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The structure of "Network"
Posted by: broadwaybacker 09:46 am EST 02/06/19

I saw Network last week and I think my reaction was in keeping with the prevailing sentiment. Cranston gives a breathtaking, riveting performance that will clearly put him in strong contention for the Tony, but the play itself is meh.

It occurred to me that perhaps presenting the play in two acts would have helped, because as Cranston finishes his not gonna take it anymore rant and Meslany yells, "We've hit the jackpot!" I imagined an immediate cut to black, ending Act I. I thought of it as similar to Amy Morton's "I'm in charge now" act ender in Osage: August County. I think that the audience would have hit intermission on a high, but we really didn't get the chance as the play segued right into the continued action. Of course, in my view, the entire second half of the play didn't rise to the level of the first half.

And, were any of you a bit uncomfortable by being "forced" to become part of the play by the constant entreaties to yell followed with words to the effect that we could do better? By the last time we were in that position, the audience response was pretty tame. It was like "enough already".
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