Already closed | 2h 30m | Midtown W

Farinelli and the King

From 536 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Great singing, Absorbing, Great staging, Entertaining

About the show

Oscar and three-time Tony winner Mark Rylance returns to Broadway in this new drama about Spain's King Phillippe V's bond with a legendary castrato.  More…

'Farinelli and the King' is inspired by the fascinating true story of Philippe V (Rylance), a Spanish monarch on the brink of madness who finds unexpected solace in the voice of world-renowned castrato, Farinelli. Soon, Farinelli and the King forge a powerful connection, and the celebrated singer must make a difficult choice: return to throngs of adoring fans or perform forever for an audience of one. Like Broadway’s 'Twelfth Night' and 'Richard III,' this contemporary work is presented in the signature style of Shakespeare’s Globe – traditional baroque instruments are performed live in a gallery above the stage; the audience enjoys intimate seating with several rows onstage; and the story is told by candlelight. 'Farinelli and the King' comes to Broadway following sold-out runs at Shakespeare’s Globe and on London’s West End.

2h 30m | Already closed | Belasco Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (536)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Great singing, Absorbing, Great staging, Entertaining
82
Avg Score

80
Absorbing, Enchanting, Indulgent, Slow, Intelligent

See it if you love Mark Rylance or music. The contra singer is phenomenal.

Don't see it if you want something fast-paced or a more traditional plot.

79
Ambitious, Enchanting, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you value a story addressing depression/mental illness and the healing and transcendental power of music

Don't see it if you prefer broad comedies and pop/jukebox musicals

84
Absorbing, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if You love Baroque music, period costumes, wonderful sets.

Don't see it if The play's plot is most important to you. This was the weakest element.

70
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see Mark Rylance in great form.

Don't see it if You need something absorbing to move you along.

88
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great staging, Great singing

See it if If you like period pieces, historucal theater, fresh & new

Don't see it if You do not like classical music, history

88
Absorbing, Exquisite, Intense, Intelligent, Must see

See it if love Mark Rylance! He is absolutely terrific in this play! The show is intense and thought provoking!

Don't see it if you don't like plays of historical value.

75
Cliched, Entertaining, Quirky

See it if Mark Rylance is true to form. If you like to unravel symbolism, punsand riddles. Good entertainment

Don't see it if The stage and acting was little too familiar for me.

85
Enchanting, Great acting, Profound, Resonant

See it if you want to be reminded of the transcendent power of music to heal. And see it to see Mark Rylance live! A living legend.

Don't see it if you don't like period pieces or opera.

100
Absorbing, Masterful, Intelligent

See it if You are inspired by the power of music

Don't see it if You don’t like countertenors

100
Absorbing, Delightful, Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you want to be enchanted

Don't see it if you don't like good theatre

90
Enchanting, Great singing, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if sets and staging is as important to you as story and acting.

Don't see it if all you want is mindless entertainment.

88
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You enjoy classical music, & quick witted

Don't see it if Your not into musical...

47
Disappointing, Mugging is not acting

See it if you love to see Mark Rylance doing the same mugging schtick he did in Boeing Boeing and Twelfth night. Alas, he is so good in films

Don't see it if you expect a plot or tension rather than just a situation: madman is calmed by singing

100
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Masterful

See it if You love Mark Rylance! I didn't love the singers, but I loved the King!!!

Don't see it if You're looking for a classic Broadway musical.

86
Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Indulgent

See it if You are a Mark Rylance fan. As always, he's brilliant!

Don't see it if You are looking for great ensemble work. The actors are all superb, but they never really worked together.

100
Absorbing, Great singing, Masterful, Must see

See it if You like unusual plays with quirky staging, you're an opera fan, you like history.

Don't see it if You don't know what a castrato is (okay, was)

85
Ambitious, Entertaining, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy thought provoking theater.

Don't see it if You should see this.

78
Great acting, Great singing, Confusing, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy theatre akin to traditional Shakespearean theatre, you are a fan of opera, you enjoy dramatic plays

Don't see it if you get caught up in little details, you dislike sudden changes in tone/pace.

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Masterful, Great writing

See it if you love Mark Rylance, historical drama, amazing falsetto and pure theater.

Don't see it if if you can't stand falsetto

95
Exquisite, Great staging, Intelligent, Refreshing, Quirky

See it if You'd enjoy a gorgeously staged play about the healing power of music, with Rylance in great form and stunning arias from Iestyn Davies.

Don't see it if You are looking for a heavily plot-driven piece. This is a character study of two men damaged by public lives they didn't choose.

85
Intelligent, Profound, Great acting, Funny, Enchanting

See it if You desire to be surprised by the experimental staging which was meticulously integrated to tell an evocative story.

Don't see it if You don't like to think about the human condition.

80
Delightful, Great acting, Great writing, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy the masterful play from Mark Rylance

Don't see it if you have a high expectation on the music

85
Clever, Exquisite, Great acting, Slow

See it if You want to see Mark Rylance doing great acting. The man is a genius!

Don't see it if You need more than Mark Rylance to enjoy a show.

95
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if Fascinating story about a subject few people know about. Mark Rylance was amazing.

Don't see it if do not like drama or opera

94
Clever, Delightful, Great staging, Great writing, Great singing

See it if you want an extraordinary theatrical experience as well as tour de force performances by the entire cast.

Don't see it if you have no patience with the unusual historical twists of plot.


December 17th, 2017
"Strangely enchanting...The language of the script doesn’t always flow melodically. But van Kampen has an illuminating appreciation not only for period music but also for the gap between artists and their art...Watching Rylance’s Philippe experience Farinelli’s voice, we hear what he hears. And a...
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December 17th, 2017
"Davies’s singing provides most of the high notes in this otherwise workmanlike play. The nature of the central musical therapy is barely explored; instead, we get contrived court intrigue, low comedy, a rushed quasiromance, and an equally hasty coda, delivered in a steady march of flat-footed ex...
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December 17th, 2017
"It actually feels like there’s a much more interesting play hiding inside this one...Crane is uniformly fretful throughout. Rylance doesn’t really get much of an arc either...When Rylance isn’t onstage or Davies isn’t singing, it’s serious looking-at-your-watch o’clock...Honestly, even Rylance d...
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December 17th, 2017
"If the play is structurally shaky and thematically a tad thin, Dove's exquisite staging yields compensatory rewards...This is a potentially fascinating story...But the drama becomes borderline inert...Once van Kampen has put Philippe and Farinelli together she doesn't really know what to do with...
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