FALSETTOS

Critics

LemonMeter

90 %

Reviews: 15

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

William Finn and James Lapine's groundbreaking, Tony Award®-winning musical Falsettos returned to Broadway in an all new production directed by Lapine from Lincoln Center Theater, and was nominated for five 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical.

Falsettos revolves around the life of a charming, intelligent, neurotic gay man named Marvin, his wife, lover, about-to-be-Bar-Mitzvahed son, their psychiatrist, and the lesbians next door. It's a hilarious and achingly poignant look at the infinite possibilities that make up a modern family… and a beautiful reminder that love can tell a million stories.

Reviews

Shari Barrett
"The energy required by this extraordinarily talented cast rises above any adjectives I can think of to describe them. FALSETTOS is really an operetta, entirely sung-through while Liff’s choreography keeps them moving almost non-stop while Lapine’s direction requires constant changes being made to what first appears as a large, gray Rubik’s cube and then transforms into every single set price needed to represent all the various locations in the show. Not to take away from the brilliance of the actors and magnificent, continuously playing musicians (conducted by P. Jason Yarcho), the scene changes alone are enough to guarantee sell-out shows throughout the tour!"

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar
"Falsettos may be a bit long and it certainly has some slower scenes, but the musical is an important one to revive not only because it's still relevant today, but because it takes the audience on an emotional journey, making us laugh and cry in its very real reflection of a truly modern family. Catch it while you still can this week."

sweet - Michael Cooper - LA Weekly - ...read full review


Avatar
"Espinosa sounds spectacular and vibrant (“I'm Breaking Down” and “Holding the Ground”). You can hear her soul crying for answers that will mend her frustration... Jacobs does wonderful job as Jason. He is animated, quick-witted and very, very talented. It's amazing to watch him. He connects with the more seasoned actors like a veteran."

sweet - Mary Montoro - All About the Stage - ...read full review


Avatar
"Anyone who has lived through the 1980s or realizes what happened in those dark days cannot but leave the theater with a new devotion to the thousands of lives lost which this American opera sings of. No, this is not a family comedy—although it seems to attempt to cover its tragedy by pretending it is. This is an American tragedy that we now recognize was covered by the entire culture, a grand pretense that breaks the heart. The opening night crowd seemed to recognize this, and rightfully applauded with standing ovation. "

sweet - Douglas Messerli - US Theater - ...read full review


Avatar
"A family of three eventually grows to seven, and then to six in this poignant, yet hilariously at times musical. What I loved most is that each actor generously gave the audience their heart and soul. The standing ovation they received at the end, was their justly reward for such a stellar performance."

sweet - Christopher Peterson - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Avatar
"It's a grueling journey we're asked to go on with these people, though. While each have their endearing traits, it's sometimes hard to care enough about them to want to see them all the way through. Finn's clever, funny and biting score fills the show with superlative moments that go a long way toward earning the emotional power of its climax, though it might be argued that once it comes, it pushes a little too far into “tearjerker” territory, but that's a matter of taste. It's the historical perspective, though, that makes this “Falsettos” resonate more deeply than expected."

sweet-sour - John Paul King - LA Blade - ...read full review


Avatar
"The show itself, though, can be a challenge. It's a series of songs with no connecting dialogue, so the storytelling is elliptical. Your ears must be on high alert at all times. Add to that melodies that, in capturing the characters' neuroses, are often jumpy and frenetic. Plus: All these sharp-edged personalities put some people off. I've seen “Falsettos” with friends who've laughed and sniffled through it and with others who've been restlessly, audibly frustrated. Either response is understandable. But when the agitated melodies relax into lyricism — oh, my. The music and words reach deep inside and trigger all sorts of emotions."

sweet - Daryl H. Miller - LA Times - ...read full review


Avatar
"Now touring, the production, currently on The Ahmanson stage, delivers a triumphantly resilient family accommodation for the 21stcentury that is fresh and mostly upbeat... It's a strong, often transcendent, mostly ebullient show, true to its times and an eye-opener that has earned its repeated successes..."

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"Love, found and lost, rediscovered and new, enters our lives, and we wake up one day realizing we never set ourselves up to feel so deeply about the people in our lives. Even the grief that life brings just affirms our deepest humanity, and we wouldn't have it otherwise. These eternal themes live on in Falsettos, whose only dated feature may be its dependency on an overfamiliar brand of self-deprecating Jewish humor (but there wouldn't be a show without it). All art requires a certain level of suspension of disbelief, and Falsettos presents no exception to the rule. One trust that is dramatically broken is that Mendel the sketchy psychiatrist starts a liaison with Marvin's ex Trina, and Jason is shunted back and forth between these two odd couples. Yet this is maybe the real point: While our sense of identification bends toward Marvin, Jason is truly the central figure around whom all revolves. It is his coming-of-age story, symbolized by the bar mitzvah he imaginatively carries off in his own original fashion, that provides us the comfort of knowing that people, kids included, can be petty resilient if they need to be"

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Avatar
"There are a lot of things I liked about the Tony Award-winning musical “Falsettos,” now at The Ahmanson Theatre. I fully understand why it was nominated for five 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, however at almost three hours long, with 37 songs by composer/lyricist William Finn and playwright and director James Lapine it needs to be cut down to 120 minutes for this LA audience."

sweet-sour - Jill Weinlein - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Erin Conley
"In the end, some great performances and touching moments are at odds with a messy narrative that feels as forced as a bad falsetto, resulting in a real mixed bag that will leave you scratching your head more than it should."

sweet-sour - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


Avatar
"The combination of whimsy, joy and gut-wrenching poignancy is like nothing you've seen before. At nearly three hours, you won't want it to end."

sweet - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar
"The vocal prowess of the cast is awesome. The score consists of thirty-seven numbers boasting rapid-fire patter songs and ballads of emotional power. The three men—von Essen, Adams, and Blaemire—have terrific range and finesse, and the boy, Jacobs, matches them with his wonderful, pre-pubescent soprano. The score calls for tight harmonies, with exquisite, achingly winsome, slightly dissonant chords. But wait! All the actors, including the boy, dance up a storm to the inventive choreography of Spencer Liff. Under the inspired direction of James Lapine, Falsetto is everything one could wish for in a musical and the physical production matches the action."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Avatar
"Director James Lapine, who also co-wrote the book has assembled an incredibly talented cast. While singing their hearts out and staying in character, they effortlessly maneuver the set for various scenes. It's like a set of children's blocks being assembled in various shapes for whatever the scene needs. It's like watching a beautiful dance choreographed by Spencer Liff."

sweet - Darlene Donloe - Donloe's Lowdown - ...read full review


Avatar
"The singing voices are beautiful. Each performer has a tone that resembles a musical instrument. Von Essen has a trumpet sound. Blaemire's voice could be a cello. Espinosa could evoke most of an orchestra. And all the actors so fully embody their characters that we are onstage and in their lives with them."

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"The energy required by this extraordinarily talented cast rises above any adjectives I can think of to describe them. FALSETTOS is really an operetta, entirely sung-through while Liff’s choreography keeps them moving almost non-stop while Lapine’s direction requires constant changes being made to what first appears as a large, gray Rubik’s cube and then transforms into every single set price needed to represent all the various locations in the show. Not to take away from the brilliance of the actors and magnificent, continuously playing musicians (conducted by P. Jason Yarcho), the scene changes alone are enough to guarantee sell-out shows throughout the tour!"

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar
"Falsettos may be a bit long and it certainly has some slower scenes, but the musical is an important one to revive not only because it's still relevant today, but because it takes the audience on an emotional journey, making us laugh and cry in its very real reflection of a truly modern family. Catch it while you still can this week."

sweet - Michael Cooper - LA Weekly - ...read full review


Avatar
"Espinosa sounds spectacular and vibrant (“I'm Breaking Down” and “Holding the Ground”). You can hear her soul crying for answers that will mend her frustration... Jacobs does wonderful job as Jason. He is animated, quick-witted and very, very talented. It's amazing to watch him. He connects with the more seasoned actors like a veteran."

sweet - Mary Montoro - All About the Stage - ...read full review


Avatar
"Anyone who has lived through the 1980s or realizes what happened in those dark days cannot but leave the theater with a new devotion to the thousands of lives lost which this American opera sings of. No, this is not a family comedy—although it seems to attempt to cover its tragedy by pretending it is. This is an American tragedy that we now recognize was covered by the entire culture, a grand pretense that breaks the heart. The opening night crowd seemed to recognize this, and rightfully applauded with standing ovation. "

sweet - Douglas Messerli - US Theater - ...read full review


Avatar
"A family of three eventually grows to seven, and then to six in this poignant, yet hilariously at times musical. What I loved most is that each actor generously gave the audience their heart and soul. The standing ovation they received at the end, was their justly reward for such a stellar performance."

sweet - Christopher Peterson - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Avatar
"It's a grueling journey we're asked to go on with these people, though. While each have their endearing traits, it's sometimes hard to care enough about them to want to see them all the way through. Finn's clever, funny and biting score fills the show with superlative moments that go a long way toward earning the emotional power of its climax, though it might be argued that once it comes, it pushes a little too far into “tearjerker” territory, but that's a matter of taste. It's the historical perspective, though, that makes this “Falsettos” resonate more deeply than expected."

sweet-sour - John Paul King - LA Blade - ...read full review


Avatar
"The show itself, though, can be a challenge. It's a series of songs with no connecting dialogue, so the storytelling is elliptical. Your ears must be on high alert at all times. Add to that melodies that, in capturing the characters' neuroses, are often jumpy and frenetic. Plus: All these sharp-edged personalities put some people off. I've seen “Falsettos” with friends who've laughed and sniffled through it and with others who've been restlessly, audibly frustrated. Either response is understandable. But when the agitated melodies relax into lyricism — oh, my. The music and words reach deep inside and trigger all sorts of emotions."

sweet - Daryl H. Miller - LA Times - ...read full review


Avatar
"Now touring, the production, currently on The Ahmanson stage, delivers a triumphantly resilient family accommodation for the 21stcentury that is fresh and mostly upbeat... It's a strong, often transcendent, mostly ebullient show, true to its times and an eye-opener that has earned its repeated successes..."

sweet - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"Love, found and lost, rediscovered and new, enters our lives, and we wake up one day realizing we never set ourselves up to feel so deeply about the people in our lives. Even the grief that life brings just affirms our deepest humanity, and we wouldn't have it otherwise. These eternal themes live on in Falsettos, whose only dated feature may be its dependency on an overfamiliar brand of self-deprecating Jewish humor (but there wouldn't be a show without it). All art requires a certain level of suspension of disbelief, and Falsettos presents no exception to the rule. One trust that is dramatically broken is that Mendel the sketchy psychiatrist starts a liaison with Marvin's ex Trina, and Jason is shunted back and forth between these two odd couples. Yet this is maybe the real point: While our sense of identification bends toward Marvin, Jason is truly the central figure around whom all revolves. It is his coming-of-age story, symbolized by the bar mitzvah he imaginatively carries off in his own original fashion, that provides us the comfort of knowing that people, kids included, can be petty resilient if they need to be"

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Avatar
"There are a lot of things I liked about the Tony Award-winning musical “Falsettos,” now at The Ahmanson Theatre. I fully understand why it was nominated for five 2017 Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical, however at almost three hours long, with 37 songs by composer/lyricist William Finn and playwright and director James Lapine it needs to be cut down to 120 minutes for this LA audience."

sweet-sour - Jill Weinlein - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Erin Conley
"In the end, some great performances and touching moments are at odds with a messy narrative that feels as forced as a bad falsetto, resulting in a real mixed bag that will leave you scratching your head more than it should."

sweet-sour - Erin Conley - On Stage & Screen - ...read full review


Avatar
"The combination of whimsy, joy and gut-wrenching poignancy is like nothing you've seen before. At nearly three hours, you won't want it to end."

sweet - Tony Frankel - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar
"The vocal prowess of the cast is awesome. The score consists of thirty-seven numbers boasting rapid-fire patter songs and ballads of emotional power. The three men—von Essen, Adams, and Blaemire—have terrific range and finesse, and the boy, Jacobs, matches them with his wonderful, pre-pubescent soprano. The score calls for tight harmonies, with exquisite, achingly winsome, slightly dissonant chords. But wait! All the actors, including the boy, dance up a storm to the inventive choreography of Spencer Liff. Under the inspired direction of James Lapine, Falsetto is everything one could wish for in a musical and the physical production matches the action."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


Avatar
"Director James Lapine, who also co-wrote the book has assembled an incredibly talented cast. While singing their hearts out and staying in character, they effortlessly maneuver the set for various scenes. It's like a set of children's blocks being assembled in various shapes for whatever the scene needs. It's like watching a beautiful dance choreographed by Spencer Liff."

sweet - Darlene Donloe - Donloe's Lowdown - ...read full review


Avatar
"The singing voices are beautiful. Each performer has a tone that resembles a musical instrument. Von Essen has a trumpet sound. Blaemire's voice could be a cello. Espinosa could evoke most of an orchestra. And all the actors so fully embody their characters that we are onstage and in their lives with them."

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review