Arts + Culture » Theatre

The Butleress

A classic who-dunnit done right

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Some wag once wrote: a farce is a type of play that critics laugh at and then pan. Not in this case. The Butleress is a jolly outing nicely living up to farce's raison d'etre - to entertain an audience, eliciting laughs using broad humoured comedy, a ridiculous situation or scenario, played by shameless farceurs. Structured like a British cosy (a parlor mystery popular in the 1920s and 30s) The Butleress giddily borrows the twist of a certain famous Agatha Christie mystery for its payoff. The feature players Patricia Veinotte, Susan Keefe, Val MacKenzie in an hysterical (both definitions of the word) performance and Melissa Sorenson are a quartet of women gathered to rehearse The Butler, a 19th century murder mystery re-visioned (as in modernized) as The Butleress - an all women murder mystery. Shortly into the first reading run-through of the play, the theatre lights flicker and then blacken out. When the lights come back on, one of the cast is dead (Not-a-spoiler alert - there are several blackouts which allow for some hilarious stage business). I know who dunnit. Now it's up to you who haven't as yet seen the play to find out if The Butleress did it. Seen Sept. 8

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