Madame Butterfly: The Original Play, plus Japanese dance, opened recently at the new Secret Rose Theatre in N. Hollywood. The inspiration for Puccini's famous opera of the same name, Madame Butterfly was written by the theatrical impresario David Belasco and premiered at the Herald Square Theatre in New York on March 5, 1900.
Belasco was a playwright and producer known for his writing and collaborations, and for his insistence on natural styles of acting and lighting. Among his other works are Zaza and Laugh, Clown, Laugh.
Directing at the Secret Rose is Mercedes Shirley, a veteran Broadway and TV actress who also teaches acting locally at the Stella Adler Academy. The cast includes Evan Andes, Keisuke Hoashi, Kiko Kiko, Kaz Mata-Mura, Kenji Nakamura, Taylor Palushaj, Robert Sampson and Mariah Shirley. The dancers are Mata-Mura, Joy Nakagawa and Miki Watanabe.
The Secret Rose Theatre, in the heart of the NoHo Arts District, was slated to open in June, 1998, but financial problems delayed the process. Its co-owners, Mike Rademacher and Mata-Mura, are also the producers of Madame Butterfly--The Original Play, which runs through Mar. 21.
The Secret Rose Theatre is located at 11246 Magnolia Blvd. Call (310) 559-1448. -- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent