REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Falsettos” Opened with a ShowScore of 83

Show-Score | Oct 28, 2016
“Falsettos,” written by William Finn and directed by James Lapine, opened on October 27, 2016 in New York City. “Falsettos,” written by William Finn and directed by James Lapine, opened on October 27, 2016 in New York City.


24 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 83.

Charles Isherwood
The New York Times
ShowScore: 100
"There’s hardly a moment in the exhilarating, devastating revival of the musical 'Falsettos' that doesn’t approach, or even achieve, perfection...Directed by Mr. Lapine—whose work is so sharp it’s as if he were seeing the show with a new pair of eyes...Mr. Borle shines here as he has never before...'Falsettos' never feels like a singing time capsule. Its fundamental subject is that mysterious, maddening, uplifting, life-complicating emotion we refer to as love, which hasn’t changed in 25 years."
Zachary Stewart
ShowScore: 80
"While it is always delightful to hear the composer's idiosyncratic voice onstage, the dramaturgical flaws inherent in the piece don't go unnoticed...The songwriting is the real reason to see this show...The drastic tonal swing of the second act requires an emotional gear shift that not every audience member may be able to make...That disappointing outcome is not for lack of trying on the part of the cast...A near-perfect revival of a decidedly imperfect musical."
Marilyn Stasio
ShowScore: 85
"This surprisingly fresh revival has been directed by original director Lapine, who plainly understands the bittersweet humor and provisional joy of that period...The warm performances of a terrific cast soften the underlying sadness of Finn’s breakthrough musical...The story is largely told through the easygoing score, a fusion of tuneful melodies with insightful lyrics...Borle’s neurotic hero is well matched with Rannells’ Whizzer."

“Falsettos” was also reviewed by Terry Teachout of The Wall Street Journal, David Finkle of The Huffington Post, Alexis Soloski of The Guardian (UK), Adam Feldman of Time Out New York, Tim Teeman of Daily Beast, Robert Feldberg of, Chris J Kelly of The Star-Ledger (, Melissa Rose Bernardo of Entertainment Weekly, Peter Marks of The Washington Post, Robin Riegelhaupt of Reviewing The Drama, Jennifer Farrar of The Associated Press, Robert Hofler of The Wrap, Robert Kahn of WNBC, Linda Winer of Newsday, Jeremy Gerard of Deadline, Chris Jones of Chicago Tribune, Jesse Green of New York Magazine / Vulture, Joe Dziemianowicz of New York Daily News, Matthew Murray of Talkin' Broadway, David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter, and Matt Windman of AM New York.


The show was also reviewed by 245 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 83.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing, Funny

Martin, ShowScore: 69
See it if…"You love the material, which has been done regularly for 30 years. Cast works hard, Rannells is aces, set is clever, ending is moving." 
Don't see it if…"Sung-through musicals are not your thing, and this one lasts almost three excruciating hours. I found it all so old hat. Why this revival?"
Ztrain, ShowScore: 100
See it if…"Charming, fun, wonderfully acted, a bit of dancing, too. The entire musical is sung-through. Set in 1979/1981, very touching and poignant."
Don't see it if…"The show is almost three hours but flies by. So many audience members were crying at the end of Act II. Simply excellent—go see it!"
Kent 2, ShowScore: 80
See it if…"You appreciated 'Fun Home.' Both musicals deal with gay married men/fathers and the collateral damage on their families. Well acted and sung." 
Don't see it if…"The themes are too emotionally raw for you (loss of a loved to AIDS or to a same-sex partner). Immensely sad on so many levels."

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