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
Avg Score

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

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Romantic, Riveting

See it if I had never seen M. Butterfly before. I definitely could see Julie Taymore's influence. Clive Owen was great. Jin Ha was amazing. It is

Don't see it if very worthwhile. See it, if you can suspend belief that this man could have been in love with this "woman" and intimate for 20 years

Also knowing she was a he. I felt for Rene and was angry that he was basica... Read more Read less

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

See it if See this show if you are intrigued by human nature and how the mind can convince the emotions to believe the improbable truth. Gorgeous sets

Don't see it if You don't agree that love conquers all.

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Great writing

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 light hearted themes or dislike complexity of human minds & sexuality and may be offended by nudity on stage.

Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you love Owen or new talent. If you're new to the story. Clever... with political and gender and machiavellian overtones.

Don't see it if you find stage manipulation distracting..hands turning panels v high school. If you adored 1st production this might disappoint (didn't see)

Absorbing, Magnificent acting, Riveting, Intense, Edgy

See it if you like MAGNIFICENT acting. Clive Owen commands the stage, turning in a performance that should be the text book for actors everywhere.

Don't see it if you don't want a gender-bending story that will leave you confused, nudity or staging that has been highly criticized.

Also DUDE LOOKS LIKE A LADY...First and foremost, Clive Owen (Rene Gallimon... Read more Read less

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.

Great acting, Masterful, Riveting, Romantic

See it if You want to see an emotionally & exotically charged drama with hilarity.Dancing and costumes were brilliant.Jin Ha&Clive were electrifying

Don't see it if You are not into nudity & explicit sexual talk

Also Found moving screens on stage to be distracting but as show went on it... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Poorly designed, Terribly directed, Miscast, Clumsy

See it if You want to watch Clive Owen and Jin Ha do their damndest to rise above a mess of a production. Their effort is palpable; their talent real.

Don't see it if You expect beautiful (or even coherent) stage imagery. You're waiting for Taymor to strike gold again. You're fond of the original.

Also One of the ugliest stagings I've ever seen--several boards travel thro... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant

See it if A fascinating play based on true events. An intimate story with big themes. Not as good as the original, but still well worth seeing.

Don't see it if You loved the original production and not open to seeing a new version.

Also Clive Owen is a bit bland and the gray panels are ugly. However, Jin H... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Slow, Masterful

See it if You want to be entranced by Jin Ha’s beautiful performance! Julie Taymor’s direction is superb. The set design & costumes are inventive.

Don't see it if You aren’t willing to go on this intense journey of culture, love & betrayal. The 1st act I found very slow. Clive Owens was a bit one note.

Awkward "revisal" removes the mystery and substitutes lectures on gendered geopolitics

See it if you like Owen, doing all he can to humanize the play; you want more clinical details on the main relationship than the original offered.

Don't see it if you are expecting ravishing visuals from Taymor's team; designs are clunky and literal.

Also If we never see Song through Gallimard's eyes, then you don't really h... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great writing, Profound, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a classic play and story from the 80's. An excellent revival.If you want to see Clive Owen.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a male full frontal nude. If this kind of stories don't make you fell or think.

Also I saw this play in Mexico City in 1988. I was a teenager. I will alway... Read more Read less

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

Great staging, Great acting, Great writing, Indulgent, Relevant

See it if you appreciate stellar performances. Clive Owen is engrossing from the first, wordless beat. Surprisingly relevant to today’s gender convos.

Don't see it if you dislike stark sets and a stylized, representational world onstage. The universe is built from a forest of ever-changing flats. Not airy.

Disappointing, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if You're a Clive Owen fan, you never had a chance to see the original, or you're a Julie Taymore completist.

Don't see it if You want perfect casting. Both leads are fine actors but are physically miscast.

Thought-provoking, Interesting design, Good acting

See it if you like unusual love stories, complex narrative and a slow pace.

Don't see it if you're looking for subtlety, expect real chemistry onstage and enjoy energetic, fast moving plays.

Disappointing, Overrated, Slow, Cliched

See it if you are curious about the rewrite - but this revival is no where near the great show the original was...

Don't see it if you saw the original. huge disappointment

Thought-provoking, Romantic, Great acting, Edgy

See it if you missed the original. the first part was good. second part felt rushed. a nice love story

Don't see it if nudity and gender issues

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, Great acting, Intelligent, Romantic, Thought-provoking

See it if you're open to a fascinating story with political and social relevance. A tender and surprising love story which will keep you enraptured.

Don't see it if you can't go along with theatricality or want to think too much. Or are left a little disturbed.

Entertaining, Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Slow

See it if you want to see a politically charged show that deals with love and power and gender. Or you want to see Clive Owen.

Don't see it if you want a light and fun evening out. Or you don't like Clive Owen.

Hideous, Slow, Disappointing

See it if you absolutely MUST see Julie Taymor's latest work or have never encountered Hwang's text before

Don't see it if you value your time, money, and wish to keep your idols on their ivory pedestals

Also Even when her work is uneven, (I'm looking at you, Spider-Man), Julie ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you like dramas adapted from true events, great acting by Clive Owen & Jin Ha, glimpses of colorful Chinese opera & costumes, never saw b4.

Don't see it if you have solid memories of the original production, dislike Clive Owen and/or Julie Taymor's new take on the play, don't like gay themes.

Ambitious, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if you want to see a clever staging of the classic play

Don't see it if you need fast paced action to be engaged in a play

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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