M. Butterfly, with Innvar and Leung, Begins Philadelphia Run Jan. 18

News   M. Butterfly, with Innvar and Leung, Begins Philadelphia Run Jan. 18 The Philadelphia Theater Company's production of M. Butterfly — co-starring 110 in the Shade's Christopher Innvar and Rent's Telly Leung — begins performances Jan. 18.
Telly Leung (above) and Christopher Innvar (below) co-star in M. Butterfly.
Telly Leung (above) and Christopher Innvar (below) co-star in M. Butterfly.

Leung plays Song Liling in the David Henry Hwang opus opposite the Gallimard of Innvar. The cast also includes Jared Michael Delaney (Marc, Sharpless), Doan Ly (Suzuki, Chin), Anne Marie Nest (Renee, Girl in Magazine), Larry Petersen (Toulon) and Susan Wilder (Helga) as well as dancers Li Ying Chun and Li Wen Tao.

Joe Calarco directs M. Butterfly, which will play the Suzanne Roberts Theatre through Feb. 24. The production features set design by Michael Fagin, costume design by Helen Huang, lighting design by Chris Lee, sound design by Matthew Nielson and music composed by Robert Maggio.

Based on a true story and inspired by Puccini's Madame Butterfly, M. Butterfly, press notes state, "is a provocative and captivating story of lust, politics, and betrayal. A French diplomat falls in love with a Chinese opera singer who is to him, the 'perfect woman,' yet this Chinese butterfly of his passions is ultimately revealed to be far more than she seems."

PTC will offer a series of special panels throughout the show's run: a discussion with playwright Hwang (Feb. 3), a panel discussion about Asian-American theatre (Jan. 26) and a panel disucssion about the cultural politics of Madame Butterfly (Jan. 27).

Christopher Innvar has appeared on Broadway in 110 in the Shade, The Threepenny Opera, Les Misérables and Victor/Victoria. His Off-Broadway credits include Floyd Collins, Gun-Shy and A New Brain. Innvar has also performed in regional theatres throughout the country, including the Shakespeare Theatre, Barrington Stage, Steppenwolf, Alliance Theatre, Paper Mill Playhouse, Guthrie Theatre and Long Wharf Theatre. Telly Leung made his Broadway debut in the revival of Flower Drum Song and then appeared in the revival of Stephen Sondheim's Pacific Overtures. He spent a year playing Boq in the Chicago production of Wicked, and his other theatrical credits include Rent; Zanna, Don't!; Thoroughly Modern Millie; The King and I; Jesus Christ Superstar; Children of Eden; Sweeney Todd; and Godspell. Leung can be heard on the "Wall to Wall Stephen Sondheim" recording, and his debut EP is titled "Getaway." The actor is also a co-founder of the fledgling Jaradoa Theatre Company. Leung will be on leave from Rent through Feb. 19; visit tellyonline.net for more information.

M. Butterfly, directed by John Dexter, played Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre, March 13, 1988-Jan. 27, 1990. The production won the Tony Award for Best Play as well as Tonys for co-stars John Lithgow and B.D. Wong and director Dexter.

The Suzanne Roberts Theatre is located in Philadelphia at 480 S. Broad Street (between Broad and Lombard). For tickets call (215) 985-0420 or visit www.philadelphiatheatrecompany.org.

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