New in 2018 Anchorman Howard Beale unravels live on screen in his final broadcast, and the network seizes on their newfound prophet when the ratings soar in a stage adaptation of Paddy Chayefsky's Oscar-winning film.
From the producers: Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Bryan Cranston makes his triumphant return to Broadway in the National Theatre’s sold-out, critically acclaimed production of "Network." In Lee Hall's adaptation of Paddy Chayefsky's Academy Award-winning film, anchorman Howard Beale unravels live on-screen. But when the ratings soar, the network seizes on its newfound prophet, and Howard becomes the biggest thing on TV. Tony and Olivier Award-winner Ivo van Hove directs this brilliantly innovative and electrifying production.
The 1976 satirical film "Network," written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet, won four Academy Awards, in the categories of Best Actor (for Peter Finch), Best Actress (for Faye Dunaway), Best Supporting Actress (for Beatrice Straight), and Best Original Screenplay (for author Chayefsky). In 2000, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". In 2005, the two Writers Guilds of America voted Chayefsky's script one of the 10 greatest screenplays in the history of cinema. In 2007, the film was 64th among the 100 greatest American films as chosen by the American Film Institute, a ranking slightly higher than the one AFI had given it ten years earlier. The stage adaptation premiered in 2017 at London's National Theatre.
Tony and Emmy Award winner Bryan Cranston ("All the Way," TV's "Breaking Bad") reprises his role as Howard Beale, a performance for which he received a 2018 Olivier Award. He is joined on stage by Emmy winner Tatiana Maslany ("Mary Page Marlowe," TV's "Orphan Black") and Tony Goldwyn ("Promises, Promises," TV's "Scandal"). Tony and Olivier Award winner Ivo van Hove ("A View from the Bridge," "The Crucible") directs.
Churning, immersive...Cranston tears through the formulas of Lee Hall's Chayefsky-honoring script to create a raging, bleeding portrait of a man who is a creature and a captive of a satanic medium. 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. [Director] van Hove aims at his audience's gut, not its mind. There is more to "Network" than Howard, though, and it's mostly far less compelling.
AM New York
Freewheeling, fast and furious, absolutely mesmerizing...[director van Hove's] tech-savvy, experimental approach...is perfectly suited to the media-overflow milieu of "Network." A more traditional staging could not have been as gripping. The overall tone has shifted from comedy into fast-paced thriller and ominous tragedy. 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.