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. More…
Set in 1979-1981, 'Falsettos' focuses on Marvin (Borle), who struggles to create a nontraditional family out of an eclectic array of core relationships, including his ex-wife (Tony nominee Stephanie J. Block), his new boyfriend (Tony nominee Andrew Rannells), his adolescent son, and his psychiatrist. Amidst a series of monumental life changes, he is forced to reckon with his own views on love, responsibility, and what it means to be a man. This production reunites the original creative team of producer André Bishop, Tony-winning composer/lyricist William Finn, and Tony-winning playwright/director James Lapine.
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"'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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"'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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"'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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
See it if You like emotional roller coasters, brilliant music, and AMAZING performances by an all-star cast.
Don't see it if If you avoid strong emotions or social issues in shows, if you dislike small cast shows, or if you prefer traditionally melodic music.
See it if You love a fantastic show.
Don't see it if You’re allergic to fantastic shows, have no love in your heart, or hate openly sobbing during a show and going through an entire tissue box.
See it if You love broadway, and stories that are emotional. The acting, singing and staging are wonderful- it is moving and well performed.
Don't see it if you are homophobic or dislike strong emotional stories.
See it if You love any of these actors, enjoy emotional roller coasters, throwback styled shows about the 80s and want to see incredible talent.
Don't see it if you can't because it's closed ):
See it if You want to cry. I saw this show three times, it felt new every time, and I didn't see a single dry tear as I left the theatre.
Don't see it if You want mindless entertainment. This show demands your attention and emotional participation.
See it if you're a fan of any of the actors, enjoy disfunction in the extreme, and want an emotionally cathartic experience that'll make you ugly cry
Don't see it if you can't appreciate moments of absurdity, you hate crying in public, or homosexual relationships make you uncomfortable
See it if you want to both laugh and cry, as well as relate if you're going through the same thing as some of these good, quirky characters.
Don't see it if You want an entirely feel-good musical.
See it if you are a living person who enjoys theatre and want to sit in your seat after for 2 minutes crying your eyes out
Don't see it if you don't like same-sax couples and gay undertones language
See it if You love Christian Borle, Andrew Rannells, or Stephanie J. Block. Also if you want a great story and want to both laugh and cry.
Don't see it if You are homophobic or hate amazing performances. Also if you hate crying in public.
See it if You want a good cry and to laugh, beautiful singing, amazing actors/actresses, just an all around amazing show. It's beautiful.
Don't see it if You're looking for a show to take your young children to.
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