Veteran Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, DC) actor Andrew Long plays diplomat Rene Gallimard with Randy Reyes taking on the transformative role of Song Liling. Theater Latté Da artistic director Peter Rothstein directs.
The cast also features Tina Chilip (Comrade Chin/Suzuki/Shu-Fang), Nathaniel Fuller (M. Toulon/Judge), Katie Guentzel (Renee/Girl in Magazine), Charity Jones (Helga/Woman at Party), Lee Mark Nelson (Marc/Consul Sharpless), Sherwin F. Resurreccion (Kurogo), Erik Sharp (Kurogo) and Momoko Tanno (Kurogo).
"From his prison cell, French diplomat Rene Gallimard tells the story of how he came to be loved by Song Liling, a performer in the Peking opera whom he describes as 'the perfect woman,'" according to Guthrie notes. "When she dazzles him with her performance of 'Madame Butterfly,' Gallimard uses his cruelty and power as a Western man to ensnare Song, unaware she is actually a man masquerading as a woman, as was tradition for Beijing opera performers. Unbeknownst to Gallimard, Song is also a spy for the Chinese government and uses their relationship to extract vital information.
|photo by Craig Schwartz|
"The pair's affair continues for 20 years, until the truth of Song's identity is revealed, tearing apart Gallimard's comfortable myths of East and West, man and woman, and sending the story out of his control. Unable to face the fact that his 'perfect woman' is actually a man, the ex-diplomat, now convicted of treason and imprisoned, retreats deep within himself and his memories, as the action of the play is depicted as his disordered, distorted recollection of the events surrounding their affair." The artistic team includes Allen Moyer (scenic design), Linda Cho (costume design), Marcus Dilliard (lighting design), Scott W. Edwards (sound design), Elisa Carlson (voice and dialect coach), Marcela Lorca (movement), David Furumoto (Asian discipline consultant), Jo Holcomb (dramaturg), Martha Kulig (production stage manager), Jason Clusman (assistant stage manager), Elizabeth R. MacNally (assistant stage manager) and Dionne LaViolette (assistant director). Single tickets start at $24 and are on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at (612) 377-2224, toll-free (877) 44-STAGE or online at www.guthrietheater.org.