New York | 2h 0m | Ends Jun 08

Network (NYC)

From 55 critic and 515 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing, Relevant, Ambitious

About the show

After making its premiere in at the National Theatre in London, the adaptation of the Oscar-winning film comes to Broadway, starring Tony and Emmy winner Bryan Cranston. More…

Howard Beale, news anchorman, isn’t pulling in the viewers. In his final broadcast he unravels live on screen. But when ratings soar, the network seizes on their newfound populist prophet, and Howard becomes the biggest thing on TV. "Network" depicts a media landscape where opinion trumps fact. Comic and hair-raising by turns, the iconic film by Paddy Chayefsky won four Academy Awards in 1976. Directed by Tony Award winner Ivo van Hove.

2h 0m | Ends Jun 08 | Belasco Theatre (Midtown W)

Front Row Center

"Cranston’s Howard Beale is such a sustained wonder of a performance that he crowds out the rest of the cast. Director Ivo van Hove is fearless, rattling our cages with visual noise and a breakneck pace. Get a ticket...Still, no matter how intense the effects are — and in this production they are a startling commingling of then and now — it still comes down to the performance. Cranston remakes Beale from the inside out." Full Review


"Ivo van Hove's stage version of the Chayefsky cult film 'Network' gives Cranston the role of a lifetime as Howard Beale, the UBS news commentator who has a nervous breakdown on air and then becomes a media messiah. The high tech production designed by long-time van Hove associate Jan Versweyveld with video design by Tal Yarden is riveting throughout its two hour intermission-less running time by putting the audience in the news studio and making us complicit in the action." Full Review

AM New York

"A freewheeling, fast and furious, absolutely mesmerizing stage adaptation...Whereas van Hove's tech-savvy, experimental approach often comes off as overblown, self-indulgent, pretentious and bewildering, it is perfectly suited to the media-overflow milieu of 'Network'...Cranston gives an all-out, remarkable performance — full of raw emotion, magnetic presence, superb comedic timing, and a genuine sense of struggle, unpredictability and urgency." Full Review

Stage Left

“Ivo van Hove brings his signature style to an intense and intelligent stage production of Paddy Chayefsky’s prophetic 1976 film ‘Network’. An easy highlight of the Broadway season, Bryan Cranston gives a Tony Award-worthy performance as news anchor Howard Beale’s descent into a rage-filled demagogue. The message is the medium, and vice versa, in this technically brilliant and thrilling new drama.” Full Review


“While the adaptation maintains the original period, the television equipment and the complex use of multimedia is very 2018...As expected, Bryan Cranston is phenomenal...Appropriately, the rest of the very good cast are overshadowed by Cranston’s persona...’Network' does not give us much guidance for getting out of our current situation, but it is an insightful (and entertaining) portrait of the problem.” Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"It’s devilishly brilliant in construct and design, formulating the studio wind up energy with a blood pumping authenticity...The play falters a bit midway through, loosing some of its time clock countdown adrenaline...The out front dramatics beamed in from outside slice us a bit too far from the emotional core, distracting us from the true cause, but as a piece of modern theater, Ivo Van Hove, and the brilliant craftsmanship of video designer Tal Yarden rises magnificently center stage." Full Review

City Cabaret

“Cranston's portrayal of Howard Beale is unconditionally the focus of a play that bludgeons the veracity of the news business and the malleability of TV viewers' judgment. The timeliness of the technology is striking while it focuses on now familiar manipulations of corruption, ratings, and financial manipulations...The play is most alive when Cranston is on stage...Cranston's dive into a man's soul is galvanizing...It is a thrilling performance as topical as this morning.” Full Review


"The brilliance of placing a stage adaptation of Chayefsky's story of television news as editorialized entertainment with content controlled by funding corporations is that what was taken as satire over forty years ago can be seen as social commentary in 2018...Cranston gives a nervy, fully textured performance...Van Hove's sharp, vigorous staging fully matches Hall's rapid-fire text...A contemporary lens with which to view Chayefsky's exceptional work, giving it greater impact for today." Full Review


"Chayefsky’s diatribe, which played as satire almost a half-century ago, takes on fresh fury in a sizzling stage production, directed by Ivo Van Hove, that feels less satiric but more urgent — and frightening — in today’s times...The depth of Chayefsky’s cynicism is so breathtaking, so full of existential despair that it makes today’s critical pundits look like weepy whiners. Although Cranston never pushes Beale over the edge into madness, he brilliantly nudges him to the outer limits of ang... Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

“The satire in Chayefsky’s iconic film transfers well to Hall’s adaptation...’Network’ addresses important themes and raises equally significant enduring questions...Van Hove’s innovative direction successfully places the outstanding cast as well as the audience in the ‘live set’ of a typical news broadcast. The ability to see Howard at the news desk as well as on screen and be able to hear all conversations is a magnificent feat.” Full Review

New York Daily News

"Cranston has some truly stunning moments...The central directorial conceit is a measure, of course, of van Hove's genius...Not all of the personal scenes are as strong as Cranston's astonishing solo spots...But while you might wish for more depth in some scenes, that's just not the point of the production. This is one profoundly clever show, the rare conceptual masterwork that puts all the current railing against fake news and cheap network theatrics in a much broader temporal context." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"The cast is downright sensational!...Other than a script that might need some trimming to eliminate repetition on a theme, 'Network' will hold you in a vise of straight forward and blunt veracity, and a feeling of powerlessness...It’s always an enlightening time when something we’ve seen so many years ago on the big screen punches you square in the stomach as current, truthful and frightening." Full Review


"Bryan Cranston is absolutely brilliant...The adaptation seems to have the characters speaking a little less floridly than in the movie to make them more concrete, though the bite and intelligence remain...Cranston leaves virtually everyone else onstage in the dust with his textured, rousing, and heartbreaking performance, but Goldwyn manages to project a world-weary lapse into immorality, while Maslany—while not possessed enough—mounts in outrage for a climactic turn of events." Full Review


"Inventive and often enthralling...Van Hove serves up one knockout visual flourish after another...van Hove and Hall haven’t updated or reimagined the material in any significant way...Yet even if this 'Network' doesn’t entirely hang together, it’s still a fabulous piece of entertainment, directed and performed with verve and showmanship. Just about every directorial choice here manages to be audacious without feeling show-offy." Full Review


"There are two elements that strongly add to the proceedings: Ivo van Hove’s direction, which has the action constantly on the move as in a TV studio where everything is in flux; and the set by Jan Versweyveld, which shows all the fluctuations in such proceedings (from studios to multiple TV screens). As much as I loved Peter Finch in the movie, seeing Howard Beale portrayed live by Bryan Cranston giving one of the best performances of this decade is outstanding." Full Review

The Stage (UK)

"The absolute genius of Ivo van Hove’s production is to give this a churning, gripping immediacy, as TV cameras swoop over the action and relay images to a giant screen centre stage and on smaller screens throughout the auditorium. And it is propelled by a searing, shatteringly committed performance from Bryan Cranston...That stage is slightly smaller than it was in London, but the impact is even more shattering." Full Review

Showbiz 411

"Cranston gives the performance of a lifetime as Beale...There is so much going on onstage that it can be dizzying. But Cranston, as Beale, who’s supposedly unwinding into madness, is the sane center...Everyone in the show is top notch. Maslany is earthier than Faye Dunaway....Goldwyn has the suave mien of William Holden from the movie. So kudos to 'Network.' If only Chayefsky had lived longer." Full Review

Broadway Blog

"Although set in the period of Chayefsky's original, it doesn't take much effort to view its themes as exponentially more pertinent now because of the Internet,…or to recognize its relation to the frustrations instigated by our media-obsessed president…Crowded with ideas (including a final diatribe about 'the destructive powers of absolute belief'), emotions, humor, and gimmickry…And, while Bryan Cranston's Beale may not blow his brains out, he's sure to blow your mind." Full Review

The New York Times

"And if you’re a glutton for great, high-risk acting, you owe Mr. Cranston the courtesy — and yourself the thrill — of watching his self-immolation...If the bravura dementia of his Howard makes much of the rest of the show seem as two-dimensional as a flat TV screen, it’s a trade-off I’m willing to accept, albeit with a sigh...As a portrait of a displaced man unraveling, Mr. Cranston’s wrenching performance stands on its own." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“van Hove’s spot-on and exciting. Making the most of the star performance by the terrific Cranston, The director has done a spectacular job of staging this National Theatre production...What van Hove has accomplished is creating a lively, busy and frequently hectic television studio atmosphere...It all has a dynamic effect...There is some extra baggage that should be eliminated...Rising above even the best of the staging is the mighty performance of Cranston.” Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"The satirical sting may have been blunted by time, but the prescience is indisputable...What hurts the writing at 40-plus years' distance is that by remaining locked in the 1970s, it arguably doesn't go far enough...Still, as a real-world horror show about the profits to be reaped by accessing popular anger, 'Network' remains gripping, largely because Cranston makes his character's tragic trajectory a white-knuckle ride, and van Hove infuses the drama with dizzying kinetic energy." Full Review

Financial Times (UK)

"The exposition gets slightly muddled towards the end as Hall trims a pivotal sub-plot...But the real story here is the overwhelming sense of spectacle crafted by van Hove and Cranston’s barnstorming performance. Reality may have outstripped Lumet and Chayefsky’s most pessimistic prophecies. But this 'Network' is still a compulsively watchable freak show." Full Review


"Cranston is masterful in his raw depiction of a man coming apart before your eyes. With the always unpredictable director Ivo van Hove in charge, it's an electric staging, if tough to follow as the frenetic activity on Versweyveld's set jumps from center stage to the wings to the street in front of the theater (handheld cameras allow you to follow on the closest monitor). And it all gets too preachy at times, whenever Beale and corporate bigwigs get overly involved with their proselytizing." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

“Cranston is mesmerizing...The ubiquity of the videos can at times feel like sensory overload. There were moments when it would have been fun to be given a breather...Goldwyn and Maslany are standouts. But their roles are far less compelling than Beale’s...The influence of television is the central theme but a montage of recent presidents not so subtly suggests – we are responsible for asking if what we see on screens can be believed.” Full Review

Fast Company

“This is a play that challenges you to think about where you put your attention, which in itself becomes a metaphor for the advertising-driven media world we live in...Cranston’s likely to be a contender during Tonys season...I’d say see ‘Network’ for that reason alone, but it would be nice if the show inspired audiences, particularly younger ones, to rediscover this relevant cautionary tale.” Full Review

Amazing tech!, Great direction, Great writing, Great acting, Brilliant!

See it if This show grabs you from the beginning and takes you on a brilliant roller coaster ride. Cranston is brilliant! The production is amazing.

Don't see it if you want something light and fluffy or a musical. But you should see this show. It's so well done and relevant to today.

Also When the movie was made, my block on the west side was used for the ye... Read more Read less

Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you love drama... you love great acting.. you love an ambitious over the top experience filled with unexpected moments.

Don't see it if you need something sedate or funny. this show will make you think.

Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see an electrifying performance by Bryan Cranston in a story that is compelling and relevant to our times.

Don't see it if you're looking for a play with no controversy or if you are offended by strong language.

Must see, Great acting, Great staging, Exquisite, Absorbing

See it if you want to be completely absorbed and confronted with big picture questions. utterly masterful.

Don't see it if you want leave feeling good about the world.

Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious, Clever, Absorbing

See it if I loved the staging and felt I was actually in the studio. Bryan Cranston is a master of his art!

Don't see it if If you didn't like the movie, you may not like the show. HOWEVER, I didn't like the movie but LOVED THE SHOW!

Masterful, Intelligent, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Relevant to feelings of today.

Don't see it if if angry is an issue, then don't go see it.

Must see, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing, Clever

See it if This piece is profound and deserves to be seen by all! Cranston’s performance is not to be missed, and the use of live cameras is stunning.

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy new takes on theater.

Great staging, Entertaining, Edgy, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if One of the best plays from fantastic acting, writing and stage setting Truly mesmerising. cast are excellent Bryan Cranston sublime

Don't see it if If you don’t enjoy an amazing play and stage experience. Amazing acting

Masterful, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if Cranston rocks but great ensemble and what a set.

Don't see it if So entertaining most should enjoy. Not for kids.

Great acting, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if Brian Cranston goes beyond fantastic in his role, involving the audience with repeating rants, developing the character from the movie

Don't see it if If you don't like lots of shouting and flashing videos behind the actors also not for children

Also In a very lively and engaging way. Many surprises in the show not usua... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Refreshing

See it if A must see if you like relevant issues told in clever ways. If you enjoy unique staging this is the show for you. Very clever setup.

Don't see it if If you can’t pay close attention it might get confusing. Set has many different parts and you’ll need to watch the large monitors too.

Great acting, Masterful, Relevant, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if Network is a relevant tour de force. A rare broadway show. TRUE THEATER ! INGENIUS !

Don't see it if You only enjoy musical theater

Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Must see, Hilarious

See it if You think Bryan Cranston is amazing. Enjoy shows that make you think about the world around you. Enjoy being somewhat involved in the show.

Don't see it if You don't like the news, can't handle seeing simulated sex, or don't like having to watch another screen to see what's happening on stage.

Riveting, Relevant, Masterful, Absorbing, Great acting

See it if you crave a timely story with brilliant acting. You will leave the theatre trying to catch your breath. TRUE Broadway at its best!

Don't see it if you want a musical.

Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You are alive...relevant to today

Don't see it if You are dead

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Riveting

See it if brilliant staging of a play which is even more relevant now than when it premiered 40+ years ago. the use of video screens is brilliant!

Don't see it if it's disturbing, pessimistic and there's more than a little profanity and adult situations

Resonant, Edgy, Great acting

See it if Great performances by all. Unbelievable staging. Relevant material still today Bryan Cranston was incredible. One of the best shows ever

Don't see it if I can’t imagine anyone not being amazed by this show

Must see, Masterful, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you love Bryan Cranston or any of the other stellar cast members. If you liked the movie. If you enjoy use of multiple mediums.

Don't see it if you don't like plays with video components and projection. If you don't like shouting or politics.

Absorbing, Edgy, Ambitious, Relevant, Riveting

See it if you like cutting-edge staging and great acting.

Don't see it if you want to stay away from something relevant and critical. It can be a bit overloading at times.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if Excellent. It seemed more in tune with recent past than 1970s. Stage design and actors great. No 100 if show involves audience participatio

Don't see it if Your incurably optimistic, Don't like to think. Don't buy the expensive seats onstage, bad deal.

Great acting, Great staging, Relevant, Resonant, Riveting

See it if Cranston with Chayefsky’s words and Hove’s vision...brilliant. Staging was simply beyond! Once prescient,now retrospect, equally compelling.

Don't see it if See it ... seat B106: amazing.

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Epic, Best acting ever!!!

See it if One of the greatest pieces of acting by a human ever on stage!!! Very thought provoking and relevant topics..

Don't see it if You can’t relare to the plight of the employee being pushed out... it’s real and in your face. Exceptional!

Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Must see, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy timely shows with fabulous performances & ingenious direction and production.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of the brilliant Bryan Cranston.

Great acting, Must see, Great staging, Entertaining, Clever

See it if Like if you looking for a great theatre performance Brian Cranston was at his best.

Don't see it if You cannot appreciate good theater and superb acting

Riveting, Must see, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to be challenged to think in different ways. Bryan Cranston is phenomenal! Rush to see it before it’s gone! Best play I’ve seen!

Don't see it if You don’t like plays but I think everyone should see this one, it says a lot about our problems in society today

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Cast & Creatives (14)