M. Butterfly
Closed 2h 0m
M. Butterfly
76

M. Butterfly NYC Reviews and Tickets

76%
(331 Reviews)
Positive
79%
Mixed
17%
Negative
4%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Disappointing

About the Show

David Henry Hwang's Tony Award-winning play comes back to Broadway in a new production directed by Tony Award-winner Julie Taymor and starring Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Award winner Clive Owen.

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Member Reviews (331)

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965 Reviews | 339 Followers
75
Ambitious, Strong visuals, Thought-provoking, Unsatisfying end, Engrossing

See it if you enjoy Taymor's strong artistic sensibility. Many striking images: fascinating panels, lighting, costumes. Engrossing plot; well acted.

Don't see it if you want enlightenment. MB: some men love a dream more than reality. Breaking of 4th wall is jarring. Ending (w/makeup applicn) felt forced. Read more

952 Reviews | 387 Followers
90
Visually stunning, Absorbing, Clever, Intriguing, Entertaining

See it if You’ve never seen it before. I have a feeling you’ll appreciate this best if you’re not comparing it to a previous production. I loved it.

Don't see it if you’re not willing to think a little outside the box. Julie Taymor’s direction is visually pretty busy for a play. Might distract. I loved.

811 Reviews | 221 Followers
88
Intelligent, Great acting, Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you enjoy well-paced presentation that is clear and enjoyable. This retelling of the story is a great production-do not expect the original.

Don't see it if you do not like be spoken to by the main actors or if you want an original staging of this play.

MJK
677 Reviews | 187 Followers
47
Disappointing, Slow, Poor staging, Emotionless

See it if you've never seen this highly-acclaimed play, worthy of reviving (but worthy of a better production); you want to see a nice perf by Jin Ha

Don't see it if you've seen the play before. Taymor's passionless direction, rudimentary sets, Hwang's needless rewrites & a colorless Owen mar this revival

612 Reviews | 125 Followers
85
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You are looking for a different type of Butterfly. As I watched this play fold out, I was wanting more.

Don't see it if If you think it like musical and dancing for not alot of sing.

471 Reviews | 74 Followers
94
Absorbing, Clever, Edgy, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you like great acting.Clive Owen's incredible.He hits every emotional color.Set is constantly changing, leaving us off balance,like the play

Don't see it if you want a story wrapped up with a bow.This leaves you wondering about sexualtiy,love,fantasy.If we love, does it matter if it's an illusion

449 Reviews | 116 Followers
77
Absorbing, Ambitious, Overrated, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if want to see a revival of an important play that brought Asian-American actors and playwrights to greater attention

Don't see it if you are prudish

406 Reviews | 188 Followers
82
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You like minimalist productions,Clive Owen,hidden secrets,Asian culture norms,East v West, difficult love affairs, feeling torn.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with sexual references and nudity. Like elaborate staging and fast action. Saw the original. Believe NY Times.

Critic Reviews (53)

The New York Times
October 26th, 2017

"'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."
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Time Out New York
October 26th, 2017

"'M. Butterfly' remains provocative and timely, with a great deal to unpack—in part because Hwang has stuffed it with new information...These changes help shift the storytelling away from symbolism and toward a more specific account of a particular relationship...Aside from lively dance sequences, there are few spectacular flourishes. Not all of the directorial choices make immediate sense...But even at its most confusing—not to say inscrutable—the revival commands fascination."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 26th, 2017

"Strangely uneven...Despite compelling performances by both leads—especially Ha—both play and production wander into clunkiness and confusion...Hwang and Taymor often struggle to convey the specific reality in which events are occurring...Hwang’s observations feel suspended—like little islands of incisive commentary in a stream that hasn’t entirely found its flow...The show often seems to be floating just above something truly powerful, looking for a place to land."
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The Hollywood Reporter
October 26th, 2017

"The bluntness and lack of poetry in Taymor's sluggish 'M. Butterfly' revival are no fault of the talented Jin Ha, who plays Song with an enigmatic air..Owen's dour Gallimard is more hamstrung by the production's approach...M. Butterfly remains a provocative drama...But in their counterintuitive attempt to make the play relevant for an audience more versed in the complexities of gender and racial politics, Taymor and Hwang have inadvertently undercut its pathos."
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Entertainment Weekly
October 26th, 2017

"Success here hinges on pinning the right Butterfly...Julie Taymor’s take meets that challenge with the casting of newcomer Jin Ha in a fearless, confrontational, and often seductive turn as the diva...Spared the pressure of keeping a spoiler under wraps, this revised 'Butterfly' has room to expand its political parable, and more deeply explore Song’s backstory."
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Variety
October 26th, 2017

"Gorgeous if oddly unmoving...Owen seems deeply haunted by Gallimard’s forbidden love for Song Liling; but his earnest attempt to play the character’s sexual uncertainty is ultimately unconvincing. Taymor has shielded Hwang’s poetry from being overwhelmed by the sheer theatricality of the story...By fortifying the scenes that frame the love story, Taymor has also strengthened the political undercurrents of the play."
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The Wall Street Journal
October 26th, 2017

"Ms. Taymor’s revival isn’t remotely worthy of Mr. Hwang’s subtle meditation on male desire and the inability of Westerners to understand the Asian mind, and Mr. Owen is so miscast that it’s easy to forget how fine an actor he can be under more favorable circumstances...Jin Ha, by contrast, is astonishing...Were the rest of this production half as impressive as his performance, it would be worth paying any price to see."
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Deadline
October 26th, 2017

"Both visually and intellectually, this revival is a wholesale departure from John Dexter’s original production, a decision that turns out to have been wise choosing. This 'M. Butterfly' is every bit as memorable as the original...This conventional style for such an unconventional script has the salubrious effect of throwing the action into high relief, and allows both Owen and Jin Ha to shine; they’re mesmerizing...A heated, intensely provocative show. It never lets up."
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