Butley is a famously dark comedy concerning a London college professor named Ben Butley (Nathan Lane), who is unfortunate enough to be left by both his wife and male lover on the same day. When this is coupled with problems at work and his pessimistic outlook on life, we see Butley descend into desperation with an engaging schism of witty and humorous social observations and intense self-deprecation. A wonderfully sharp mélange of dry observation and intense character-driven drama, Butley is both wholly entertaining and emotionally involving. Tickets to see Butley provide not only a great drama, but good laughs as well.
Written by British playwright Simon Gray, Butley was originally performed on the stage in 1972 under the direction of Harold Pinter with Alan Bates as Butley. In 1974 Pinter and Bates created a silver-screen adaptation of their production to cult acclaim. This 2006 Huntingdon Theater Company production is equally well fashioned under the direction of Nicholas Martin (Match, The Rehearsal) and production of Elizabeth I. McCann (Well, The Smell of the Kill). Nathan Lane (The Odd Couple, The Producers) is perfectly cast as the insecure and erratic Butley as are Pamela J. Gray (Night Must Fall) and Dana Ivey (The Rivals) as the major female protagonists.
Butley is near unique in its intelligent examination of life in decline, the contrast of the humorous and scathing observations of Butley and his clear anguish and despair creates a thought-provoking and emotional piece. The delightful Nathan Lane and the complimentary set and costume designs of Alexander Dodge and Ann Roth come together to create a smooth but powerful performance that progresses steadily towards a thrilling climax. Uncomfortably funny, intensely stimulating and highly enjoyable, Butley tickets will deliver a quintessential Broadway experience.
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