Farinelli and the King BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Joan Marcus
  • NY TIMES

  • NY TIMES

  • DEADLINE

  • CHIC TRIB

  • DAILY NEWS

Opening Night:
December 17, 2017
Closing:
March 25, 2018

Theater: Belasco Theatre / 111 West 44th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Oscar- and three-time Tony Award-winner Mark Rylance return to Broadway in the Shakespeare’s Globe production of a new play with music by author and composer Claire van Kampen. Farinelli and the King tells the story of King Philippe V of Spain (Rylance), who, plagued by insomnia, lies awake in his chamber. The Queen, desperate for a cure, hears of Farinelli - a castrato with a voice so divine it has the power to captivate all who hear it. Philippe is astonished when Farinelli sings, and begs him to stay. But will Farinelli, one of the greatest celebrities of his time, choose a life of solitude over fame and fortune in the opera houses of Europe?

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Farinelli and the King

    BROADWAY REVIEW: Mark Rylance Returns to Broadway as a Mad Monarch to Cherish

    Ben Brantley

    December 17, 2017:

    His Majesty is not himself today. His most unserene highness, the King of Spain, does not know who or what he is, except that he’s not where he belongs. Approach him with caution: He bites. And allow me, if you will, to advise you never to take your eyes off him.

    Not that you’ll want to.

    As was observed of another stark raving royal (named Hamlet), “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.” This is especially true when a great one is portrayed by one of the greatest actors on the planet.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Farinelli and the King

    Review: Mark Rylance Returns as a Mad Monarch to Cherish in ‘Farinelli’

    Ben Brantley

    December 17, 2017:

    His Majesty is not himself today. His most unserene highness, the King of Spain, does not know who or what he is, except that he’s not where he belongs. Approach him with caution: He bites. And allow me, if you will, to advise you never to take your eyes off him.

    Not that you’ll want to.

    As was observed of another stark raving royal (named Hamlet), “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.” This is especially true when a great one is portrayed by one of the greatest actors on the planet.

    Uncork the Champagne and unfurl the straitjacket. Mark Rylance is once again ruling audiences at the Belasco Theater, where the strangely enchanting “Farinelli and the King,” Claire van Kampen’s shimmering fairy tale for grown-ups, opened on Sunday night.

    READ THE REVIEW
  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF Farinelli and the King

    BROADWAY REVIEW: Mark Rylance Calls The Tune In ‘Farinelli And The King’

    Jeremy Gerard

    December 17, 2017: Before Bridge of SpiesThe BFG and Wolf Hall made him familiar to millions, Oscar winner Mark Rylance was known to theatergoers as an actor who wore the heavy mantle of The Best with considerable grace and wit. In 2008, he accepted his first Tony award with an incomprehensible speech quoting an obscure Minnesota poet, and he did the same when he won his second Tony three years later. He’s played a substance-addled ex-motorcycle daredevil, an airline pilot juggling mistresses like so many bowling pins and most recently, switched off as Countess Olivia and King Richard III in alternating, all-male productions of Twelfth Night (Tony number 3) and Richard III (Tony nomination number 4).

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  • CHICAGO TRIBUNE REVIEW OF Farinelli and the King

    BROADWAY REVIEW: In 'Farinelli and the King' on Broadway, Mark Rylance leads a deep exploration of opera

    Chris Jones

    December 17, 2017: With “operatic” now a synonym for excessive grandiosity, and the demanding diva de rigueur for any opera, it is easy to forget the primal, visceral nature of the early years of the art. To paraphrase what is said in the fascinating new Broadway play “Farinelli and the King,” which opened here Sunday night, opera once was a much dirtier business. Not so much galas, donors and elitism as candles, sweat and story.

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  • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS REVIEW OF Farinelli and the King

    BROADWAY REVIEW: Mark Rylance returns to Broadway

    Joe Dziemianowicz

    December 17, 2017: “Farinelli and the King” follows Spain’s Phillipe V, an 18th century monarch who was out of his mind, and an Italian castrato, whose singing was out of this world. So much so that Farinelli’s ethereal voice eased the ruler’s debilitating depression and hushed unsettling chatter in his head. Yes, Carlo Broschi, who was castrated at age 10 and used the stage name Farinelli, was that singular.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF Farinelli and the King

    BROADWAY REVIEW: 'Farinelli and the King'

    David Rooney

    December 17, 2017:

    Mark Rylance stars in his wife Claire van Kampen's play with music as the 18th-century Spanish monarch whose chronic melancholia could be soothed only by the heavenly singing of the celebrated castrato.

    While movie audiences have lately caught on to the mercurial brilliance of Mark Rylance in films like Bridge of Spies and Dunkirk, Broadway has been in on the secret for close to a decade, making every one of this extraordinary stage actor's appearances a bona fide theatrical event. He played the clueless patsy in the slapstick farce Boeing-Boeing; an obnoxious theatrical windbag in the mock-Moliere verse comedy La Bete; a brawling modern-day dragon-slayer in the epic eulogy for Englishness, Jerusalem; and in an unforgettable double-bill from Shakespeare's Globe, he delivered a fluttering, ineffably human Olivia in Twelfth Night alongside a Richard III whose toying duplicity quivered with blackest resentment.

    READ THE REVIEW

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