at Court through December 9.


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Photos (left to right): Applying for a secretarial post, Geraldine Barclay (Mechelle Moe) finds herself on the couch with Dr. Prentice (Blake Montgomery) and under the care of Dr. Rance (Joe Foust). Dr. Rance and Mrs. Prentice (Mary Beth Fisher) confer as Dr. Prentice casts a shadow.

Photos by Michael Brosilow.

November 26, 2007