Reviewed: December 19, 2017
Farinelli and The King is playing at the Belasco Theatre located at 111 West 44th Street. It runs two hours and twenty minutes with one intermission. The play closes on March 25, 2018.
The play premiere at the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse in London from February 11, 2015 to March 7, 2017.It transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre until September 14, 2015. It was nominated for six Laurence Olivier Awards in 2016.
Mark Rylance won two Laurence Olivier Awards for Jerusalem (2010) and Much Ado About Nothing (1994). He won three Tony Awards for Twelfth Night (2014), Jerusalem (2011) and Boeing, Boeing (2008) and was nominated for four others Tony Awards. Mark won an Academy Award for Bridge of Spies (2015).
King Phillipe V (1683-1746) of Spanish is the Grandson of Frances Louis XIV who expanded the Palace of Versailles.
The king is talking to his goldfish with a little fishing rod in his hand. When Isabella Farnese (Melody Grove), his wife comes in the room he tells her to get out of his dream. She goes to get a candle. When she comes back with the candle she shines it on him. The King throws the water from the fish bowl with fish to put out the candle.
The king is unbalanced. He spends day in bed with his night clothes on. Isabella protects from those who want to make someone else king.
Isabela goes to the opera. Farinelli (Sam Crane) is the tenor. She goes back stage to invite him to the castle to sing for the king.
His arias seem to have a soothing effect on the king. Farinelli has his own issues and is thrilled to be with the king. He agrees to stay and sing for King Phillipe.
The king wants to live in the woods to be with nature and watch the stars. He loves growing things.
As the king gets better he resumes his duties. The king and Farinelli have a positive effect on each other.
Farinellia is falling in love with Isabella and she with him. He decides to leave and not hurt the king.
This is a touching story of a man who may be king but he is still human.
The cast does an impressive job. Mark Ryance does a remarkable performance. Iestyn Davies sings for Sam Crane. He has a beautiful voice. They appear on stage at the same time.
Jonathan Fenson set and costumes are awesome.
Claire Van Kampen is making her Broadway debut as a playwright. I hope she does more.
This is a must see play that you will enjoy. Acting, story, set, costumes all combine to make this a well-rounded show.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down for photos to the left. Click on photos for this and other shows.