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.
See it if you want to see great staging and un-mic-d actors actually project their voices (=real actors) and if you enjoy baroque music
Don't see it if you want plays to mean something
See it if You want to see Mark Rylance on stage. He's always a treat. The play around him isn't the best, but it's a fun, calming evening.
Don't see it if You're a tourist who wants to see a Broadway spectacle. The aesthetic here is gentle and calming because of all the candle light.
See it if If you love Handel sung by counter-tenor which I didn't know I would like so much.
Don't see it if you expect a play that has a dramatic arc and offers true transformation.
See it if You appreciate Mark Rylance and great acting; love historical dramas; want to both learn and be entertained by theatre.
Don't see it if You prefer comedies, musicals (there is music but this is not a "musical"), or prefer contemporary dramas.
See it if You adore watching Mark Rylance. Brilliant acting:humor & madness. Lovely operatic music. Set in 1735 London and Spain. Real costumes!
Don't see it if Portrayals of madness upset you. (This one is quite moving.) You loathe operatic music. Not suitable for children. The play is a tragedy.
See it if you're a Mark Rylance stan or you're very into hearing a countertenor singing Handel arias (I am both!)
Don't see it if you're looking for great writing. The script fine - workmanlike, I'd say - but not the main draw.
See it if You want to see a show that touches existence issues with subtlety/tenderness. I’m surprised the bitterness and soft undertone mixed up well
Don't see it if You don’t get that British/European subtlety. Some details are easy to miss if you don’t do some thinking. Or you don’t like period set.
See it if You enjoy opera, beautiful staging and very good acting. Iestyn Davies is amazing; it is easy to believe the music is transformative.
Don't see it if You dislike opera or prefer action to conversation.
See it if You enjoy masterpiece theatre, costumes, beautiful music, know the Farenelli story
Don't see it if You can't bear poorly articulated lines, great actors not doing their best, and a play that requires prior knowledge of story
See it if you are interested in the inherent poetry that exists in music and science, and if you want to marvel in the wonder that is Mark Rylance.
Don't see it if you're going to get squidgy about Bechdel tests and the like - it fails.
See it if You love great sets and semi-immersive theater. Character driven drama. Rylance is brilliant, as is the rest of cast. The music is beautiful
Don't see it if You are seeking suspense. The play itself has some slow moments where the trajectory of the plot gets lost.
See it if You want to hear beautiful countertenor arias and experience a surprisingly funny yet sad and thought-provoking performance
Don't see it if You hate opera, are uncomfortable seeing insanity portrayed, can't handle a little profanity, or want a nice, traditional play or opera
See it if You want to see a truly unique show with world-class acting, humor, and operatic singing, but not a typical musical
Don't see it if You're a child or afraid of candles. That's all I got. This show is spectacular and beautiful, and every adult could enjoy it.
See it if you want to see Mark Rylance do his thing in an elegant, ethereal setting.
Don't see it if opera is not your thing or you want a story that moves in a well-paced linear fashion
See it if you want to see Mark Rylance deliver a stunning performance, and explore mental illness. Sam Crane also is pretty great.
Don't see it if you're looking for great writing or are expecting a fully period piece (this doesn't seem to know if it is or not).