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"M. Butterfly" Spreads Its Wings Wider With "Chrysalis," A Photo Auction In Collaboration With 7 Of The Country's Top Photographers

"M Butterfly" is an award-winning play by David Henry Hwang. It premiered in Broadway in 1988 and won the Tony Award for Best Play on the same year. Its plot revolves around Rene Gallimard, a civil servant and a former French diplomat who fell in love with a Chinese opera singer named Song Liling; the plot thickens with the twist of Gallimard not knowing that in traditional Beijing opera, women are banned onstage, so all female roles were played by men. 

This play's Philippine production opens to the public on September 14, and it will run until the end of the month at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater. The cast includes:

 

 

RS Francisco as Song Liling

 

MEET OUR CAST: RS FRANCISCO will reprise his epic portrayal of Song Liling, the Chinese opera singer who is Gallimard’s object of affection, the picture of “the perfect woman.” In May 1990, RS Francisco essayed this role for Dulaang UP opposite veteran actor, writer and critic Behn Cervantes to critical acclaim and box office success. In the many years thereafter, RS Francisco’s theater credits in numerous productions and variety of roles continued to hone his craft as a seasoned artist. In films, his most recent awards include the SINAG MAYNILA Best Actor, the STAR AWARDS Movie Actor of the Year and the SUBIC BAY INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Best Actor for his remarkable portrayal of the title role "Bhoy Intsik". See you at the Maybank Performing Arts Theatre for the epic Philippine staging of David Henry Hwang's Tony Award-winning play M BUTTERFLY. Based on the intriguing real-life espionage love affair between a French diplomat and a Chinese opera singer that was the cause célèbre of France in 1986. Produced by Tony and Grammy award winner Jhett Tolentino and Frontrow Entertainment. Directed by Kanakan-Balintagos. Starring RS Francisco, together with Olivier Borten, Rebecca Chuaunsu, Lee O'Brian, Norman McLeod, Maya Encila and Ms. Pinky Amador. PLAYDATES: Sept. 13 – Thursday – Gala Opening Night – 8 pm (By invitation only) Sept. 14 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 15 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 16 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 18 – Tuesday – 8 pm Sept. 19 – Wednesday – 8 pm Sept. 20 – Thursday – 8 pm Sept. 21 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 22 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 23 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 25 - Tuesday – 8 pm Sept. 27 – Thursday – 8 pm Sept. 28 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 29 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 30 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm This re-staging of M. Butterfly will be 100% non-profit. Net proceeds from each performance will be dedicated to ONE particular charitable institution or organization geared towards education and the arts. For tickets, call TicketWorld at 8919999, or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph. The ticket prices are as follows: Zone 1: P2,000 Zone 2: P1,750 Zone 3: P1,500 Zone 4: P1,250 Zone 5: P1,000 #MButterflyMNL #MButterflyManila #MButterfly

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Olivier Bourten as Rene Gallimard

 

MEET OUR CAST: French actor OLIVIER BORTEN will essay the role of Rene Gallimard, a former French diplomat, who finds himself in a passionate yet disastrous and adulterous affair with the Chinese Opera singer Song Liling. See you at the Maybank Performing Arts Theatre for the epic Philippine staging of David Henry Hwang's Tony Award-winning play M BUTTERFLY. Based on the intriguing real-life espionage love affair between a French diplomat and a Chinese opera singer that was the cause célèbre of France in 1986. Produced by Tony and Grammy award winner Jhett Tolentino and Frontrow Entertainment. Directed by Kanakan-Balintagos. Starring RS Francisco, together with Olivier Borten, Rebecca Chuaunsu, Lee O'Brian, Norman McLeod, Maya Encila and Ms. Pinky Amador. PLAYDATES: Sept. 13 – Thursday – Gala Opening Night – 8 pm (By invitation only) Sept. 14 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 15 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 16 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 18 – Tuesday – 8 pm Sept. 19 – Wednesday – 8 pm Sept. 20 – Thursday – 8 pm Sept. 21 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 22 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 23 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 25 - Tuesday – 8 pm Sept. 27 – Thursday – 8 pm Sept. 28 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 29 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 30 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm This re-staging of M. Butterfly will be 100% non-profit. Net proceeds from each performance will be dedicated to ONE particular charitable institution or organization geared towards education and the arts. For tickets, call TicketWorld at 8919999, or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph. The ticket prices are as follows: Zone 1: P2,000 Zone 2: P1,750 Zone 3: P1,500 Zone 4: P1,250 Zone 5: P1,000 For further inquiries, please contact ISHA GERMENTIL at 0917-6233834. #MButterflyMNL

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Pinky Amador as Helga, Rene's legal wife

 

MEET OUR CAST: Highly-regarded theater actress PINKY AMADOR, who was seen internationally in Cameron Mackintosh’s Miss Saigon, and in a long list of plays, movies and teleseryes, will play Gallimard’s legal's wife – HELGA. We are inviting you to come and watch the Philippine staging of David Henry Hwang's Tony award-winning play "M. BUTTERFLY", opening on September 13 and will run until September 30 at MAYBANK PERFORMING ARTS THEATER, BGC ARTS CENTER, BONIFACIO GLOBAL CITY. Produced by Tony and Grammy award winner Jhett Tolentino and Frontrow Entertainment. Directed by Kanakan-Balintagos. Starring RS Francisco, together with Olivier Borten, Rebecca Chuaunsu, Lee O'Brian, Norman McLeod, Maya Encila and Ms. Pinky Amador. PLAYDATES: Sept. 13 – Thursday – Gala Opening Night – 8 pm Sept. 14 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 15 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 16 – Sunday – 3 pm Sept. 21 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 22 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 23 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 28 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 29 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 30 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm This re-staging of M. Butterfly will be 100% non-profit. Net proceeds from each performance will be dedicated to ONE particular charitable institution or organization geared towards education and the arts. For tickets, call @ticketworldinc at 8919999, or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph. The ticket prices are as follows: Zone 1: P2,000 Zone 2: P1,750 Zone 3: P1,500 Zone 4: P1,250 Zone 5: P1,000 For further inquiries, please contact ISHA GERMENTIL at 0917-6233834. See you in September! #MButterflyMNL #MButterflyManila #MButterfly

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Lee O'Brian as Marc, the best friend of Rene

 

MEET OUR CAST: Trilingual American actor LEE O’BRIAN will personify Marc, the sexually unapologetic best friend of Gallimard. Although this will be the first theater experience for the actor, Lee’s skills have been tried and tested in international films “Edsa Woolworth” and “Forgive Me Father”, and in several TV and movie appearances here in the Philippines. See you at the Maybank Performing Arts Theatre for the epic Philippine staging of David Henry Hwang's Tony Award-winning play M BUTTERFLY. Based on the intriguing real-life espionage love affair between a French diplomat and a Chinese opera singer that was the cause célèbre of France in 1986. Produced by Tony and Grammy award winner Jhett Tolentino and Frontrow Entertainment. Directed by Kanakan-Balintagos. Starring RS Francisco, together with Olivier Borten, Rebecca Chuaunsu, Lee O'Brian, Norman McLeod, Maya Encila and Ms. Pinky Amador. PLAYDATES: Sept. 13 – Thursday – Gala Opening Night – 8 pm (By invitation only) Sept. 14 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 15 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 16 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 18 – Tuesday – 8 pm Sept. 19 – Wednesday – 8 pm Sept. 20 – Thursday – 8 pm Sept. 21 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 22 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 23 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 25 - Tuesday – 8 pm Sept. 27 – Thursday – 8 pm Sept. 28 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 29 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 30 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm This re-staging of M. Butterfly will be 100% non-profit. Net proceeds from each performance will be dedicated to ONE particular charitable institution or organization geared towards education and the arts. For tickets, call TicketWorld at 8919999, or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph. The ticket prices are as follows: Zone 1: P2,000 Zone 2: P1,750 Zone 3: P1,500 Zone 4: P1,250 Zone 5: P1,000 For further inquiries, please contact ISHA GERMENTIL at 0917-6233834. #MButterflyMNL #MButterflyManila #MButterfly

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Norm McLeod as Manuel Toulon, the French ambassador to China

 

MEET OUR CAST: After 25 years of stage acting experience in the United Kingdom, Scottish NORM McLEOD steps in the Philippine stage to play Manuel Toulon, the French Ambassador to China who also happens to be the dominant and strong-willed superior of Gallimard at the embassy in Beijing. See you at the Maybank Performing Arts Theatre for the epic Philippine staging of David Henry Hwang's Tony Award-winning play M BUTTERFLY. Based on the intriguing real-life espionage love affair between a French diplomat and a Chinese opera singer that was the cause célèbre of France in 1986. Produced by Tony and Grammy award winner Jhett Tolentino and Frontrow Entertainment. Directed by Kanakan-Balintagos. Starring RS Francisco, together with Olivier Borten, Rebecca Chuaunsu, Lee O'Brian, Norman McLeod, Maya Encila and Ms. Pinky Amador. PLAYDATES: Sept. 13 – Thursday – Gala Opening Night – 8 pm (By invitation only) Sept. 14 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 15 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 16 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 18 – Tuesday – 8 pm Sept. 19 – Wednesday – 8 pm Sept. 20 – Thursday – 8 pm Sept. 21 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 22 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 23 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 25 - Tuesday – 8 pm Sept. 27 – Thursday – 8 pm Sept. 28 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 29 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 30 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm This re-staging of M. Butterfly will be 100% non-profit. Net proceeds from each performance will be dedicated to ONE particular charitable institution or organization geared towards education and the arts. For tickets, call TicketWorld at 8919999, or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph. The ticket prices are as follows: Zone 1: P2,000 Zone 2: P1,750 Zone 3: P1,500 Zone 4: P1,250 Zone 5: P1,000 For further inquiries, please contact ISHA GERMENTIL at 0917-6233834. #MButterflyMNL #MButterflyManila #MButterfly

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Maya Encila as Renee, a Danish student Rene has had a brief affair with

 

MEET OUR CAST: Maya Encila was only 6 years old when she had her theater debut. She was nominated twice for an Aliw Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performances as Lara in Philippine Stagers Foundation's “Katips: Ang Bagong Katipunero,” and as Beauty in Repertory Philippines’ “Beauty and the Beast.” Catch her September as RENEE in M BUTTERFLY! See you at the Maybank Performing Arts Theatre for the epic Philippine staging of David Henry Hwang's Tony Award-winning play M BUTTERFLY. Based on the intriguing real-life espionage love affair between a French diplomat and a Chinese opera singer that was the cause célèbre of France in 1986. Produced by Tony and Grammy award winner Jhett Tolentino and Frontrow Entertainment. Directed by Kanakan-Balintagos. Starring RS Francisco, together with Olivier Borten, Rebecca Chuaunsu, Lee O'Brian, Norman McLeod, Maya Encila and Ms. Pinky Amador. PLAYDATES: Sept. 13 – Thursday – Gala Opening Night – 8 pm (By invitation only) Sept. 14 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 15 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 16 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 18 – Tuesday – 8 pm Sept. 19 – Wednesday – 8 pm Sept. 20 – Thursday – 8 pm Sept. 21 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 22 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 23 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 25 - Tuesday – 8 pm Sept. 27 – Thursday – 8 pm Sept. 28 – Friday – 8 pm Sept. 29 – Saturday – 3 pm / 8 pm Sept. 30 – Sunday – 3 pm / 8 pm This re-staging of M. Butterfly will be 100% non-profit. Net proceeds from each performance will be dedicated to ONE particular charitable institution or organization geared towards education and the arts. For tickets, call TicketWorld at 8919999, or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph. The ticket prices are as follows: Zone 1: P2,000 Zone 2: P1,750 Zone 3: P1,500 Zone 4: P1,250 Zone 5: P1,000 For further inquiries, please contact ISHA GERMENTIL at 0917-6233834. #MButterflyMNL #MButterflyManila #MButterfly

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To run alongside the staging of "M. Butterfly" is Chrysalis, an exhibit that brings together seven of the country's most celebrated names in photography.

Jun de Leon, Raymund Isaac, Manny Librodo, Mandy Navasero, BJ Pascual, Wig Tysmans, and Patrick Uy generously donated their time and talent to create their image of Song Liling, the Tony Award-winning play’s lead character. The interpretations were based on different lines from the script assigned to each photographer.

Reflecting beauty, mystery, and enchantment, the captivating shots will only be available in three limited edition prints. Mounted in 30 x 40-inch frames and signed by the master photographers, they will be auctioned off with a starting bid of P50,000. Proceeds will go to the beneficiary chosen by each photographer.

Conceptualized by publicist Toots Tolentino, producer Jhett Tolentino, and RS Francisco who will be reprising his portrayal of Song Liling, this effort adds another altruistic layer to "M. Butterfly," which is declared to be 100% non-profit.

The portraits will be displayed at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater for the duration of the run of "M. Butterfly," from September 12 to 30, 2018. Silent bids together with full name, home address, email address and mobile number may be sent to mbutterflymanila@gmail.com or +63917 6233834. Deadline is September 29, 12 noon. The winning bidder will be informed via email, phone call, and SMS by September 29, 6:00pm.

 

Below are details about the photographs:

 

Rhapsody in Blue by Jun de Leon

“Tonight, I’ve finally learned to tell fantasy from reality. And, knowing the difference, I choose fantasy.” –Rene Gallimard, Act 3 Scene 2

 

 

Jun de Leon brought his love for scuba diving into the picture. Taken underwater, his concept required an aqua phobic RS Francisco to attach lead sinkers to his Yutaka robe, hold his breath while submerged in a pool, and strike a pose despite trembling with fear. It took a team of 20 to make this epic shot possible, including a dive master and paramedics. Jun is yet to name his chosen beneficiary.

 

 

Ingénue by Raymund Isaac

“I’m happy which often looks like crazy.” –Song Liling, Act 2 Scene 8

 

 

After trying out six different looks for Song Liling, Raymund Isaac preferred this one showing a vibrant and carefree girl. Raymund wanted to introduce the young butterfly before she became a spy thus the loosely worn hair and the youthful makeup palette of berry shades and undertones. As in all his other shoots, he only used one light to capture his subject. To benefit from the sale of his photo, Raymund has chosen the Home for Girls in Nueva Ecija which provides protection and rehabilitation for abused and exploited girls.

 

 

Sweet Deception by Manny Librodo

“Happiness is so rare that our mind can turn somersaults to protect it.” –Rene Gallimard, Act 2 Scene 6

 

 

The shoot was held one fine, sunny day at a Chinese heritage center in Bangkok, Thailand. Using natural light, Manny Librodo was able to capture the mystery of Song Liling. This rare avant-garde depiction was achieved in close collaboration with a makeup and styling team. A massive butterfly headpiece was custom-made to add extravagance to the shot. The amount raised from Manny’s photo will be donated for the improvement of the sound system of St. Joseph Parish in his hometown Lambunao, Iloilo.

 

 

The Way of All Flesh by Mandy Navasero

“Even the softest skin becomes leather to a man who’s touched it too often.” –Song Liling, Act 2 Scene 6

 

 

Mandy Navasero was behind the controversial nude photo of RS Francisco in 1990, when he first portrayed Song Liling. In this reunion project, Mandy interprets the main character of "M. Butterfly" as more sophisticated. Surrounded by cherry blossoms, Song is shown as very sensual in her pink robe, in bed with her lover, Rene Gallimard (French actor Olivier Borten) who is in the buff. Proceeds from her photo will be used to fund the education of a student in Philippine Women’s University, Mandy’s alma mater.

 

 

An Untitled Song by BJ Pascual

“Do you believe everything that I tell you?” –Song Liling, Act 1 Scene 8

 

 

As part of his research, BJ Pascual viewed the film adaptation of "M Butterfly" where he saw a cunning woman in control. Inspired by that situation, he imagined a scene where Song Liling first arrives in Paris. The result is an incognito-chic heroine in Burberry and Hermès, dramatically illuminated in a foggy alley. For the beneficiary of his photo, BJ opted for the Home for the Golden Gays to make sure that the residents will consistently have the resources they need.

 

 

The Chrysalis by Wig Tysmans

“I have known and been loved by the perfect woman.” –Rene Gallimard, Act 1 Scene 3

 

 

Wig Tysmans takes Song Liling to the opera, Madama Butterfly. He placed a kimono-clad RS Francisco on center stage with a black room setup and used lights to convey his interpretation of Song Liling as Cio-Cio-San.  To benefit from the sale of Wyg’s photo is Child and Family Services Philippines which provides assistance to abused children and women.

 

 

The Splendor of M by Patrick Uy

“Art for the masses is a shitty excuse to keep artists poor.” –Song Liling, Act 1 Scene 8

 

 

Patrick Uy went for a soft and feminine interpretation of Song Liling. With the aid of Swiss and German precision equipment, Patrick was able to mimic natural outdoor light which emphasized Song Liling’s Oriental appearance. The proceeds from his photo will be donated to Chosen Children Village which cares for abandoned, physically and mentally-challenged youth.

 

For more information about Chrysalis, follow @MButterflyMNL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.