UPDATE December 12: Poor ticket sales have continued to plague the Broadway revival of M. Butterfly, which has moved its closing date up a month to December 17, the producers announced today.
EARLIER: Tepid reviews and an indifferent box office have claimed the Broadway revival of David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly, starring Clive Owen. The production, the first revival of the 1988 Tony winner, marked the return to Broadway of The Lion King director Julie Taymor.
The pre-Vietnam War drama, about a male French diplomat’s two-decade affair with a star of the Chinese opera who turns out to be a spy and a man, will close January 14 after playing 19 previews and 93 regular performances at the Cort Theatre. After a few weeks of decent business, ticket sales began to plummet. Last week, when most shows did solid holiday business, M. Butterfly took in $383K, 40 percent of its potential, and was playing to less-than-half-filled houses.
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.
The show features original music by 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, makeup design by Judy Chin, and casting by Telsey + Company/Will Cantler & Adam Caldwell. It’s produced by Nelle Nugent, Steve Traxler, Kenneth Teaton, Benjamin Feldman, Doug Morris, In Fine Company, Jim Kierstead, Hunter Arnold, Spencer Ross, Jam Theatricals, and in association with Alix L. Ritchie, Kades-Reese, Storyboard Entertainment, and Jeffrey Sosnick.