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Mark Rylance to Return to Broadway in ‘Farinelli and the King’

Variety logo Variety 5/8/2017 Gordon Cox
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Mark Rylance, the Oscar and Tony-winning actor who has been much employed in Stephen Spielberg’s recent films, will return to Broadway later this year in “Farinelli and the King,” the 2015 play in which he starred at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

“Farinelli” will bring Rylance back in an original-practices style production along the lines of his most recent Broadway outings in the Globe’s candlelit stagings of “Richard III” and “Twelfth Night” in 2014. Rylance won his third of three Tonys for “Twelfth Night,” after taking trophies for “Jersualem” in 2011 and “Boeing-Boeing” in 2008.

A play with music by writer-composer Claire van Kampen, “Farinelli and the King” centers on a castrato who is asked to give up his career to sing privately for King Philippe V of Spain (Rylance). The show bowed at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in February of 2015, prior to a West End run that fall.

Rylance, who helped power strong sales at the Globe’s “Richard III/Twelfth Night,” will return to Broadway after considerably raising his profile among moviegoers thanks to his Oscar-winning performance in Spielberg’s “Bridge of Spies.” He also played the title character in the director’s adaptation of “The BFG,” and will have an important role in the upcoming “Ready Player One.”

Jonathan Dove directs “Farinelli,” with actors Sam Crane, Huss Garbiya, Colin Hurley and Edward Peel in the cast, alongside countertenor Iestyn Davies.

Sonia Friedman, the “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” producer who also brought “Richard III/Twelfth Night” to Broadway, produces along with Shakespeare’s Globe and Paula Marie Black. As with the Globe shows, a large percentage of seats at each performance will be offered at affordable prices; for “Farinelli,” more than 200 tickets per show will available for $32 apiece, in seat locations all over the theater.

“Farinelli and the King” will begin previews Dec. 5 ahead of a Dec. 17 opening at the Belasco Theater.

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