Namely Roma Torre, writing for NY1: Top Stories.
"The Farnsworth Invention" Does Some Inventing Of Its Own
Aaron Sorkin's new play "The Farnsworth Invention" is something of a hybrid – a cross between theatre and docudrama – and while we're given the impression this is a mostly factual telling about the invention of television, it seems Sorkin took quite a bit of dramatic license for this work.
That's disturbing considering that it's rendered as an historical account. Despite some outstanding performances, “The Farnsworth Invention” disappoints on two fronts. As history, at least according to Farnsworth's sons and biographer, it's dishonest; and as a play, it's more concerned with history than drama.
Des McAnuff does a fine job keeping the action fluid which could easily have bogged down amid the 19 actors on stage. At best, it's a strong draft in which Sorkin attempted to lay out the facts on his way to shaping what could be a great drama. But picking and choosing facts in a play that purports to tell the true story is a problem. That aside, “The Farnsworth Invention” would still need more show and less tell.