He Just Never Noticed

As one of the great WTH stories of all time, David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly is endlessly interesting. If you've only ever seen the film version, consider this: Everything hinges on the portrayal of Song, the female Chinese opera singer, by a male Chinese spy. If the role isn't perfect, subtle, adorable, and ice cold, the story won't hold together in your brain. So the play is an excellent and uppity choice for a smallish local troupe. Sean Fenton plays Song Liling, the male spy who carries on a decades-long affair with a British man who thinks he's carrying on a decades-long affair with a female opera singer. State secrets are divulged, but the answers to the more urgent questions never get answered directly; it's evilly fabulous. Director Stuart Bousel and the Custom Made Theatre Company (who just brought us the excellent Spalding Grey: Stories Left to Tell) are taking it on with the intention of putting the story's ever-timely exposure of white racist assumptions center stage, while also bringing in more general commentary about the way people see what they want to see.
Thursdays-Saturdays; Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: March 24. Continues through April 16, 2011

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