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

90
Clever, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Masterful

See it if Your looking for great acting and lilting music. Wry wit, & the power of beautiful music to transport anyone to a better place dominate

Don't see it if You don’t like wry humor, operatic music and somewhat thin plot are not for you

82
Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Enchanting, Beautiful

See it if you want to see a visually lush play, a wonderful performance by Rylance, and some truly masterful singing from Davies

Don't see it if you want to see a deeply moving, carefully structured drama unfold. the production kind of outshines the writing

95
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great singing, Quirky

See it if you want to see a bizarre & fabulous history play with extraordinary singing by Iestyn Davies, plus Mark Rylance fully inhabiting his role.

Don't see it if you want fluffiness and/or do not enjoy baroque music. Even though there is music, a musical it is not. Also, if you do not like profanity.

50
Great singing, Slow, Overrated, Disappointing, Lugubrious

See it if you really enjoy “early music,” worship Mark Rylance (no matter the material), or appreciate counter-tenor arias.

Don't see it if you are expecting a story to sink your teeth into. This is moreso a “situation” that gets stretched-out for 2.5-hours.

70
Disappointing, Great singing, Slow, Tedious

See it if You love baroque-era countertenor arias. The acting, staging, sets are top-notch but the story is thin and wears thinner over the 2 hours.

Don't see it if You are easily bored. The king acts crazy if he can't hear Farinelli sing. There, I just told you the whole story and saved you 2 hours.

85
Enchanting, Exquisite, Great acting, Great singing, Masterful

See it if You love historical dramas

Don't see it if You do not like opera

90
Enchanting, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You must see great theatre, great acting. A totally mesmerizing production beautifully staged.

Don't see it if You are not interested in history, opera or theatre.

Also I was totally entranced by this production. It is beautifully staged. ... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Intelligent, Great singing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You love period drama with exquisite singing and musicians. Great set and costumes. Wonderful acting and intriguing story

Don't see it if You dislike period plays and early music. This is not for people who like typical musicals with dancing.

80
Clever, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you are a Rylance fan for he gives an outstanding performance. Fabulous sets and costumes add to the allure of this show.

Don't see it if you do not like to engage in historically set pieces.......

80
Great acting, Great staging, Enchanting

See it if With Mark Rylance’s performance you won’t regret to watch this show

Don't see it if You don’t like opera

86
Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Great singing

See it if You like historical comedy/drama with great acting and musical accompaniment.

Don't see it if You like modern musicals and less talky plays.

78
Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing, Intelligent

See it if You're looking for a show where one actor truly carries the show, great singing, play with music and a nice ambience through the theatre.

Don't see it if You're looking for a play with a story that constantly moves or a play without music.

75
Great acting, Great staging, Great singing

See it if Especially for Mark Rylance, but also the entire cast. Every part is well acted and the song is captivating. Beautiful set gorgeously lit.

Don't see it if The play has some issues especially in act two where some of the choices make no sense. I didn’t at all like the audience involvement.

100
Enchanting, Great acting, Great staging, Masterful, Great singing

See it if An opportunity to see one of the world’s finest actors in a jewel of a production. Amusing yet haunting, an unforgettable theater experience

Don't see it if You didn’t like Amadeus, this might not appeal to you. If you don’t like history or period pieces, pick another play.

90
Exquisite, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see one of our best living actors. This is a beautiful, unique experience.

Don't see it if you don't have any appreciation for music or craft.

85
Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you love Mark Rylance, baroque music and beautiful staging.

Don't see it if you do not like historical drama combined with singing.

88
Funny, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want to see some stellar performances. I liked sitting on the 2nd tier on the stage as the distorted view was relevant to the production

Don't see it if you do not like period pieces and opera does not add value for you in an otherwise just nice play.

93
Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you love mark rylance and are charmed by all he does

Don't see it if you're looking for a life changing play - this is a lovely production but its not an incredibly detailed story

68
Disappointing, Excruciating, Overrated

See it if Mark Rylance's over-the-top histrionics please you. If you like the sound of a beautiful counter-tenor.

Don't see it if Boring history shows make you snooze.

84
Exquisite, Great acting, Masterful, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You like period pieces. Enjoy historical drama interspersed with enchanting music. If you are a fan of Mark Rylance.

Don't see it if If you dislike opera and historical drama.

60
Great acting, Great singing, Disappointing, Quirky, Overrated

See it if You like seeing Mark Rylancd and plays that feel like Shakespeare without actually being shakespeare

Don't see it if You don’t care about music or opera. You don’t like plays with little actual point to them

80
Absorbing, Funny, Great staging, Refreshing, Quirky

See it if You like Mark Rylance and the Shakespeare’s Globe style of period storytelling. A genuine quirky delight.

Don't see it if It somewhat defies characterization. If you’re looking for a straightforward straight play this isn’t really that.

Also Iestyn Davies’ arias were a thing to behold. The doubling conceit was ... Read more Read less

70
Great acting, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if Love mark rylance and some good singing

Don't see it if Looking for a well written crafted play

100
Riveting, Great singing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if We came for Mark Rylance, who was great, and were blown away by Iestyn Davies singing and the staging and writing. FABULOUS

Don't see it if This is a MUST SEE.

90
Exquisite, Funny, Great acting, Great singing, Great writing

See it if love great acting by the best-Mark Rylance. Intelligence farce for grownups with amazing singing by countertenor Iesyn Davies.

Don't see it if you do not like fairytales.


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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