Already closed | 2h 0m | Midtown W

M. Butterfly

From 331 member  reviews
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. More…

David Henry Hwang’s modern classic, 'M. Butterfly' charts the scandalous romance between a married French diplomat and a mysterious Chinese opera singer – a remarkable love story of international espionage and personal betrayal. Their 20-year relationship pushed and blurred the boundaries between male and female, East and West – while redefining the nature of love and the devastating cost of deceit. For the Tony Award-winning play’s first Broadway return, Hwang will introduce new material inspired by the real-life love affair between French diplomat Bernard Boursicot and Chinese opera singer Shi Pei Pu that has come to light since the play’s 1988 premiere.

2h 0m | Already closed | Cort Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (331)


Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Disappointing

Aloof, ugly staging, boring,, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if I'm not sure. I did not like the setting, the lack of set, Enormous, variably boring panels hung and maneuvered getting stuck. Boring.

Don't see it if You want drama. You want to know anything about the story.

Also I've seen CLive Owen twice onstage and both times I was struck by the ... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Great acting, Overrated, Slow

See it if Never saw the original and want a glimpse of what it was about.

Don't see it if Remember the original - skip this. Nothing seems shocking or relevant anymore. Kind of boring actually.

Slow, Overrated, Indulgent, Banal, Confusing

See it if You really love clive owen.

Don't see it if You want to be bored to death, Mr.owen is always in a hit or miss broadway show.

Disappointing, Bad diretion, Bad scenic design, Overrated, Unfocused

See it if You have never seen a production of "M Butterfly" previously.

Don't see it if You don't want to see a finely written mangled by bad direction and poor acting performance by Clive Owen.

Great staging, Slow, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if You need to see Clive Owen in anything. I think he's miscast. The staging and direction and esp. the sets are great

Don't see it if you are disturbed by male nudity

Dated, Indulgent

See it if you like Clive Owen. He's good. The acting generally is good. It weirdly is very dated and very relevant at the same time?

Don't see it if you want a show with the focus on the words. There is so much going on with the set/props at any given moment. It's distracting.

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow

See it if You like Clive Owen. He really is great in it. The story is nice and if you do not know it, it could be more interesting.

Don't see it if You don’t want to see a horrible set wobbling all over. The Screens are a disaster. Distracting and noisy. Music takes you out of the moment

Disappointing, Slow, Intense

See it if you like Clive Owen

Don't see it if are expecting Julie Taymor's flair to be on display

Absorbing, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Disjointed, Messy

See it if you are interested in the source material or are a fan of Clive Owen. The story itself is really intriguing and absorbing

Don't see it if you aren't interested in bad storytelling of a great story. the set design is really distracting and clunky, and the direction is simply off

Dated, Disappointing

See it if You loved the show before. It has not made the transition to the 21st century very successfully.

Don't see it if You want a story that keeps moving forward and keeps you moving with it. If you are prone to napping, stay home.

Disappointing, Intelligent, Relevant, Unnecessary scenery, Poor direction

See it if you have never seen this play before; it is an interesting play, although the original version was more powerful. Clive Owen is perfect

Don't see it if you want to see Julie Taymor's work; here it is over done. Maybe Juan Darien and Lion King were flukes. I missed B D Wong terribly.

Great acting, Dark, Disappointing

See it if You never saw the original production. The acting is very good but the end result left me feeling a bit cold ... too dark and edgy.

Don't see it if You enjoy being absorbed into a story so much that you feel you are part of it. This play is set up so you feel strictly like a observer.

Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Dated, Overrated

See it if you didn't see the original

Don't see it if you saw the original

Confusing, Disappointing, Missed opportunity

See it if You did not see the original. 2 very good central performances. Interested in seeing a real truth is stranger than fiction story.

Don't see it if You have fond memories of the original production, script and performances. Are expecting some inspired concept from Taymor. Warning: Nudity

Also There are two very good central performance from Owen and Ha, although... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Overrated, Edgy, Great acting, Interesting

See it if You like Clive Owen and are open to exploring sexuality on stage.

Don't see it if You don't want to see full nudity, laugh at jokes that don't match the rythm of the play and don't mind the 4th wall broken.

Absorbing, Confusing, Disappointing, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you have not seen the original and is interested in seeing Clive Owen performing live.

Don't see it if you know the storyline and have high expectations.

Also Given the material, this production could have elicit profound emotion... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Disappointing, Edgy

See it if if you are interested in seeing a more contemporary M Butterfly. Hwang has reconceived his play. Interesting but direction is problematic.

Don't see it if you loved the original and want to relive that. You will be very disappointed!

Slow, Disappointing, Dated

See it if you love Clive Owen. Great performance making you believe he's shy and insecure with women.

Don't see it if you have anything better to do.


See it if you're a Clive Owen fan. He's the best thing here. But be warned that this has very little of Julie Taymor's signature style

Don't see it if you're expecting a riveting story or a visually stunning one. The new text doesn't always work & Julie Taymor directs without any joy/style

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Great acting, Overrated

See it if You love Clive Owen. He was excellent. Definitely the best part of the show.

Don't see it if You're going to see Julie Taymor's effect on the show or don't want nudity. It felt slow in places, and the sets didn't enhance the story.

Also I thought some of the sets were pretty while others were just there to... Read more Read less

Dated, Great writing, Indulgent, Great staging, Disappointing

See it if you want to see Taymor restrain herself, nuanced meditation on geopolitics by way of gender/racial politics

Don't see it if offended by nudity. bored of hollywood types breezing into Broadway.

Banal, Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Insipid

See it if You like Julie Taylor doing her superficial thing

Don't see it if You don’t want to see a wonderful play trivialized with all the layers taken away

Disappointing, Slow, Ambitious, Disappointing2

See it if You are curious about the show and have a good discount.

Don't see it if You loved the original, you don't want to potentially waste $. Just is not well done overall. The few nice moments don't make up for it.

Slow, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You’re a fan of Clive Owen, he is pretty much this entire show. You want to an interesting story about American-Asian culture.

Don't see it if You have no interest in the story and are expecting a “Julie Taymore” style show, it does not show here. The set also could have been better


See it if you want to see an incredible performances from the lead actors.

Don't see it if you want an easy-to-follow plot. The deception involved in the show can be confusing for viewers. The staging is clunky.

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 unea...
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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...
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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...
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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 ...
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