Why You Should Watch the Tony Award-Winning Play M. Butterfly

It opens on September 13 at Maybank Performing Arts Theater.

M. Butterfly makes its much-awaited debut on the Philippine stage on September 13 at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Bonifacio Global City. Below, we list down five reasons why you shouldn't miss it!

It's an award-winning play.

M. Butterfly, written by David Henry Hwang, opened on Broadway in 1988. It went on to win the Best Play, Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Play (BD Wong), and Best Direction of a Play (John Dexter) titles during the Tony Awards; Outstanding New Play at the Drama Desk Award; and Outstanding New Broadway Play at the Outer Critics Circle Award all in the same year. The piece was also shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1989. M. Butterfly officially closed after 777 shows in 1990.


In the country, the show is produced by Jhett Tolentino, a three-time Tony Award winner, and is directed by Auraeus Solito a.k.a Kanakan-Balintagos.

It is loosely based on real-life events.

M. Butterfly tells the story of a married French diplomat, Rene Gallimard, who falls in love with Chinese opera star Song Liling, a woman he considers to be perfect. The play is inspired by Giacomo Puccini's opera, Madame Butterfly, and is loosely based on events surrounding a 1986 espionage trial.

A male actor plays the role of Song Liling.


RS Francisco (Bhoy Intsik, Princess and I) plays the role of Song Liling who seduces Rene (played by French actor Olivier Borten).

Francisco 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.

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 Toulon, 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 Rebecca Chuaunsu (Mano Po 7: Chinoy) plays 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.


The play is 100% non-profit.

M. Butterfly's 21-show run is for the benefit of local education charities and art organizations. Beneficiaries include the following organizations:

  • Hope for Change
  • Love Yourself Foundation
  • Teach for the Philippines
  • Philippine Stagers Foundation
  • Environmental Legal Assistance Center
  • Love Lipa Foundation
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • SM Foundation
  • 1Meal Foundation
  • Ricky Lee's Trip to Quiapo Workshops
  • Philippine High School for the Arts
  • UP Samaskom
  • The Philippine Science High School Foundation
  • Arko ni Apo Art Gallery
  • Philippine Animal Welfare Society
  • Love is All We Need Organization
  • Dulaang UP
  • The Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka
  • Miraculous Medal Shrine Parish
  • Calumpang Elementary School are also included.

M. Butterfly runs from September 13 to 30 at Globe Auditorium, Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC Arts Center, 26th Street, Bonifacio Global City. Tickets, priced from P1,000 to P2,000, are available through Ticketworld.

This story originally appeared on Preview.ph. Minor edits have been made by the Spot.ph editors.

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