REVIEW ROUNDUP: “M. Butterfly” Opened with a ShowScore of 76

Show-Score | Oct 27, 2017
“M. Butterfly”, written by David Henry Hwang and directed by Julie Taymor, opened on October 26, 2017 in New York City. “M. Butterfly”, written by David Henry Hwang and directed by Julie Taymor, opened on October 26, 2017 in New York City.


22 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 63.

Ben Brantley
The New York Times
ShowScore: 45
"'M. Butterfly' returns to Broadway on heavier, drabber wings...Hwang more than implicitly compares Gallimard’s dim vision regarding his love object to the unrealistic beliefs that Western countries hold about the East...For 'M. Butterfly' to have emotional impact, it must make its audiences uneasily complicit in that fantasy. In this version, you always maintain the distance...We’re not being seduced, but preached at."
Charles Isherwood
Broadway News
ShowScore: 40
"Despite Taymor’s infusions of stylish pageantry – or possibly, in part, because of them — the play’s emotional core seems to have been hollowed out...Taymor’s plodding, sometimes fussy staging, coupled with Hwang’s revised version of the play, ultimately leave a wearying, watery impression...This production tends to underline the play’s flaws, notably Hwang’s sometimes over-explicit writing."
Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 80
"Taymor's stylish revival attempts to seduce us into belief, to make its gender-play seem not only plausible but understandable...Ha's believably feminine performance undergirds our uncertainty...Taymor artfully constructs Gallimard's orientalist dream...Minor quibbles about the play's occasionally sluggish pace shouldn't obscure the point that no other director comes close to Taymor's magpie talent for incorporating diverse theatrical forms into a singular vision."

“M. Butterfly” was also reviewed by Allison Adato of Entertainment Weekly, Barbara Schuler of Newsday, Michael Portantiere of Talkin' Broadway, Sara Holdren of New York Magazine / Vulture, Mark Shenton of The Stage (UK), Tim Teeman of Daily Beast, Michael Bracken of Theater Pizzazz, Diane Snyder of The Telegraph (UK), Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Chris Jones of Chicago Tribune, Matt Windman of AM New York, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, Alexis Soloski of The Guardian (UK), Adam Feldman of Time Out New York, Marilyn Stasio of Variety, Thomas Rafael of CitiTour, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, and Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal.


The show was also reviewed by 107 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 78.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Slow

ChrisC, ShowScore: 88
See it if…"You’re interested in a non fiction version of Mme Butterfly or if you’d enjoy an east meets west, thought provoking play w/ complex issues."
Don't see it if…"You only enjoy lighthearted themes or dislike complexity of human minds and sexuality, and may be offended by nudity on stage."
Tim M, ShowScore: 89
See it if…"You want to see a brilliant piece of theatre that was performed as it always should have been!" 
Don't see it if…"You don't want to be challenged by another point of view."
c 7281, ShowScore: 69 
See it if…"You're a Clive Owen fan, and who isn't? You saw the original and are curious about how they might have updated or tweaked it.
Don't see it if…"You saw the original and are not prepared to be disappointed or wonder whether you were more easily wowed back in the 80s."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Already closed
M. Butterfly
381 reviews
Overall Score

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.