This September, M Butterfly returns to the theater, making its much-awaited debut on the Philippine stage. Below, we list down five reasons why you shouldn't dare miss it!
1. It's an award-winning play.
M. Butterfly was written by David Henry Hwang and premiered on Broadway in 1988. On the same year, the play won the Tony Award for Best Play. It officially closed after 777 shows in 1990. The play starred John Lithgow as Rene Gallimard and BD Wong as Song Liling. David Dukes, Anthony Hopkins, Tony Randall, and John Rubinstein also played Rene during the original run.
In the country, the show will be produced by Jhett Tolentino, a three-time Tony Award and Grammy Award winner, and will be directed by Auraeus Solito a.k.a Kanakan-Balintagos.
2. It has storied roots.
M Butterfly tells the story of a married French diplomat, Rene Gallimard, who fell in love with Chinese opera star Song Liling, a woman he considers to be perfect. The play is inspired by Giaccomo Puccini's opera, Madame Butterfly, and is loosely based on events surrounding a 1986 espionage trial.
3. A male actor will play the role of Song Liling, who is an Oriental girl.
RS Fransisco will be playing Song Liling who will seduce Rene, brought to life by French actor Olivier Borten.
RS is a theater veteran who also played the same role in May 1990 for Dulaang UP's run of M Butterfly. He worked opposite actor, writer, and critic Behn Cervantes. He's also a decorated theater actor after earning various awards including Sinag Maynila Best Actor, Star Awards Movie Actor of the Year, and Subic Bay International Film Festival Best Actor.
4. The cast is composed of theater greats.
Get a chance to see theater actress Pinky Amador (seen in Cameron Mackintosh's Miss Saigon) as Rene's wife, Helga. Veteran Scottish actor Norm Mcleod also joins the cast as Manuel Touloun, the French ambassador to China as well as trilingual American actor Lee O'Brian as Marc, Rene's sexually unapologetic best friend. Filipina-Chinese actress (you've seen her in Mano Po 7: Chinoy) Rebecca Chuaunsu will play both the roles of Suzuki and Comrade Chin. Completing the cast is two-time ALIW Awards finalist Maya Encila as Renee, a young, sexually liberated Danish woman.
5. The play will be 100% non-profit.
M Butterfly will have a 14-show run (September 13-16; 21-23; 28-30) and each of the performances will benefit one charitable institution that is geared towards education and the arts. The beneficiaries include Hope for Change, Love Yourself Foundation, Teach for the Philippines, Philippine Stagers Foundation, Environmental Legal Assistance Center, Love Lipa Foundation, Inc., Habitat for Humanity, SM Foundation, 1Meal Foundation, Ricky Lee's Trip to Quiapo Workshops, and the Philippine High School for the Arts. UP Samaskom, The Philippine Science High School Foundation, Inc., Arko ni Apo Art Gallery, Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Love is All We Need Organization, Dulaang UP, The Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA), Miraculous Medal Shrine Parish, and Calumpang Elementary School are also included.
Tickets are available at TicketWorld. Prices range from P1000 to P2000. The play will be held at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center, Bonifacio Global City.