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

Great staging, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy a simple entertaining plot and a no-fuss story, staging is wonderful and Mark Rylance is wonderful

Don't see it if you prefer a more complex plot and substance heavy narrative

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Great singing

See it if to see Mark Rylance in another great performance-an Interesting period piece, beautiful set- based on unknown history..

Don't see it if You get bored easily.

Clever, Great acting, Great singing, Fabulous costumes, Quite theatrical

See it if you want to see phenomenal acting, especially if you enjoy historical, costume drama.

Don't see it if you'd rather be at a modern day musical or sit-com.

Great acting, Great singing, Intelligent, Must see

See it if you want to see marvelous actors strutting their stuff. This was THEATER. One of the best plays I have seen. The singing is glorious.

Don't see it if you do not like opera. Don't see it if you do not have the patience to get into a play.

Also This play takes time to evolve, but then it is worth your time. The fi... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful

See it if you love the sound of countertenors - or you love Mark Rylance. It's an odd play in a way but it a very enjoyable theatrical experience.

Don't see it if you're expecting a lot of plot.

Great staging but disappointing audio.

See it if You are comfortable trying to hear every word

Don't see it if you want to easily enjoy the whole experience.

Clever, great staging, theatrical delight

See it if You relish a meaty role played by one of the finest actors of our time and enjoy an outstanding set that transports you to a different time.

Don't see it if You're not into period pieces, expect a play to hold itself together beyond the first act or hate baroque vocal music.

Clever, Entertaining, Great singing, Intelligent, Funny

See it if you enjoy good singing and acting as well as historically a true story.

Don't see it if you are in the mood for a drama rather than a musical.

Disappointing, Indulgent, Overrated, Banal

See it if If your not already bored with Mark Rylance giving the same performance he always gives with no inner life. Same old gimmicks and tricks.

Don't see it if Warn to care about any of the characters.

Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Masterful, Resonant

See it if you love mark ryland - who is fabulous - and you enjoy historical context, this is interesting and touching story.

Don't see it if you dont want to work hard to hear and absorb. this show takes effort from the audience.

Great acting, Great staging, Great singing, Absorbing, Entertaining

See it if you like period dramas, you like Mark Rylance, you like interesting staged plays, you have an interest in castrati music

Don't see it if you don't like historic plays, you want something contemporary

Also This Old Globe production portrays the play as it would be in the time... Read more Read less

Delightful, Entertaining, Intelligent, Great acting, Quirky

See it if You are a fan of Mark Rylance. He is mesmerizing as the King. Get a seat on stage and you are in for a magical experience!

Don't see it if You are not into constrato si going and classical music. Otherwise, it is a great evening’

Enchanting, Great acting, Great singing, Exquisite, Must see

See it if you want to see perhaps the greatest theater actor of his time. Rylance exquisite in a gorgeous production of a beautiful play about art.

Don't see it if you only like musicals. Otherwise, there is no reason not to see the greatest actor on the planet.

Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You love Mark Rylance and who doesn't? Excellent cast. Remarkable singing. A first-rate production. Transporting. I loved it!

Don't see it if You like conventional theatre. This is and it isn't. Requires your close attention. Not light entertainment.

Also Mark Rylance is outstanding. Really remarkable.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great singing, Intense

See it if to learn about history and be entertained.

Don't see it if you want a fantasy ending.

Great acting, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy period pieces that make you think. A very unique take on how mental illness was treated during that time. Incredible acting!

Don't see it if You absolutely hate period pieces, anything to do with opera.

Edgy, Clever, Funny, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want to hear wonderful singing and learn about a little known king.

Don't see it if You are not interested in historical trivia.

Great singing, Great acting, Enchanting, Funny, Beautiful lighting

See it if You want to see Mark Rylance do his thing. Beautiful 18th century music and period design. Moments are transporting.

Don't see it if While the production allows the actors to realize fully their world, the script is a bit thin.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Riveting

See it if You like consummate acting and staging in a real theater tour de force

Don't see it if You like light-hearted musicals with fluffy plots.

Also Mark Rylance and his excellent cast really scores again with this exqu... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intelligent, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You love Mark Rylance and period pieces. He is a wonder. Great atmospheric staging.

Don't see it if You aren’t a fan of royal history or costumed dramas.

Enchanting, Great singing, Candlelit, Delicate, Absorbing

See it if You are ready to see and hear something you haven't seen or heard before

Don't see it if You don't like countertenor singing, or plots with limited action

Academic, Stagey, Disappointing, Dispiriting, Misguided

See it if you own a flashy period costume worthy of an 18th century Spanish court and you can get tickets that will put you onstage with the cast.

Don't see it if you detest playwrights who display more research than heart or great actors who are reduced to hamming it up for easy laughs.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Great acting, Overrated

See it if you really, really want to see Mark Rylance.

Don't see it if you want compelling characters or have strong feelings (either way) about opera.

Also There just wasn't anything for me to really buy into here as an audien... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Funny, Great singing, Hilarious

See it if an Quirky musicals . Unique histofrical Incident recreated on stge. Want a good laugh but not fluff

Don't see it if Not interested in historical fiction .

Also Grab a seat on the stage for an interesting experience

Great singing, Set design!, Funny, Exquisite, Great acting


Don't see it if you no like pretty singing

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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