The new Broadway production of David Henry Hwang’s 1988 play M. Butterfly has set an early closing date of January 14, 2018 at the Cort Theatre due to mixed reviews and lack of success at the box office.
The first revival of the original, Tony Award-winning play is directed by Julie Taymor, also a Tony Award winner for Best Direction of a Musical for The Lion King, and stars Academy Award nominee Clive Owen. M. Butterfly follows the true story of a scandalous affair between a French diplomat and a Chinese opera star, and includes some modern-day revisions to the original script, which touches on issues of gender identity that are just as relevant today as ever before.
Despite its accolades and compelling storyline, the show has seen ticket sales plummet for weeks after just a few weeks of immediate post-opening interest. An average week for the show has seen an income of about $500K, while its best week topped at $675K. Last week, the holiday break boosted a record-breaking week on Broadway – for upbeat musicals and brand-name productions, that is. M. Butterfly took a hit from an uninterested tourist crowd, and played to half-empty theaters and took in just $383K, 40 percent of its listed potential.
M. Butterfly began previews October 7 with an official open date on October 26. When it closes on January 14, it will have played 19 previews and 93 regular performances.