The “Orphan Black” star will play Diana Christensen, the ratings-obsessed, amoral television executive who was chillingly brought to life on screen by Faye Dunaway.
“Network” was a big hit when it played in London, earning an Olivier for Cranston’s turn as Howard Beale, the mad prophet of the airwaves whose on-air rants sets the plot of the show in motion. Ivo van Hove, the Belgian director who has brought an experimental verve to revivals of “A View From the Bridge” and “The Crucible,” directs. The play will be Maslany’s Broadway debut; she recently appeared Off-Broadway in Tracy Letts’ “Mary Page Marlowe.” Maslany, an Emmy winner for “Orphan Black,” will next appear opposite Nicole Kidman in “Destroyer.”
The play sends up the TV business. It centers on Beale, a news host with only a few weeks remaining on the air. He’s on the outs with corporate due to declining ratings. After he sounds off during a live program, declaring himself “mad as hell,” Beale becomes an unexpected sensation.
With its A-list cast, “Network” is expected to be one of the hotter tickets of the fall theatrical season. It also joins a list of high-profile West End transplants that includes Sam Mendes’ “The Ferryman,” another Olivier winner.
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“Network” will begin performances at the Belasco Theatre on Nov. 10, and will officially open on Dec. 6.