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Network 2020

Network is an intense, rapturous, performance-driven play set in the 1970s about the modern news industry where the question always lingers: it the purpose of news to inform or to entertain? Premiering in London in 2017, it is based on the 1976 Academy Award-winning film of the same name and follows the story very closely. It’s the account of Howard Beale, a veteran news anchor, who, on his last night on air after being fired for low ratings, goes on a maniacal rant that ends up shooting up ratings. A visionary network programmer sees the potential in Beale’s new angry persona and rehires him to “be himself” on air, leading to audiences’ emphatic approval. A mix of disbelief and embarrassed enjoyment at the antics on stage characterize how you will feel watching this passionate, hilarious play.Read More ...

  1. What Makes it Special

    The layout of the stage makes Network a unique play before the dialog even begins. Most of the set is dedicated to the newsroom where huge cameras capture and magnify the action on stage as if it were streaming into your TV. As Howard Beale’s mental breakdown ensues and the hustle-bustle of the newsroom with makeup artists, cameraman and directors rush around, the noise and bright lights are enough to set the audience on the edge of their seat and sympathize with poor Howard’s anguish. Another part of the stage interestingly has a functional diner where real audience members (who paid ahead of time) sit and are served a three-course meal throughout the show.

    This play (and its inspired film) have spoken to audiences for almost fifty years, ever since we entered an age when wars (Vietnam) no longer held their noble righteousness and government corruption abounded. The beauty of the story and Howard’s refrain, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore,” resonate with people who feel upset by life, their country, and seeming misinformation and are ready to just shout about it. As Diana, the network programmer says, Howard is, “a latter-day prophet, a magnificent messianic figure, inveighing against the hypocrisies of our times,” knowing that audiences will be drawn to his message.

    Critical Acclaim

    After its debut in London, Network received several nominations and awards from the Laurence Olivier Awards, among others.

    Critics couldn’t get enough of Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of Howard in both the London and New York shows. The New York Times wrote, “Electrifying. You owe yourself the thrill of watching Bryan Cranston in ‘Network.’”

    Seating Tips

    Network performances take place in the stunningly-renovated historic Belasco theater which was commissioned in 1907 by impresario David Belasco. Belasco’s ghost is said to appear occasionally to performers as a sign that their performance will be blessed.

    For the cost-conscious who want the best views, reserve seats in the Center Mezzanine, Rows C-F or in the Center Orchestra, Rows F-O for the best value.

    If this show is your excuse to splurge, the very best seats in the house are in the Center Orchestra, Rows D-K or Center Mezzanine, Rows A-D.

    The Network Experience

    Enjoy the passion, frustration, and cathartic yelling of Network on Broadway. In changing times, sometimes all we need is for someone to show us that our feelings are shared by everyone, and it’s okay to yell out the window, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

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