Clive Owen to Star in David Henry Hwang's Tony Award-Winning Play M. Butterfly
In a new production directed by Tony Award Winner Julie Taymor
Opens on Broadway October 26, 2017
At a theatre to be announced
(January 30, 2017 – New York, NY) -- Producers Nelle Nugent, Steve Traxler, Kenneth Teaton, Benjamin Feldman, and Doug Morris (CEO, Sony Music), announced today that Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Award winner Clive Owen will star as Rene Gallimard in the first Broadway revival of David Henry Hwang’s Tony Award®-winning play, M. BUTTERFLY, directed by Tony Award® winner Julie Taymor. The production will open on October 26, 2017 at a Broadway theatre to be announced.
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.
“I could not be more excited to take on such a complex and fascinating role for my return to Broadway,” said Clive Owen. “M. BUTTERFLY offers a novel challenge with its inherent mystery and astonishing storyline. I’m looking forward to diving into the mind of Rene Gallimard and I can think of no one better than the brilliant Julie Taymor to bring this wonderful, daring, original play to life.”
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.
“M. BUTTERFLY is like a Chinese puzzle, with layer upon layer of meaning; the more deeply you explore it, the more its essence is revealed,” said director Julie Taymor. “The fact that David was excited to revisit his characters and further develop their stories proves what a brave and inquisitive writer he is. Collaborating with him on the text of this fascinating story has been a joy, and this version is proving to be a true metamorphosis. And to have this complex character brought to life by Clive Owen, an actor I’ve wanted to work with for many years, is an extraordinary opportunity. We’re very excited to get into the rehearsal room and share this production with audiences.”
“Almost thirty years have passed since I read the newspaper article that inspired me to write M. BUTTERFLY,” said playwright David Henry Hwang. “Julie’s suggestion to look at the wealth of new information about the real affair between Bernard Boursicot and Shi Pei Pu that has surfaced since the show’s premiere helped to unlock new possibilities within the play. I’m thrilled with this opportunity to revisit these characters -- their motivations and their personal and political deceptions – to more fully explore this extraordinary love affair.”
The original production of M. BUTTERFLY, directed by John Dexter, ran on Broadway from March 20, 1988 through January 27, 1990 for a total of 777 performances. The play had its world premiere at Washington DC’s National Theatre in February 1988. After its Broadway engagement, M. BUTTERFLY had a hugely successful North American tour.
Additional casting and design team will be announced at a later date.
Clive Owen is appearing with the support of Actors' Equity Association.
Clive Owen (Rene Gallimard) is an Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner for his role as Larry in Closer, directed by Mike Nichols. The film also starred Julia Roberts, Jude Law and Natalie Portman. Clive first came onto the scene in several British and American telefilms. In 1991, he starred in his first big hit, the UK television series “Chancer.” Other UK telefilm credits included the BBC's “Second Sight,” which aired on PBS's “Mystery!” Clive made his film debut in Beeban Kidron’s Vroom in 1988, in which he restores a classic-American car to take off on the road with costar David Thewlis. He went on to play a brother who acts upon his incestuous feelings in Stephen Poliakoff’s Close My Eyes. Later, he went on to star as a reckless homosexual in corrupt pre-war Germany who finds unconditional love while in a Nazi war camp in Sean Mathias’ film of Martin Sherman’s Bent. In 2001 and 2002 respectively, he went on to star in Joel Hershman’s offbeat British comedy, Greenfingers, Mike Hodges’ Croupier and Robert Altman’s star-studded Gosford Park. With his captivating performance in the title role of Mike Hodges’ sleeper hit Croupier, critics have compared him to the likes of Bogart, Mitchum and Connery. In Clive’s next films, he starred with Angelina Jolie in the romantic war drama Beyond Borders; the Mike Hodges thriller I’ll Sleep When I Am Dead; Sin City, which co-starred Bruce Willis, Benicio Del Toro, Rosario Dawson and Jessica Alba; Derailed opposite Jennifer Aniston; Spike Lee’s thriller Inside Man opposite Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster; Alfonso Cuaron’s critically acclaimed action-packed film Children of Men opposite Julianne Moore and Michael Caine; Michael Davis’s Shoot Em Up and Elizabeth: The Golden Age with Cate Blanchett, where he portrayed Sir Walter Raleigh. Other film credits include Tony Gilroy’s Duplicity opposite Julia Roberts; The International with Naomi Watts; Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s The Intruders; Scott Hicks’ Boys are Back; Trust with Catherine Keener and Viola Davis, directed by David Schwimmer; The Killer Elite with Robert De Niro and Jason Statham; James Marsh’ critically acclaimed Shadow Dancer with Andrea Riseborough; Guillame Canet’s Blood Ties with Marion Cotillard, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis and Billy Crudup; and Fred Schepisi’s Words & Pictures with Juliette Binoche. Clive will next be seen in Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. Upcoming films include Anon and Andorra, directed by Fred Schepisi. In television, Clive was most recently seen starring in Steven Soderbergh’s “The Knick” for Cinemax, which he also executive produced. His portrayal of Dr. Thatchery earned him a 2014 Golden Globe Best Actor nomination. In 2011, Clive made his American TV debut in HBO’s Emmy nominated film “Hemingway and Gellhorn,” starring opposite Nicole Kidman and directed by Phil Kaufman. His performance earned him Emmy, SAG and Golden Globe nominations. Clive is also an acclaimed stage actor with roles including his portrayal of Romeo at the Young Vic, starring in Sean Mathias’ staging of Noel Coward’s Design for Living, and playing the lead role in Patrick Marber’s original production of Closer at the Royal National Theater in 1997. In the fall of 2001, he starred in London in Lawrence Boswell’s staging of Peter Nichols’ A Day in the Death of Joe Egg. In fall 2015, Clive made his Broadway debut in the Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of Old Times. Clive starred as “the driver” in the series of BMW internet short features entitled “The Hire,” each directed by John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Wong Kar-wai, Guy Ritchie, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
David Henry Hwang (Playwright) is a Tony Award® winner and three-time nominee, a three-time Obie Award winner, and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. In addition to M. Butterfly, his works includes the plays Chinglish, Yellow Face, Golden Child, Kung Fu, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Aida (co-author) and Disney’s Tarzan. He also updated the libretto for the 2002 revival of Flower Drum Song. America’s most-produced living opera librettist, Hwang premiered his new opera, Dream of the Red Chamber (co-authored with Bright Sheng), at San Francisco Opera last fall. Hwang has been honored with the 2011 PEN/Laura Pels Award for a Master American Dramatist, the 2012 Inge Award, the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright “Mimi” Award, a 2014 Doris Duke Artist Award, and the 2015 IPSA Distinguished Artist Award. He has also been a long-time board member of Young Playwrights Inc. and the Lark Play Development Center. Hwang was recently the Residency One Playwright at New York’s Signature Theatre, and currently serves as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts. He is currently a writer/producer for the Golden Globe-winning TV series, “The Affair,” and was recently named Chair of the American Theatre Wing.
Julie Taymor (Director) won the 1998 Tony Award® for Best Direction of a Musical and for Best Costumes for The Lion King. It also garnered Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards for Taymor’s direction; three Moliere Awards, including Best Musical and Best Costumes; and myriad awards for her original costume, mask and puppet designs. Other recent works include Grounded, starring Anne Hathaway at the Public Theater, and the cinematic version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed during her critically acclaimed, sold-out stage production that ran at Theatre for a New Audience’s new home in Brooklyn. Taymor made her Broadway debut in 1996 with Juan Darien: A Carnival Mask (Lincoln Center), nominated for five Tony Awards. Other theatre work includes: The Green Bird (New Victory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Cort Theater on Broadway); Titus Andronicus; The Tempest; The Taming of the Shrew (Theatre for a New Audience); The Transposed Heads (Lincoln Center and American Music Theatre Festival); Liberty’s Taken (Castle Hill Festival); and Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark (Hilton Theatre on Broadway). Her opera productions include the Pulitzer finalist, Grendel, composed by Elliot Goldenthal (Los Angeles Opera and the Lincoln Center Festival); Mozart’s Die Zauberflote, in repertory at the Metropolitan Opera since 2004; and Oedipus Rex with Jessye Norman, conducted by Seiji Ozawa, for which she earned the International Classical Music Award for Best Opera Production and an Emmy for a subsequent film version. Her first film, Fool’s Fire, an adaptation of an Edgar Allan Poe short story, aired on PBS in 1992. Her feature films include Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange; Frida, starring Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina (six 2002 Academy Award nominations, winning two); Across the Universe (2008 Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical/Comedy); and The Tempest, starring Helen Mirren, Djimon Hounsou, Russell Brand and Ben Whishaw. Taymor has received a MacArthur “genius” Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Obie Awards and the first annual Dorothy B. Chandler Award in Theater, among many others. A book spanning her career, Julie Taymor: Playing with Fire, is in its third edition from Abrams.
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