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

Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Must see, Thought-provoking

See it if You like great actors and a compelling story told in a unique way.

Don't see it if You are offended by brief nudity and an unconventional story.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You're interested in seeing a great revival of a classic play. Excellent performances all the way around. Great dramatic content.

Don't see it if You want a less serious, more musically oriented experience. Also avoid it if you are uncomfortable with gender bending themes.

Also The staging and choreography were great. Having not seen the original,... Read more Read less

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.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You’ve never seen this book before, and interested in a suspense story with some Chinese elements

Don't see it if You want to see a simple, fluff and sweet story with a happy ending

Also Don’t see any critics before if it’s the first time you see this book,... Read more Read less

Intriguing, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if you want to see star performance by Jin Ha in a solid show; your expectations going in are not overly inflated because of the creative team.

Don't see it if you are distracted by clunky sets (great idea but poorly executed) or are expecting a profound experience (not as impactful as it once was).

Great acting, Resonant, Disappointing

See it if I saw the original Broadway Show and it was riveting. This production directorial and design wise looked like a budget bus and truck tour.

Don't see it if If you was dramicic effects and accurate chiness opers. See it at the Met museum next year in the Astor court . That is amazing.

Also The performances were stellar but the set was so distracting. Was Ms T... Read more Read less

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.

Ambitious, Absorbing, Great staging, Overrated

See it if Want to see a slight twist on this production with clever use of the stage. Owens carries a big show with this one. Some parts a bit miscast

Don't see it if Expect traditional 🦋 or don't want minuteS of nudity on stage or homosexual themes.

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

Ambitious, Dated

See it if You want to see Clive Owen on stage doing a decent job despite his circumstances.

Don't see it if If you want a fresh interesting take on the play

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Masterful, Intense

See it if Great acting, twisted story, surprise ending (if you can't figure it out in advance)

Don't see it if you don't like straight acting or prefer musicals

Original was better

See it if butterfly sang beautifully, clive is nice to see, but show fell flat

Don't see it if you expect Julie Taymor to have created something great, she did not & the set sucked

Absorbing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Interesting, Better than expected

See it if you enjoy a thought-provoking, engrossing story, and a professional, polished production and fine acting.

Don't see it if you might be repulsed or confused about an unusual same sex relationship that is the basis of the plot.

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great staging, Visually beautiful

See it if you'd appreciate insights into East/West relations from an Eastern perspective. You enjoy a good "falling from grace" story.

Don't see it if you don't like having racial stereotypes challenged. You feel good acting can't overcome the leads not looking their parts.

Also Playwriting 90 (intelligent, clever)... Read more Read less

Great staging, Talented cast, well written

See it if You are a fan of Clive Owen, appreciate romantic/political intrigue

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with nudity, require a tidy resolution

Exquisite, Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Masterful

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.

Slow, Indulgent, Great acting, Banal, Disappointing

See it if Story no longer carries any weight. Well acted but the story is not worth showing on stage. Glacially slow if well acted.

Don't see it if You prefer something that moves at a pace faster than a snail. Want more Jan one good role player.

Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated

See it if you are wanting to see a star head the cast of a Broadway production

Don't see it if you're expecting superb Broadway theatre

Also Truly one of the most disappointing shows I have seen on Broadway in a... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if An interesting show,preformences where very good.I liked the staging,they do tell you how he did it if you care. I liked Clive Owens

Don't see it if I liked the original show better. A pleasant,evening,I would have preferred a little more mystery

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

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

See it if You enjoy a great "based on a true story" edgy drama with great actors doing fine work.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with gay themes and male nudity.

Also Like most of the characters in the play I have a difficult time unders... 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

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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