Jim's Richard III Blog

What had started as a blog of Richard III rehearsal process at Cal Shakes has now evolved or devolved into a small novella. The author is petrified to change the name for fear it'll disappear, and wouldn't know what to call it anyway. Many stories are included and questions are even answered sometimes!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Searching for Butterflys

I gave up looking for my old M. Butterfly program; whether lost in transit or consigned to the dusty shelves of what passes for my Theatre archive I don't know, so I concentrated on the Google search instead.

I found Luoyong Wang fairly easily; I managed to locate a bio page from a production of Miss Saigon; I took a wild shot in the dark on the spelling of Ding Mei Kuei and lo and behold--I found him. At least I think I found him; I think he's the Producing Director of the Qi Shu Fang Opera Company in New York and his wife (whose name is Qi Shufang) still the star. I think it's his wife but it's hard to tell under the traditional Chinese mask of pink foundation and eye makeup and besides the last time I saw her in costume I think she was blue.........

I have an email address, I've copied it, it sits on the desktop of my computer with the address on it and nothing typed into the letter field. I find myself strangely hesitant to write anything, oddly scared to send it and don't quite understand why I feel such strong emotion wash me when I examine this blank note with Ding's name on it. I did not expect this.

When I was 8 or 9 years old I wrote to a young boy in Korea--I don't remember how this correspondence began but we wrote each other many times and I remember one day getting a note from him which included a very well drawn pencil sketch of an American Indian chief with the full headdress of Eagle feathers, remember quite distinctly my admiration of it and a vague jealousy. I think I stopped writing shortly after that and on the odd occasion that I do remember I also regret that I never continued, regret as well losing touch with these very special persons from M. Butterfly, my only excuse being a busy life and a continents distance from each other.

And I don't quite understand why, that though I have this regret at losing contact, I have as well a fear of reopening it. Perhaps it's a fear of change -- will they still be the same? Am I still the same?

The Google search for Man Wong was not fruitful, or maybe overly so: do you have any idea how many Man Wongs there are? He is legion.

I shall have to ask Ding as to his whereabouts.


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