Though there were many times the audience did laugh on opening night of "What the Butler Saw," the final sight gag fell flat.
The waving about of a replica of a male body part may have been a brazen and bold theatrical event in 1969, when this play was first produced in London. Forty years later, such a sight is familiar, as common as the failure of a computer's spam protector. No one in the audience gasped on opening night and few giggled either.
These days the running about in underwear and much of the sex talk called for in Joe Orton's script seems too obviously designed to shock. A good part of his dialogue does retain its freshness though.
Take for example this line, when one of the characters tries to claim sanity through virtue of being married and is told by the psychiatrist, "Marriage excuses no one from the freak's roll call." Or when the blackmailing sexual predator applies for a job as a male secretary, explaining, "I'd like to get out of the indecent photography racket."
The Wasatch Theatre Company production is directed by George Plautz. Nancy McAffee plays Geraldine Barclay, a young woman who applies for a job as a psychiatrist's secretary and is naive enough to allow a physical exam to be part of the interview.
Daniel Torrence is Dr. Prentice, the psychiatrist whose wife has sex with everyone but him. Linda Eyring brings a soft-spoken unfocused aspect to the role of Mrs. Prentice, making her easily the oddest of all these odd characters.
Rob Shand is Nicholas, the molester/bellhop. Scott Allen Curry is the police sergeant. Travis Metzler is Dr. Rand, the supervising psychiatrist, who is sent by the queen's government, "your superiors in madness."
The acting is what you'd expect at a community theater. The script, however, is unexpected. One might even say kinky.
Sensitivity rating: Jokes about rape, incest, pedophilia, sexual dysfunction and more. The nymphomaniac wife enjoys being hit.