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)


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

During previews
Slow, Cliched, Disappointing, Overrated, Great staging

See it if you're a superfan of Rylance. Got me in the door. Or if you just can't get enough of the 17th cent. aria canon, sung castrato.

Don't see it if you're expecting Rylance to once again transport you. I know it's just me (see other reviews) but I never cared about the king's plight.

During previews
Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if You like a Shakesperean style play with comedy!

Don't see it if You do not enjoy a more classical feel

During previews
Entertaining, Funny, Intelligent, Quirky

See it if you adore Mark Rylance and are willing to see him in a play that's not as wonderful as he deserves.

Don't see it if You have no patience for whimsy or for a plot that doesn't go as deep as it means to.

During previews
Great acting, Great singing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Profound

See it if You love great acting, beautiful singing, and are interested in thinking about a life of power and success versus one of simple beauty

Don't see it if You hate classical singing or don’t like to spend time thinking about what matters in life and how we should live.

During previews
Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow, Great staging, Overrated

See it if You love period dramas, gorgeous costumes & sets, Baroque music, countertenor arias, & Mark Rylance. You can overlook a very weak script.

Don't see it if You are looking for a cohesive narrative. It is fragmented and I found it painfully dull. You don't like countertenors or Baroque music.

Also I really wanted to like this play. In fact, I extended my stay in New ... Read more Read less

During previews
Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if Go to see Mark Rylance, the gorgeous staging, and the beautiful sound of castrato. Really a beautiful show. Rylance is from another planet.

Don't see it if You are a philistine or you hate opera. The whole show is not an opera. Just a few songs throughout.

During previews
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great singing, Must see

See it if ... you are open to a very different theatre experience: laughter, singing, great acting by Rylance!!

Don't see it if Seriously, go see it.

During previews
Great singing, Great staging, Enchanting, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if You love great theater. The story is truly moving and the singing transported me to a different time and place.

Don't see it if It's sold out!

During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Great acting, Great singing

See it if You like Mark Rylance or superb comedy and extraordinarily beautiful music. Intelligent and brilliant.

Don't see it if You don't like history. Also, use amplifying earphones as accents are strong.

During previews
Great singing, Great acting, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if You like historically based plays.

Don't see it if You like dancing

For a previous production
Clever, Great acting, Great singing

See it if You are looking for a high level AND intellectual show.

Don't see it if It's a great show, for sure. But for me, who is not PERFECTLY bilingual, it was to hard to understand the whole story and subtility.

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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