Peek-a-boo Playthings 

What the Butler Saw!
8pm Fri-Sat
Through Mar 3
Matinee: 2:30pm Feb 18
$20 general; $18 senior, military; $12 student
Valentine’s: 8pm Feb 14, $25 w/ coffee and dessert
Cameo Theatre
1123 E. Commerce
What the Butler Saw! at the Cameo theatre this month comes complete with partial nudity, dry humor, and sexual innuendo. This fast-paced farce references the liberal sexual environment of the 1960s while weaving a comical tale of miscommunication and deceit.

The play, an archetypal farce by Joe Orton, expands upon the hilariously catastrophic effects of an unsuccessful attempt at infidelity. The opening scene reveals the devious, not-so-cunning plot of psychiatrist Dr. Prentice, played by Jay Hunter Overton, to seduce his unsuspecting secretarial candidate, Geraldine Barclay (Desiree Johnson-Cortez). The trouble begins when the doctor suggests that Ms. Barclay undress so that he may examine her credentials for the position — no pun intended, of course. She finds herself in the buff when a door-slamming whirlwind of visitors begins. In true farce form, Dr. Prentice is quickly muddled in a series of cover-ups that confounds all of the involved parties. Before long, characters are switching costumes, the police are involved, and the poor secretary ends up drugged and with a shaven head.

The rapid pace of the play’s elocution and stage direction is artfully mastered by this small cast. Of particular note is the eloquent Taylor Maddux in the role of psychiatrist Dr. Rance. Maddux madly flutters about the stage rambling psychological theory and certifying insane members of every involved party. His artful command of the bewildering script and active use of the set creates a believable mad-scientist character lost in a world of imaginary theory.

The Victorian-style set is complete with rich wooden furniture, built-in cabinets, and a flowery psychiatrist’s couch that “looks big enough for two.” Four doors, three up stage and one to stage right, provide dynamic entrance and exit points for sometimes scantily clad crew members. The nymphomaniac Mrs. Prentice, played by Mindee MacCollister, activates these entrances and exits in comic, yet frantic, drunkenness, deftly managing the line between obnoxious flamboyancy and slapstick humor.

Typical 1960s costuming adds dynamism to the scene as dresses, stockings, and shoes are frantically flung about. The attire at first glance seems banal; however, a quick undress reveals underwear of the modern era. Mrs. Prentice sports diamond-encrusted lingerie while policeman Sergeant Match exhibits faded plaid boxers. This inconsistency tends to disorient the historical context; however, the racy lace and satin also heighten the sexuality of the

Ultimately, the cast successfully masters the play’s visual and physical humor to craft a unique presentation of British theater.

We’re keeping you informed…
...and it’s what we love to do. From local politics and culture to national news that hits close to home, San Antonio Current has been keeping San Antonio informed for years.

It’s never been more important to support local news sources. A free press means accountability and a well-informed public, and we want to keep our unique and independent reporting available for many, many years to come.

If quality journalism is important to you, please consider a donation to San Antonio Current. Every reader contribution is valuable and so appreciated, and goes directly to support our coverage of critical issues and neighborhood culture. Thank you.

More by Emily Morrison

Read the Digital Print Issue

March 25, 2020


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation