Julie Taymor's M.Butterfly to close on Broadway

The Julie Taymor-directed M.Butterfly is to close soon on Broadway.

30th November 2017
/ By Matthew Whitehouse

M. Butterfly cast Clive Owen MBUTTERFLY

M. Butterfly recently opened with Clive Owen in the cast, but has just set its closing date with producers saying the show will end in January.

Julie Taymore received acclaim and derision in equal measure - praise for her Broadway staging of The Lion King, which just turned 20, and problems with Spiderman: Turn off the Dark, the doomed musical which saw multiple cast and crew injuries and financial troubles.

M. Butterfly – starring Clive Owen – focuses on a French diplomat's affair with a mysterious Chinese performer and was originally written by David Henry Hwang in 1988, with the writer making changes for the current production.

Reviews were not overly positive and the weekly grosses came in at around $500,000 (£369k) which, while impressive, are not hit-making numbers.

The show was further impacted by Thanksgiving audiences flocking to see sure-fire crowd-pleasers.

M.Butterfly will now close on January 14 after 93 performances.

Hwang was asked about bringing the play back to the stage, saying he “waiting for the right creative team to come together” having found them in Julie Taymor and Clive Owen.

The play was apparently inspired by a two-paragraph article in the New York Times.

The cast includes Jin Ha as the opera singer, along with Murray Bartlett, Michael Countryman, Enid Graham, Clea Alsip, Celeste Den, Jess Fry, Jason Garcia Ignacio, Kristen Faith Oei, Scott Weber, Emmanuel Brown, Thomas Michael Hammond, Jake Manabat, Erica Sweany, John Leonard Thompson, and Erica Wong.

During the 1988 production, the play ran for 777 performances and won a Tony Award for best play.

Meanwhile, Hamilton parody show Spamilton is to close Off-Broadway.