Falsettos
Closed 2h 40m
Falsettos
85

Falsettos NYC Reviews and Tickets

85%
(1016 Reviews)
Positive
92%
Mixed
6%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing, Funny

About the Show

Two-time Tony Award winner Christian Borle stars in Lincoln Center Theater's Broadway revival of William Finn's groundbreaking musical about a gay man, his wife, his son, his lover, and their psychiatrist.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (1016)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
91
Powerful, Funny, Must see, Great staging, Deeply moving

See it if you saw the originals, they've honored them beautifully. If you didn't, see this for it's place in history and your heart.

Don't see it if you don't like gay people. You should, because we're fabulous but this show is not going to change your narrow little mind about love.

84
Entertaining, Resonant, Touching, Profound

See it if Strong production with interesting staging. Struggled with Act 1, but Act 2 was fantastic. Oh and Stephanie Block is amazing!

Don't see it if You are homophobic, anti-semetic.. or just don't like people.

Critic Reviews (49)

The New York Times
October 27th, 2016

"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."
Read more

Time Out New York
October 27th, 2016

"Few musicals have the range, idiosyncrasy and emotional punch of this profoundly unconventional and personal work...As enjoyable as the snaggletoothed and biting first half can be, it hardly prepares you for the extraordinary second...Finn pushes musical theater to the limits of what we can ask of it. Those who know the show may find fault with some of the revival’s choices...But flaws are written into 'Falsettos,' as is the impulse it elicits to forgive them."
Read more

New York Magazine / Vulture
October 27th, 2016

"A heartbreaking revival...It’s hard to get through the last half hour intact...If this Lincoln Center Theater production, directed by Lapine, has any serious faults, they arise from that agenda. As written, Marvin is so nasty and erratic in the first act ...Christian Borle can’t resolve that contradiction and thus comes off a bit unsteady, at least until he regains his footing in the second act. The other principals, whose roles are more tightly written, are excellent throughout."
Read more

New Yorker
November 7th, 2016

"One of the most dishonest musicals I have ever seen...What can you do with a show that opens with a song called 'Four Jews in a Room Bitching,' and uses AIDS to endow it with seriousness? The rot at the center of 'Falsettos' is slathered in self-congratulation. Finn and Lapine use Jews, AIDS, and so on to rope in a particular audience, which is then held captive to their seemingly endless array of self-referential songs and weak humor."
Read more

The Hollywood Reporter
October 27th, 2016

"Pretty much everything about Lincoln Center Theater's ideally cast Broadway revival, again directed by Lapine with as much humor as sensitivity, makes it pure pleasure...The characters are so fresh, the writing so emotionally insightful and the situations played with such feeling that 'Falsettos' hasn't aged a day...Part of the show's durability is the generosity of spirit and affection with which the writers approach every last one of their imperfect characters."
Read more

Entertainment Weekly
October 27th, 2016

"You don’t want to walk into the Walter Kerr Theatre without a pocketful of Puffs...There’s no shortage of laughs, from tuneful one-liners to entire numbers...But amid all the laughter, there will be tears...It’s nice to see Borle finally playing a flesh-and-blood human being, even if he lacks Marvin’s necessary menace...Curse you, William Finn, for writing these heart-wrenching songs. And curse me for forgetting the Kleenex."
Read more

Variety
October 27th, 2016

"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."
Read more

The Wall Street Journal
October 27th, 2016

"So how does 'Falsettos' hold up...Better than 'The Normal Heart,' but not nearly so well as 'Angels in America'. The first act, 'March of the Falsettos,' remains impressive. Notwithstanding Finn’s inability to write once-heard-never-forgotten tunes, the musical numbers are cleverly crafted and the overall tone is appropriately tart...In 'Falsettoland,' by contrast, a hideously painful situation is portrayed with a sincere but cloying sentimentality that occasionally curdles into kitsch."
Read more

Deadline
October 27th, 2016

"It’s got tons of heart, unimpeachable performances...But while the production left me teary in all the right places, and laughing in all the other right places, it never actually took flight. It’s earthbound...What’s bafflingly wrong with the production has primarily to do with the visuals...That, combined with a first act that just works too damned hard to win us over, makes for some rough going...But then Act II happens and the show, for all its dark turns, suddenly seems light as air."
Read more

The Washington Post
October 27th, 2016

"What this erratic revival doesn’t possess much of is the ecstatic brand of New York neurosis that should fire the pistons of this anxiety-infused show...Borle is a gifted farceur, but shifting into the hyper drive of the inordinately needy doesn’t come naturally to him. For this and other reasons, having to do with casting and some of the directorial choices by Finn’s co-bookwriter, James Lapine, the acidic humor of much of the first act of 'Falsettos' feels forced and unmoored."
Read more

Chicago Tribune
October 27th, 2016

"Some of the individual moments of this Lincoln Center production are fantastic — Block, who is so well cast here and doing the best work of her Broadway career, does everything you could ask with the show's great, reflective ballads. You are never entirely convinced that Borle and Rannells are deeply in love...Mostly though, it is an unequivocal pleasure to let Finn's music and lyrics return to your consciousness."
Read more

New York Daily News
October 27th, 2016

"Life is messy — as everybody knows...That includes creators William Finn and James Lapine. They don’t sugarcoat reality when it comes to love, sexuality and relationships...That clear-eyed take has always been — and still is — an intriguing strength of 'Falsettos'...Finn’s alternately lighthearted and poignant score in this mostly sung-through show is another major asset...Plan on being deeply touched and richly satisfied at this show."
Read more

AM New York
October 27th, 2016

"Farcical comedy and heartbreaking drama are served in equal measure in the triumphant Broadway revival...The world has changed considerably since 'Falsettos' premiered, but the musical holds up as a poignant exploration of family breaking apart, growing up and coming together...Lapine’s production is energetic, finely textured and extremely well-cast...The cast scores vocally, comically and dramatically, bringing out the manic heights and tender pauses of this truly extraordinary musical."
Read more

NY1
October 28th, 2016

"Finn's superlative music and lyrics give fervent voice to each of the characters. And Lapine's intelligent staging, helped by geometric set pieces, shape the narrative with extreme sensitivity. Everyone is outstanding...Together, they ooze humanity in all its messy glory. I can't say enough about this wonderful production. It is a mirror on life, as truthful and pure as only theatre can be."
Read more

Theatermania
October 27th, 2016

"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."
Read more

BroadwayWorld
October 28th, 2016

"Lapine serves as director for the terrific new Broadway revival of 'Falsettos' that, through more lyric revisions and interpretations that provide a greater unity of tone, finally fuse the two acts into a singular piece of romance, wit, jaunty melodies and realistic characters trying to keep their neuroses in check...Lapine's new cast takes 'Falsettos' in intriguing new directions."
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
November 9th, 2016

"'Falsettos' remains a marvel of social observation and humane comedy—and the second act packs a knockout punch that very few musicals can match...In number after number, Finn both spoofs and sympathizes with his characters as they stumble around...Lapine has assembled a top-flight cast to get inside the heads of these complex, contradictory, often self-defeating characters...The time has never been riper for a revival of this beautiful show."
Read more

Talkin' Broadway
October 27th, 2016

"'Falsettos' has cemented its stake for greatness, even for skeptics like me, by proving, with this production, that it has a lot more on its mind and in its heart than just the current political zeitgeist...What struck me this time around was its all-consuming universality...Borle's performance is fully integrated and absolutely seamless, the kind of thing we should see from every Broadway performer all the time, but in actuality rarely do. That includes, sadly, much of what surrounds Borle."
Read more

TheaterScene.net
November 14th, 2016

“Would a twenty-five year old musical about the AIDS epidemic still resonate today? The tear stained faces of the audience as the cast of ‘Falsettos’ took its curtain calls at the Walter Kerr Theatre put any doubts to rest. This musical is still powerful on many levels and to several generations. To those of us who lived through the height of the hysteria, ‘Falsettos’ brings back many moving images and to those who are too young, there is a tragically truncated love affair to contend with.”
Read more

Theater Pizzazz
November 4th, 2016

"Two separate one-acts, brilliantly written, superbly directed, may be preaching to the choir at this point, but resound and sting with unparalleled profundity in this poignantly funny and tragic musical...This is a triple AAA perfectly selected cast that leaves you grappling with every emotion imaginable in this newly refreshed revival that never tires. The music and perceptive lyrics are an outpouring of thoughts and complex emotions that leave one breathless in their intensity."
Read more

CurtainUp
November 11th, 2016

"Finn's sung-through score is lyrical and sophisticated, full of intricate multiple harmonies. The lyrics are an organic blend of heart-tugging emotion and sophistication, and thanks to the small cast and orchestra achieve the clarity of conversations...This beautifully staged and performed revival is one of the most moving, eye and ear pleasing old-new musicals currently on Broadway. James Lapine once again directs gracefully so that 'Falsettos' feels fresh as ever."
Read more

Front Row Center
November 14th, 2016

"The production is lively and pointed without a whiff of tired...If the plot verges on predictable, the characters are another story...They are simple—as in clear, and accessible, and engaging...All the maneuvering for that love is informed by funny and complicated lyrics and ironically compatible harmonies. Direction is superb...I’m glad I saw 'Falsettos' in its current iteration and find it a period piece with enormous vitality."
Read more

Front Mezz Junkies
October 27th, 2016

"The music in 'Falsettos' is gorgeous and fun, complex and surprising...I wanted to cheer this whole show on from beginning to end. It’s fun and connecting. Beautiful, emotional, and engaging. Painful and sweet. But, there are also moments that feel dated and confusing...This could be one problem with keeping the same director (Lapine) as when it first played on Broadway...A new eye and different vision would have elevated this beautiful show to a higher level."
Read more

New York Theater
November 12th, 2016

"There is much I enjoyed about it, especially the performances of its exceptional seven-member cast...But ultimately I found 'Falsettos' neither terrible nor terrific...For all its willingness to present ambivalent, bickering characters in complicated relationships, 'Falsettos' feels dated in many ways...The melodies produce no earworms, and the lyrics sometimes spin word pictures with the delicacy of a sledgehammer...There are moments...when I’m nothing but glad they brought it back."
Read more

Broadway Blog
November 22nd, 2016

"Faithful to the original with some modern sensibilities, notably choreography by Spencer Liff, who invigorates the material with plenty of movement and keeps the ensemble agile within the recitative-heavy score…’Falsettos’ offers juicy material for the seasoned ensemble...As Trina, Block pulls out all the stops with a voice that reaches the rafters and comedic timing that stops the show midway through Act One."
Read more

C
October 30th, 2016

"Lincoln Center Theater’s beautifully wrought revival of William Finn and James Lapine’s groundbreaking musical about coming out and growing up takes us back to a more turbulent time in recent history without coming across as dated or passé...The strength of Finn’s songs is that they’re tender but not sentimental; his playful and penetrating lyrics keep false emotion at bay, and even love songs are tinged with neurosis...Lapine adroitly balances funny moments with heartfelt ones."
Read more

Times Square Chronicles
November 4th, 2016

"'Falsettos' shines just as brightly in 2016. It takes the mark of a score that weaves its ways into your soul, a book that knows how to speak with honesty and a director who allows the show to live on its own merits to do that...The one thing that bothered me were the orchestrations and the slowing down of the original tempos...Finn’s score sticks to your soul like embedded thorns of wisdom. Lapine’s direction takes on a new dimension...If you want to be moved, this is the show to see."
Read more

The Guardian (UK)
October 27th, 2016

"'March' is perhaps the more interesting half...The second act is more conventional...But it’s here that the work’s emotional heart beats most muscularly and anyone who leaves without shedding a tear may want to see his or her ophthalmologist...The Broadway revival is not a copy of the original...Neither is it a faultless work...Yet Lapine directs in a style that remains both consciously frolicsome and helplessly shrewd."
Read more

The Huffington Post
October 27th, 2016

"How does 'Falsettos' look nearly 25 years on? Just great—with only the merest reservations that certainly don't have anything to do with the several brilliant Finn songs...Today its impact has shifted. It's an unflinching look back. Nevertheless, as it plays, it retains emotional pangs...Last but hardly least in this wholly sincere recommendation are the cast members who understand the Finn and Lapine paean to humanity and bring it movingly to the stage."
Read more

Upstage-Downstage
November 27th, 2016

"Melodies and words that are smart and moving, quirky and personal and honest...It is certainly some of the most truthful work you’ll every hear on the Broadway stage...This is a much different role for the actor generally associated with offbeat comic performances, yet Borle shows he has the chops to carry it off...The rest of the cast is equally strong...Only occasionally are there puzzling choices with respect to how a couple of the numbers are staged."
Read more

The Wrap
October 27th, 2016

"It’s very unlikely that William Finn will ever get a better production of his groundbreaking musical 'Falsettos'...Top among its assets are leading men Christian Borle and Andrew Rannells...Now for the unfortunate news. If ever Disney made a family movie musical about homosexuals, 'Falsettos' would be the one to start with. This observation is not meant as a compliment. 'Gay' here is gay in the Irving Berlin sense of the word...Finn and Lapine put the 'false' in 'Falsettos.'"
Read more

Wolf Entertainment Guide
November 7th, 2016

"A period piece, but because of how well it is staged and acted has a fresh impact...The cast is a thoroughly winsome one, which compensates for the first act becoming at points a bit repetitious once the basic situation is set. The musical, with a score that is perky if often in a similar vein, picks up sharply in the second act...The cast is top-flight, and director Lapine has staged it smartly, with solid input by choreographer Spencer Liff."
Read more

Newsday
October 27th, 2016

"The show remains brave and hilarious, a charming and deeply moving treasure...That first half feels very sweet but a little naive these days, somewhat of a period piece without all the rich sadness and lyric maturity of what comes later. But then...bam!...Although it’s hard to separate these characters from the original actors, the cast is terrific...Lapine’s direction is finely calibrated to be showy without being show-bizzy."
Read more

Towleroad
November 1st, 2016

"It’s a curious piece of art whose composition is not quite conducive to being taken as a whole (and at nearly three hours, it demands a hefty appetite for nostalgia)...It feels now like the sort of rerun you might question your decision to watch halfway through...The second act benefits from having higher stakes and meatier drama for the characters to work through...The actors likewise shine in the musical’s second half."
Read more

Daily Beast
October 27th, 2016

"The Broadway revival of William Finn’s 1992 musical, directed by James Lapine, is transfixing, moving—unbearably so in places—and also very funny...'Falsettos' doesn’t simply move us by evoking decline and loss; it moves us because it imagines this group of family and friends finding a way, somehow, to defy the awfulness of what is engulfing them...'Falsettos' embraces all sexualities, new kinds of families, and all kinds of voices, without ever straying into preachiness."
Read more

NorthJersey.com
October 28th, 2016

"Not your typical Broadway musical, but it's being given a top-shelf Broadway production, with knowing direction, striking scenery and flawless performances from highly talented musical-theater actors...What enables it to work – what makes the evening funny and rueful — is William Finn's singular score, which goes to the heart of each matter...Directed with great empathy by James Lapine, 'Falsettos' achieves the same power it had a quarter-century ago."
Read more

WNBC
October 27th, 2016

"'Falsettos'—that very New York tear-jerker of a musical masterpiece by James Lapine and William Finn—gets an extraordinarily satisfying and modern-seeming revival...There isn’t a throwaway song among the 35-plus in this grand affair...Is there a theme more universal than the mystery of why some people fall in love? This eloquent take bridges age and cultural boundaries and is as timeless as they come."
Read more

Cabaret Scenes
November 26th, 2016

"Features a crackerjack cast and creative team...The music sounds better than ever and the nerve centers of AIDS-discrimination and the meaning of family are still rich...The songs, a fanciful and frenetic, largely sung-through mix, drive the story and explore the characters with insightful lyrics...Lapine keeps the story moving forward, but the music sometimes feels repetitive and the ending is somewhat abrupt, yet it still delivers its poignant punch."
Read more

M
November 8th, 2016

"It makes you laugh a lot, it makes you cry a little. It keeps you constantly involved and even more than a wee bit in awe of the talent on display, from the writers, their creative colleagues and the performers...Finn's harmonies and tempos add humour and definition to his incisive lyrics...Lapine's staging is endlessly inventive...In this brilliant rendering, 'Falsettos' again proves itself to be a show that surely should register with you, whatever your particular range, vocal or otherwise."
Read more

DC Metro Theater Arts
November 8th, 2016

"It’s an unalloyed gem, cast impeccably, staged with verve and imagination...It’s a sprightly score by William Finn, leavened with intelligent, often incisive lyrics that give the musical muscle and humor and value...This is truly a sterling ensemble and every member in it has material with which to shine. As a result, the evening shimmers and sparkles, and manages the curve its story serves us with honesty and enormous pathos."
Read more

Out Magazine
January 3rd, 2017

"The warm and moving ‘Falsettos’ is back in a Lapine-directed production that serves it with respect and class…Block delivers, especially in a powerhouse 'Trina’s Song' about breaking down, Rannells is cutely charismatic and touching, Uranowitz is wryly funny, and Borle gets to show a quieter side to his talent than usual. Thoms and Wolfe are also superb. It’s more like a 'really nice' than a transformative 'OMG,' but still, all these years later, 'Falsettos' still deserves high-pitched praise."
Read more

NJ.com
October 27th, 2016

"Offers plenty to admire even if it never fully coheres or proves as affecting as it wants to be...Lapine directed this revival and my guess is that 'Falsettos' ultimately needed someone not quite so close to the material to make it resonate fully with a contemporary audience...Make no mistake, some of the numbers here land beautifully - though that's probably more a testament to Finn's melodic score and clever lyrics than the sometimes awkward staging."
Read more

Reflections in the Light
November 21st, 2016

"The musical makes an unintended statement about what attitudes should have been back then, in what they seem to be today. Finn's music ranges from fun to moving (there were a lot of tears shed at the end of act one) and the lyrics are touching. The characters are all flawed, but honest. And in the end, love wins. The strong performances are lovingly directed by Lapine, though casting Borle and Rannells in non-comedic roles is a bit of a stretch for our imagination."
Read more

Reviewing The Drama
October 27th, 2016

"I like many of the elements, starting with the cast...Many, if not all the songs, are smart and entertaining...But it just doesn't click for me as a musical. And I do think it's the material, not the production...Though it might have been groundbreaking and important in its time (helping it develop a cult following), this 'Falsettos' revival does not add anything to the conversation now, and there doesn't seem to be any urgency to it, a compelling reason to revisit it."
Read more

The Associated Press
October 27th, 2016

"The book is co-written by Finn and James Lapine, who directed the original and also expertly helms this complex, fast-paced production. The almost entirely sung show, enlivened with Spencer Liff's sprightly choreography and a small but mighty orchestra, focuses playful wit on tumultuous relationship dynamics...Finn brilliantly uses musical comedy to explore what constitutes a family, while humanizing the extensive tragedy of the AIDS epidemic."
Read more

StageZine
November 7th, 2016

"'Falsettos' remains a fresh, authentic slice of unconventional New York life...Although Mr. Finn’s music and lyrics are repetitious at times, most songs are infectious and reveal each character’s feelings and frustrations vividly...The show’s biggest asset is Stephanie J. Block...Lapine's direction highlights the humanity, quirks and vulnerabilities of these characters’ lives and sheds humor and truth on them without coming across as heavy-handed."
Read more

Z
November 10th, 2016

"The first act took a while to recover, with lagging pace and loose staging...Once the second act got underway, I realized that act one needs to be fragmented, the people need to be irritating, for the second act to be as powerful as it is...The revival cast is nearly flawless, each member showing more nuance and complexity even than in their most recent stage roles...Lapine has found an even more powerful way to bring the show to a close."
Read more

Labor Press
November 3rd, 2016

"James Lapine’s direction enables this three-hour production to flow as effortlessly as possible with total energy...The words and music flow so that transitions from one point to another are seamless...Throughout the show, comedic relief is given through a wonderful funny performance by Stephanie J. Block. Christian Borle demonstrates a great deal of pathos and empathy during his emotional journey. This is a wonderful show with widespread appeal."
Read more

Act Three - The Reviews
October 19th, 2016

"While I enjoyed the overall performance, it left me with a feeling of being incomplete, unexplained at times, and disjointed. The actors seemed mostly miscast and the lack of set (mostly a geometric block of shapes that fit together to all sorts of unidentified formations) did not do the production and favors. I don't see this one lasting very long."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

87
Excellent
32 Reviews
Ends Jan 2022
NYC: Midtown W

Deirdre O’Connell lip-syncs to recordings of playwrights Lucas Hnath's mother.

Buy
84
Great
200+ Reviews
Open run
Six
NYC: Midtown W

An exuberant, pop celebration of 21st century girl power featuring the wives of Henry VIII.

Buy
82
Great
28 Reviews
Ends Jan 2022
NYC: Midtown W

The true story of Reality Winner told through text from the FBI transcript of her interrogation.

Buy