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阔别20年,《蝴蝶君》重返百老汇

更新时间:2017-10-23 18:23:10 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

New Flight for a New ‘Butterfly’
阔别20年,《蝴蝶君》重返百老汇

The playwright David Henry Hwang warned me, amiably, that he might duck some questions. His play “M. Butterfly,” the Tony-winning hit from 1988, was back on Broadway for the first time, and the production was feeling guarded: No, I couldn’t read the new version of the script. No, the director, Julie Taymor, would not do an interview.

剧作家黄哲伦(David Henry Hwang)友好地警告我,他可能会回避一些问题。他的作品《蝴蝶君》(M. Butterfly)在1988年赢得托尼奖以来,首次回到百老汇时,制作团队感觉有所防备:不行,我不能看新版的剧本。不行,导演茱莉·泰莫(Julie Taymor)不能接受采访。

Mr. Hwang would, though, and here he was in the lobby of the Algonquin Hotel, a couple of hours before the first preview at the Cort Theater. Opening Thursday, Oct. 26, the show stars Clive Owen in the role John Lithgow had the first time around, with Jin Ha in the part that won a young BD Wong a Tony.

但黄哲伦可以。于是,在离该剧在科特剧院(Cort Theater)首次预演还剩几个钟头时,他出现在了阿尔岗昆酒店(Algonquin Hotel)的大堂里。将于10月26日周四上演的该剧,由克里夫·欧文(Clive Owen)出演约翰·利思戈(John Lithgow)最早饰演的角色,秦河(Jin Ha,音)出演为年纪轻轻的黄荣亮(BD Wong)夺得托尼奖的那个角色。

Inspired by the true story of a yearslong affair, beginning in the mid-1960s, between a French Embassy employee and a male Beijing opera singer who was also a spy, “M. Butterfly” is about race, sex, espionage, geopolitics — and the titillating question of whether it’s even possible to mistake the gender of one’s lover, as the Frenchman claimed to have done. In the play, which also borrows from Puccini’s opera “Madama Butterfly,” the diplomat Rene Gallimard is in love with Song Liling, an opera star who seems to him the ideal woman.

《蝴蝶君》的灵感来自一个真实的故事。故事始于60年代中期,法国大使馆的一名工作人员和一名实为间谍的男性京剧演员产生了一段持续数年的感情。该剧涉及种族、性、间谍、地缘政治,以及是否有可能像那名法国男子所宣称的那样,弄错爱人性别这个充满挑逗性的问题。此剧还借鉴了普契尼的《蝴蝶夫人》(Madama Butterfly)。在剧中,外交官高仁尼(Rene Gallimard)爱上了他眼中的完美女性、京剧明星宋丽玲。

Song’s true gender was the meant-to-shock big reveal of the original Broadway production, directed by John Dexter. But in what Mr. Hwang, 60, called a “reverse meta situation,” the show’s success led to detailed coverage of the real people he’d loosely based his characters on. And by now, the play has been in the repertory for nearly 30 years. As Mr. Wong said by phone recently, “The cat is out of the bag.”

在约翰·德克斯特(John Dexter)执导的老版百老汇剧目《蝴蝶君》中,为了起到震惊全场的效果,宋丽玲的真实性别是一个天大的秘密。黄哲伦大致根据真实人物塑造了剧中的角色,但该剧的成功引发了对真实人物的详细报道。现年60岁的黄哲伦称其为“形势逆反”。到现在,《蝴蝶君》这一剧目已经轮演了近30年。正如黄哲伦最近在电话上所说的,“猫从袋子里跑出来了”(意为秘密泄露出去了——译注)。

Yet here’s the thing, as I saw when I bought a ticket and went to an early preview: Mr. Hwang has made a new cat, and Ms. Taymor has put it in a very different bag. This “M. Butterfly” is the same play, but with significant changes to let it toy with our perceptions afresh. (It’s not the first time he’s gone back and tinkered; when his play “Golden Child” got an Off Broadway revival at Signature Theater Company in 2012, he reworked the bookending scenes. The “M. Butterfly” rewrites are more consequential.)

但有一点,正如我买票观看早期预演时所看到的那样:黄哲伦重新创造了一只猫,泰莫把它放进了一个完全不同的袋子里。这一版《蝴蝶君》是同一部剧,但出现了显著的变化,为的是让它重新挑战我们的认知。(这不是他第一次退回去修改剧本。2012年,当他的外百老汇剧作《金童》(Golden Child)在签名剧团(Signature Theater Company)重新上演时,黄哲伦改编了首尾几幕。《蝴蝶君》的改动更大。)

Mr. Hwang sat down to chat, sometimes obliquely, about rebalancing “M. Butterfly” for 2017 and how the landscape has and hasn’t altered since the show made him the first Asian-American playwright on Broadway. It’s a place he’s worked many times since, most recently with “Chinglish” in 2011, but he’s never had another smash like “M. Butterfly.” These are edited excerpts from a conversation.

落座后,黄哲伦开始谈起——有时是间接地——为了符合2017年的时代背景而对《蝴蝶君》进行了哪些调整,以及自该剧让他成为百老汇的首位亚裔美国剧作家以来,哪些情况发生了变化,哪些没有变。他在这里工作了多年,上一部作品是2011年的《中式英语》(Chinglish),但他再也没有拿出另一部像《蝴蝶君》这样的卖座剧目。以下是经过编辑和删节的对话。

This is such a fascinating moment for a revival. What took so long?

选择当下这段时间重新上演颇为引人遐想。是什么让你等了这么久?

Over the last couple decades, I’ve been reluctant to do it. How do you do it again and at least hope for an impact that maybe is comparable? “Butterfly,” I think, successfully addressed some issues in the culture in its first iteration. It would be really nice if there was a way to feel similarly resonant with the culture today.

过去20年里,我一直不愿做这件事。你如何才能再做一次,并指望至少能产生堪与上一次相媲美的影响力?我认为原版《蝴蝶君》成功直面了当时的文化中的一些议题。如果有办法和时下的文化产生类似的共鸣,就真的太好了。

I feel like it anticipated what we now call intersectionality, this notion that issues like sexual orientation and gender identity and sexism and racism are all interrelated. So I feel good about that.

我觉得它预见了我们现在称之为交错性的东西,这种所有议题全都息息相关的理念,比如性取向、性别认同、性别主义和种族主义。所以这让我感觉很棒。

You worry about cultural impact rather than “Can we get a production of the same caliber?”

你更担心的是文化影响力,而非“我们能否打造出同样有品质的东西”?

I think the two are related. Part of the reason “M. Butterfly” worked the first time around is because I was collaborating with a director who really understood how to use the theater. When [the producer] Nelle Nugent and I started talking about Julie Taymor, that was a really exciting notion.

我认为这两者是相互关联的。《蝴蝶君》最初之所以能获得成功,部分原因在于当时与我合作的导演非常清楚如何利用百老汇剧院。我和[制作人]内勒·纽金特(Nelle Nugent)谈起茱莉·泰摩(Julie Taymor)的时候,真的非常兴奋。

Because her visual sense is so acute, I sometimes feel she doesn’t get enough credit for the degree to which she is fundamentally focused on story and character. Julie was asking a lot of questions about the text. She wanted to make sure that I was clear about what Song’s motivations were and Song’s point of view as well as Gallimard’s, because so much of the show is taken from Gallimard’s point of view.

我有时候觉得,由于她有着极其敏锐的视觉感受力,她对故事和角色的根本性的专注反而被遮蔽了,没有得到足够多的认可。茱莉总是就剧本问大量问题。她想要确保我既清楚地知道高仁尼的动机和观点,又知道宋丽玲的,因为该剧有太多篇幅是从高仁尼的视角展开的。

Did that make you want to clarify things in the text?

这会促使你想要在剧本中澄清一些事情吗?

Coming back to it now, it’s still not a docudrama, but there were aspects to the real story which we both felt could complicate the story in an interesting way and also bring out more strongly, I hope, Song’s point of view and Song’s experience in that relationship. And that led to going back into the text. I wasn’t sure, because it’s a play that’s very much associated with me and it was successful the first time around and did I really want to mess with it. But I really loved going back and reacquainting myself with those characters.

它现在进行复排,仍然不是纪实性的作品。不过我们俩都觉得,真实历史的某些方面能以有趣的方式为这个故事增添复杂性。我希望它们也能更有力地带出宋丽玲的观点,以及她在这段关系中的体验。因此,就要重新回到剧本中去。我一度不太确定,因为这部剧对我来说意义重大,初登百老汇舞台时又取得了成功,我真的想要改动它吗?但我最终很享受重回剧本的感觉,这让我再次去发掘那些角色。

The dilemmas that they’re dealing with continue to be a lot of core issues that I face as a writer, whether they have to do with questions of identity or the fluidity of that identity, how the way we perceive ourselves changes given our social context changing. That’s the soil that I like to till.

他们应对的困惑,仍是我作为剧作家所面临的很多核心议题,无论他们不得不应对的是身份问题,还是那种身份的流变问题——在社会环境不断变化之际,我们如何看待自己的变化。这是我乐于挖掘的东西。

How does now feel different from then, in terms of where we are as a culture?

就文化环境而言,你觉得现在和当时有什么不同?

I think the complexities of gender, our culture is much more aware of those, and different gender expressions. But we clearly are still caught in a kind of toxic masculinity that not only affects the relations between men and women but even, more explicitly now, affects our political decisions and particularly the way that we as a nation try to deal with the world.

我认为我们的文化对性别的复杂性以及不同的性别表达有了更深入的认识。但我们显然仍被困在一种有毒的男子气概中,它不仅影响着男女之间的关系,甚至还影响着我们的政治决策,尤其是我们作为一个国家设法与世界打交道的方式——现在这一点变得更为明显了。

In the play, both the new and the old versions, Gallimard falls into a relationship with an Asian woman who he believes to be sort of submissive and extrapolates from that how the West should deal with the East politically. Today, when we have a president who feels that the way to deal with North Korea or Muslim countries or whatever is by being tougher and more abrasively masculine, that feels to me incredibly consistent with the story “M. Butterfly” is trying to tell.

在这部剧中——不论是新版还是老版——高仁尼投入到与一个在他看来颇为顺从的亚洲女性的恋爱关系中去,并从中揣测西方在政治上应该如何对待东方。如今,我们的总统认为,在处理与朝鲜或穆斯林国家或无论什么人的关系时,应该更强硬,也应该更具粗粝的男子气概,我觉得这和《蝴蝶君》试图讲述的故事有着不和思议的契合度。

And the notion of male dominance over women as a manifestation of true masculinity is certainly very much in our current discourse and very much part of the play.

把男性对女性的控制当成真正男子气概的表现之一,这种认知显然广泛存在于我们当前的话语以及这部剧之中。

Does it make any difference to have a female director on a play that’s so much about male and female identity?

对一部高度关注男性身份和女性身份的剧来说,有一位女性导演会有什么不同吗?

I certainly didn’t want to work with Julie Taymor because she’s a female director. That said, I’m aware of the degree to which I can only see the world through my point of view, and it’s really helpful when I want to know what the other points of view are. For instance, if Julie’s telling me that the minor female characters don’t seem as expressively developed, I think that’s really useful to know.

我想要跟茱莉·泰摩合作,显然并非因为她是一名女性导演。不过,我意识到在某种程度上我只能以自己的视角看待这个世界,当我想要知道其他人的视角什么样子的时候,这真的非常有帮助。例如,如果茱莉告诉我,对一些女性小角色的开发似乎不够丰满,我会认为知道这个非常有用。

Did she say that?

她说过这个吗?

Umm, she might have said that.

嗯,她或许说过。

How old were you when you wrote “M. Butterfly”?

你是在多大年纪写的《蝴蝶君》?

When it opened, I was 30. So I probably wrote it when I was 28, maybe?

开演的时候我30岁,那我可能是在28岁那年写的,也许吧。

There are things about the original that were shocking in its time, and I don’t think a lot of those things are particularly shocking nowadays. That provides an opportunity to go back in and look at these characters even more as fully formed human beings, as opposed to being kind of overwhelmed by the surprise and the shock of the story.

原版中的一些东西在当时是非常惊人的,我并不觉得那些东西放到现在有太过惊人之处,这就提供了一个回过头去研究这些角色的机会,把他们当成更完整的人去审视,而非止于某种猎奇。

How different is it?

新版有多大的不同?

There’s a lot of tweaking of specifics in order to create more three-dimensionality, create more nuance, enrich the love story and try to balance out the Song and Gallimard points of view a little.

修改了很多细节,以便打造更强的立体感,增添更多细腻的东西,把这个爱情故事变得更丰富多彩,并把高仁尼的视角和宋丽玲的视角变得更平衡一点。

One specific example: Shi Pei Pu, who was the actual spy, played in a Chinese opera called “Butterfly Lovers.” “Butterfly Lovers” is nowadays a very popular Chinese story. It also is about gender confusion. So we have kind of incorporated an awareness of “Butterfly Lovers” into this version of the story.

举一个具体的例子:时佩璞,也就是那个真正的间谍,演过京剧《化蝶》。《化蝶》是一个流传很广的中国故事,它也涉及性别的混淆。因此我们在这一版的故事中,加入了某种《化蝶》的意象。

What impact did the success of “M. Butterfly” have on Asian-American representation in the theater?

《蝴蝶君》当年的成功对亚裔美国人在百老汇的表现有什么影响?

I think it meant something that there, (A), was a play by an Asian-American author on Broadway and, (B), that it was successful. Has that led to the gates being opened over the past 30 years? Not really. For a long time, I continued to be the only Asian-American author that was ever done on Broadway.

我认为它的意义在于:首先,写这部剧的是百老汇的一个亚裔美国剧作家;其次,它取得了成功。但这在过去30年里帮助打开大门了吗?并没有。很长一段时间里,我都是唯一一个有作品在百老汇上演的亚裔美国剧作家。

There’s been a big explosion of Asian-American playwrights and talent Off Broadway and in the regions. In general, Broadway continues to be not inclusive in a way that represents the population. It is just a good business model to begin to diversify both the faces and the stories that exist in the theater — as TV is starting to learn.

在外百老汇等地,已经出现亚裔美国剧作家和人才的大爆发。但总体而言,百老汇仍然不够包容,未能体现这个国家的人口构成。让存在于百老汇的面孔和故事开始变得多样化,就像电视行业开始学着去做的一样,其实是一种很好的商业模式。

Did you expect progress to move faster in the wider culture?

你是否曾经以为,大的文化环境有更快的进步?

I expected it to move faster over the last 20 years, and I’m kind of encouraged by the degree to which the pace has picked up over the last, say, three to four years. It feels like maybe there’s a tipping point going on.

我本以为它在过去20年间会得到更大的改善;但过去三四年间的进步之快让我感到一丝欣慰。看样子拐点也许正在到来。

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