By: Throy Catan
BROADWAY musical, M. Butterfly, celebrates its 30th Anniversary. Because of this, Tony Award Winner, Jhett Tolentino; and Frontrow Entertainment presents a new production of the said play in the Philippines.
It stars Lee O’ Brian, Norman McLeod, Mayen Estañero, Rica Nepomuceno, Maya Encila, Pinky Amador, Olivier Borten as the French Diplomat, René Gallimard; and RS Francisco as the Peking opera singer, Song Liling.
In his interview on a TV show, Pipol, RS Francisco told about his experience when he was part of Dulaang UP‘s M Butterfly, “… One time, may ginawa akong play sa Dulaang UP sa Diliman. Ang title po ng dulang ito ay M. Butterfly.
“After noong opening night, inabutan ako ni Sir Tony Mabesa ng paycheck. Doon ako nagulat na parang ‘Bakit ako binabayaran?’ Ang unang reaction ko nga, ‘No, no, no, sir. Hindi mo ako kailangan bayaran kasi gusto ko ang ginagawa ko.’
“Sabi niya, ‘No, no. You deserve it.’ So, doon ko na lang na-realize na, ‘Ah, okay. Puwede pala akong kumita bilang isang aktor at mabuhay bilang isang aktor sa entablado.” RS Francisco said.
RS recalled his hardships in life after he founded his company, Frontrow, “Pero dahil hindi ako nag-graduate, pumasok ako sa SM, nagtinda ako ng mga sapatos… Nagtrabaho ako sa Binondo, sa isang warehouse ng mga telahan.
“Naalala ko, ang unang suweldo ko po noon is P1,800 a month. Para sa akin, laking-laki na ako doon, kasi ang kinikita ko sa mga play, P125,” He said.
Now, RS Francisco is one of the founders of Frontrow Enterprise Philippines, Inc. together with his business partner, Samuel Verzosa. Frontrow is a direct selling company in the health, beauty, and wellness industry in the Philippines.
The new productions of M. Butterfly will be directed by Kanakan Balintagos (director of Pisay, Busog and Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros). The play runs from September 13-30 at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Bonifacio Global City. Buy your tickets online.
M. Butterfly is a play by David Henry Hwang which loosely based on the relationship between French diplomat Bernard Boursicot and Shi Pei Pu, a Peking opera singer. The play premiered on Broadway in 1988 and won the 1988 Tony Award for Best Play.
For more information, visit the M. Butterfly’s official Facebook page.