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M. Butterfly begins performances on Broadway tonight

Photo by Josef Astor
Clive Owen & Jin Ha

M. Butterfly
Clive Owen & Jin Ha

The Broadway revival of David Henry Hwang's 1988 play M. Butterfly, directed by Tony winner Julie Taymor and starring Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Clive Owen, begins previews at the Cort Theatre tonight. An official opening is scheduled for October 26, with a limited engagement through to February 25, 2018.

Synopsis: "The 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."

Joining Clive Owen as Rene Gallimard is Broadway newcomer Jin Ha as Song Liling, alongside an ensemble cast which includes Clea Alsip, Murray Bartlett, Michael Countryman, Celeste Den, Jess Fry, Enid Graham, Thomas Michael Hammond, Cole Horibe, Jason Ignacio, Kristen Faith Oei, Erica Sweany, John Leonard Thompson, and Erica Wong.

The creative team behind M. Butterfly features original music by Oscar winner Elliot Goldenthal, choreography by Ma Cong, scenic design by Paul Steinberg, costume design by Constance Hoffman, lighting design by Donald Holder, sound design by Will Pickens, wig and hair design by Dave Bova, and makeup design by Judy Chin.

M. Butterfly is produced on Broadway by Nelle Nugent, Steve Traxler, Kenneth Teaton, Benjamin Feldman, Doug Morris, Spencer Ross, Hunter Arnold, Suzanne Gilad, Cecilia Herbert, Jim Kierstead, Alix Ritchie, Larry Rogowsky, Storyboard Entertainment and Jeffrey Sosnick.

The production marks the first major New York revival of the Pulitzer Prize finalist play, which won the Tony Award for 'Best Play' in 1988 and also earned director John Dexter a Tony for 'Best Direction of a Play' and B.D. Wong a Tony for 'Best Featured Actor in a Play.' The play also earned Tony nominations for scenic, costume and lighting design and a 'Best Actor in a Play' nod for John Lithgow.

M. Butterfly held its world premiere in Washington, D.C. at the National Theatre in 1988 before transferring to Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre, where it played a total of 9 previews and 777 regular performances.

Clive Owen made his Broadway debut in the Roundabout Theatre Company revival of Harold Pinter's Old Times at the American Airlines Theatre in 2015. His previous West End credits include 'Romeo & Juliet,' 'Design for Living,' 'Closer,' and 'A Day in the Death of Joe Egg.' On screen, he picked up a BAFTA and a Golden Globe, as well as an Academy Award nomination, for his role as Larry in "Closer" in 2005. He earned an Emmy nomination and Golden Globe nomination for "Hemingway & Gellhorn" in 2012/13, and a further Golden Globe nomination at for "The Knick" (2015). Other screen credits include "Children of Men," "Inside Man," "The Bourne Identity," "Elizabeth: The Golden Age," "Sin City," "Gosford Park," and "King Arthur."

- by Tom Millward

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