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.
"About two-thirds of the way through 'Network,' comprehension dawns. Up to that point, a lot about the bells-and-whistles Broadway version of the 1976 movie has been irretrievably confusing—director Ivo van Hove has crammed every multimedia gimmick he can think of into it...We watch it in smash-zoom high-def on the back wall’s movie screen—largely ignoring Cranston’s world-caliber acting happening just in front of us...There’s not a lot to learn from this version." Full Review
"Nothing about van Hove’s production works as well as the Cranston close-ups...There’s already so much commotion on stage...A couple rows of people eating shrimp rolls and empanadas seems like an unnecessary distraction. When Cranston is on, we’re completely tuned in. His Beale is a force...Only Broadway vet Nick Wyman matches Cranston’s intensity...But when you’re watching a grainy ancient Mazola ad instead of a live actor, the background noise is getting way too loud." Full Review
""The other characters-his best friend Max (Tony Goldwyn), his lover Diana (Tatiana Maslany)-are just as poorly drawn, and the result is eerily inhuman, even as the dehumanizing effects of technology seems to be one of the very subjects of the play. In other words, 'Network' reproduces the very phenomenon it is ostensibly challenging. It is a satire in which everyone seems angry except the writer." Full Review
“In van Hove’s maximalist, video-swathed production, the focused white-hot rage of the original is gone...The management of spectacle appears to have taken over all else...It’s a dazzling, but it ultimately proves the production’s undoing...The result is catastrophic...The only performer to emerge undefeated is Cranston...Yet there’s a disruptive quality to Cranston’s titanic turn...As a result, the sense of irony and tension around Beale is gone.” Full Review
See it if you like Bryan Cranston (even though he went a bit off the actor's deep end) and are curious about the director's work.
Don't see it if you have no tolerance for disparate (often times bizarre) choices (acting, design, directing) - no cohesiveness. I was utterly disappointed
See it if You care only about great acting; if you can stand mediocre script/dialogue for 2 straight hours; if you really like straight plays
Don't see it if You're expecting a modern classic; if boring subplots about unlikable characters having affairs is annoying; if breakdowns are upsetting
See it if If you’re a Bryan Cranston fan and liked the original movie.
Don't see it if If you don’t like grand standing by a leading actor with an odd, ambitious staging. And the pacing was off.
See it if If you feel like chanting when prompted, “I’m mad as hell and not going to take it any longer.” If watching Bryan Cranston is treat enough.
Don't see it if You expect a farce.It’s reality. Not fun. Not funny. Tony Goldwyn looks pained.Other actors shout. Two hours. No intermission.
See it if You are looking for a star sighting of Brian Cranston, whose acting is also absolutely excellent.
Don't see it if You want a coherent play instead of just a star sighting. Incoherent script, bad acting by all but Cranston (who is absolutely excellent.)
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