×

Julie Taymor’s ‘M. Butterfly’ to Close on Broadway

Julie Taymor’s production of “M. Butterfly,” which recently opened on Broadway with Clive Owen in the cast, has set its closing date, with producers announcing the show will go dark in January after a run of middling sales weeks.

Backers of the production had hoped to catch the attention of Broadway theatergoers with Owen on the marquee and the Broadway return of Taymor, whose staging of “The Lion King” just turned 20. The play, about a French diplomat’s affair with a mysterious Chinese performer, also touches on gender identity issues that still resonate today, and the new production incorporates some significant changes that playwright David Henry Hwang made to his original script, which played Broadway in a two-year run that began in 1988.

But serious plays can be a challenge to sell in a Broadway market that thrives on musicals and the tourist crowds they attract, and reviews for this “M. Butterfly” were mixed. Weekly grosses have mostly rung in north of $500,000 (with the current high at about $675,000) — decent, but not the kind of spectacular numbers that make a play a definite hit.  Last week, the stats took a tumble as Thanksgiving crowds flocked to brand-name musicals, and Owen was out for two performances.

With a cast that also includes Jin Ha, Murray Bartlett, Michael Countryman and Enid Graham, “M. Butterfly” will close at the Cort Theater Jan. 14. Nelle Nugent leads a producing team that also includes Steve Traxler, Kenneth Teaton, Benjamin Feldman,
Doug Morris, In Fine Company, Jim Kierstead, Hunter Arnold, Spencer Ross and Jam Theatricals in association with Alix L. Ritchie, Kades-Reese, Storyboard Entertainment, and Jeffrey Sosnick.

Popular on Variety

More Legit

  • Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica ParkerNew York

    Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker to Reunite on Broadway for 'Plaza Suite'

    Real-life couple Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker are hitting the Broadway stage again for a reboot of the late Neil Simon’s 1968 play “Plaza Suite.” The staging will mark the Broadway directorial debut of Tony award-winner John Benjamin Hickey. Set in New York City’s Plaza Hotel in Suite 719, “Plaza Suite” is comprised of [...]

  • Derren Brown

    Listen: Derren Brown Spills His Broadway 'Secret'

    Derren Brown has spent a lot of his career performing magic shows on theater stages — but he’ll be the first to tell you that magic usually doesn’t make for great theater. Listen to this week’s podcast below: “If you’re a magician of any sort, you can make stuff happen with a click of your [...]

  • A Very Expensive Poison review

    London Theater Review: 'A Very Expensive Poison'

    Vladimir Putin owes his power to the stage. The president’s closest advisor trained as a theatre director before applying his art to politics, and ran Russia like a staged reality, spinning so many fictions that truth itself began to blur. By scrambling the story and sowing confusion, Putin could exert absolute control. The long-awaited latest [...]

  • Betrayal review Tom Hiddleston

    Broadway Review: 'Betrayal' With Tom Hiddleston

    and Zawe Ashton as a long-married couple and Charlie Cox as the secret lover. Director Jamie Lloyd’s impeccable direction — now on Broadway, after a hot-ticket London run — strips Pinter’s 1978 play to its bare bones: the excruciating examination of the slow death of a marriage.  It’s a daring approach, leaving the characters nowhere [...]

  • Jayne Houdyshell arrives at the 71st

    'The Music Man' Revival Adds Four Tony Winners to Broadway Cast

    Tony Award-winners Jayne Houdyshell, Jefferson Mays, Marie Mullen and Shuler Hensley will join stars Hugh Jackman and Sutton Foster in the upcoming Broadway revival of “The Music Man.” In “The Music Man,” Jackman will play con-man Harold Hill, who arrives in a small, fictional Iowa town called River City and urges the townsfolk to start [...]

  • Glen Basner Filmnation

    FilmNation's Glen Basner on Diversifying Beyond Movies by Focusing on Storytelling

    Glen Basner lives to make deals.  Be it Toronto or Cannes, Sundance or AFM, you’ll find the FilmNation founder in the throes of negotiations over pricing and marketing plans, schmoozing and working every angle to nail the best pact. Director Armando Iannucci, who worked with FilmNation on the upcoming “The Personal History of David Copperfield,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content