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, Great staging, Great writing, Riveting

See it if You want a play that keeps you second guessing until the very end. Insanely talented performances by Clive Owen and Jin Ha. GO SEE NOW

Don't see it if You don’t want to be enthralled in fantastic theatre for 2.5 hours

Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging

See it if The story was very interesting. If you like plays come see. People over the age of 16 can see it. Great acting. Some music is played

Don't see it if Not for young children, there is nude scenes in the show. If you don’t like plays.

Absorbing, Intense, Intelligent, Masterful, Riveting

See it if you want to enter the fantasy world of a diplomat. The play explores stereotypes, relationships, and death.

Don't see it if do not like the premise of Puccini's Madame Butterfly.

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!

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

See it if You are interested in this true story and how someone can truly believe something false when you want it to be true so badly.

Don't see it if You want fantastic staging. While the sets worked fine, I didn't find them attractive. I would have enjoyed it more with prettier panels.

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

See it if You are looking for well acted thought provoking theater with interesting set design.

Don't see it if You dislike stage nudity, or need a fast paced lot.

Also Sometimes not having high expectations leads to the best experiences. ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting

See it if You are interested in great performances that evoke new feelings about the world we live in.

Don't see it if You are offended by nudity or you have long legs (that theatre is cramped!)

Clever, Intense, Thought-provoking, Dated, Great acting

See it if An exploration of gender and how the west views east in terms of masculinity, femininity. Clive Owen has a great performance.

Don't see it if Convoluted, at times tedious. I did not see the original, but show apparently compares unfavorably. Staging was so-so.

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.

Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting, Masterful, Edgy

See it if You have a open mind & can use your imagination. You are not going to compare the show to the past shows or related shows. Difficult subject

Don't see it if You expect a big production or a fluffy show. You are against an alternative way of life. Superb acting is not your thing.

Clever, Entertaining, Intriguing

See it if You're a fan of Julie Taymor's artistry and/or Clive Owen. The show was great story telling; with surprising twists and turns!

Don't see it if you don't enjoy an slowly unraveled story with a little nudity.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Fascinating, Resonant

See it if You're intrigued by stories that explore the tension between Western and Asian culture, and the line between fantasy and reality

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with full, male nudity


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

Disappointing, Great acting, Slow, Interesting

See it if You are interested in a provocative drama that deals with gender and race and have heard about the original production that won Tonys.

Don't see it if You did see the original as you likely will be disappointed . Or find the topic unrealistic.

Also Clive Owens was good - but felt miscast for this role (seems to solid ... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Dated, Intense, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You are a fan of Clive Owen or want to see an entertaining show that will not break the bank.

Don't see it if You want quick thrills (it runs nearly 2.5 hours) or are offended by two men kissing on stage.

Ambitious, Dizzying, Great staging, Intense, Romantic

See it if You want to see a classic that's more relevant to modern times.

Don't see it if You don't like Julie Taymor.

Miscast. phoned in. disappointing. interesting story.

See it if The story intrigues you.

Don't see it if You saw the original - you will be disappointed.

Also Spoiler alert ... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Indulgent, Confusing

See it if You are a fan of Julie Taymor’s Feminist productions.

Don't see it if You were a fan of the original production.

Also What a disappointment. A show that was once a classic of The Great Ame... Read more Read less

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

See it if you enjoy story lines where the audience gets a compassionate perspective to a character's unconventional decisions.

Don't see it if you are offended by nudity.

Absorbing, Clever, Ambitious

See it if you like good acting and an intriguing story. Clive Owen is terrific and Jin Ha is also excellent.

Don't see it if you loved the original. Although I didn't see the original, apparently people who saw it liked that version much better.

Ambitious, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you like any of the actors, want to see a refreshing revival and interesting plots, and tragic love stories

Don't see it if you are expecting an exact retelling of Madame Butterfly, you don't like male or female nudity, or don't like the fourth wall broken

Also Out of everyone in this play Jin Ha stole the entire show. Thoroughly ... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you have always liked the play. DH Wang's writing is still relevant today. Poetic.

Don't see it if you don't like plays where you need to listen to an actor telling you the story or hate oversimplifications of historical facts

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if You like the show. The acting was great and the theme of the show has not outdated itself.

Don't see it if You don’t like shows regarding homosexuality, slow moving stories, nudity, uncomfortable situations.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Romantic, Thought-provoking

See it if You’re up for a colorful pageant around a dramatic love story

Don't see it if You want a more conventional comedy or drama

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

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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