My only regret about seeing the new play at the Belasco Theatre – Farinelli and the King – is that I didn’t see it earlier in its run so that I could give you more time to see it based on my recommendation ( it closes March 25).
Playwright Claire van Kampen has written a lovely theatrical chamber piece that illuminates (primarily by candle) an incident of history where music truly heals. Based on the real influence of castrati Farinelli over the madness (apparently driven by bipolar disorder) of 18th Century Spanish King Philippe V. Ms. van Kampen has written in contemporary vernacular which sounds entirely natural and elevated to near poetry and completely of the time. The staging is engaging and the design entirely appropriate.
All stage talent was extraordinary, especially Mark Rylance as the King. It is always a treat to see him on stage. See it before it closes.
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