Theater: Bryan Cranston Is Mad as Hell
Nov. 10-March 17; networkbroadway.com.
About halfway through “Network,” Sidney Lumet’s Oscar-winning 1976 satire that feels rumblingly prescient now, there’s a scene of exquisitely performative rage. Howard Beale (Peter Finch), an unhinged anchorman whose anger is ratings gold, rails on air against the power of television.
“But, man, you’re never going to get any truth from us,” he rants to his many millions of admirers. “We’ll tell you anything you want to hear. We lie like hell.”
Ah, fake news and fury — along with old-fashioned avarice and crimes cooked up for the cameras. Seems like a perfect moment for the return of “Network,” doesn’t it? This time, though, it’s on Broadway, where previews start on Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Belasco Theater.
Bryan Cranston stars as Howard Beale in Lee Hall’s stage adaptation of Paddy Chayefsky’s screenplay, directed by Ivo van Hove and opening on Dec. 6. When the production had its premiere last fall at the National Theater in London, Ben Brantley, in The New York Times, called it “convulsive,” and Mr. Cranston “the perfect stark raving center for this meticulously calibrated mayhem.” Joining the New York cast as Diana Christensen, the cold-as-ice executive Faye Dunaway played onscreen, is Tatiana Maslany (“Orphan Black”). LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES
Film: Lucas Hedges in a Wrenching Adaptation
Close to 700,000 L.G.B.T.Q. Americans are estimated to have undergone conversion therapy, according to a January 2018 report from the Williams Institute of the U.C.L.A. School of Law. The writer and activist Garrard Conley is one of them. The son of a Baptist minister, Conley was outed at 19 by a college classmate, after which his parents gave him an ultimatum: either be disowned or attend an “ex-gay” program in Memphis that promised to “cure” him of his homosexuality.
Now the Australian actor and director Joel Edgerton has adapted Conley’s 2016 memoir, “Boy Erased,” for the screen, starring an affecting Lucas Hedges as the fictionalized Jared Eamons and Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe as his fundamentalist Christian parents who refuse to accept their son’s sexuality — which initially confounds Jared himself. Edgerton is Victor Sykes, the head of the tough-love boot camp that purports to teach masculinity and inflicts physical punishment on those who don’t conform. It’s something Jared’s mother can’t abide, regardless of what her husband believes.
Conversion therapy, which has been criticized by the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association, and poses health risks, is now banned for minors in 14 states and the District of Columbia. KATHRYN SHATTUCK
Dance: Hungarian National Ballet Comes to America
Nov. 4, 7, 9 and 11; davidkochtheater.com.
It’s old to the world, but new to us. The Hungarian National Ballet, which dates to 1884 and is now under the artistic reigns of Tamás Solymosi, makes a United States debut with the Hungarian State Opera Orchestra. What better way to introduce yourself than with “Swan Lake”? The company presents a 1988 version by the Dutch choreographer Rudi van Dantzig (the character dances are credited to Toer van Schayk), with Tatiana Melnik in the dual role of Odette-Odile, at the David H. Koch Theater in Manhattan.
Subsequent programs showcase Michael Messerer’s take on “Don Quixote,” a classical ballet full of virtuosic fireworks, and “LOL: Trio of Works by Hans van Manen,” which the company unveiled last year in Hungary in tribute to the choreographer’s 85th birthday. From the lighthearted “Black Cake,” the starkly delicate “Trois Gnossiennes” and the sensuous “5 Tangos,” this will show off Van Manen, too. On Nov. 4, the company will perform a selection of repertory as part of a gala evening. GIA KOURLAS
Classical Music: Mahan Esfahani’s Harpsichord Provocations
Nov. 7 and 8; millertheatre.com.
It is hard to know how seriously to take Mahan Esfahani, the self-styled harpsichordist provocateur who has made a point of publicly rebuking his peers in the small world of early keyboard performance. But his interpretations of standard repertoire have been strongly praised — The New Yorker described his efforts as “exuberant, anti-sentimental, bracing — and his commitment to growing the repertoire of new works for his very old instrument is persuasive.
At Columbia University’s Miller Theater this week, Esfahani will pair selections from Bach’s “The Well-Tempered Clavier” with contemporary music by Luciano Berio and Tristan Perich (Nov. 8) and with the world premiere of a new work by the astoundingly inventive experimentalist (and Columbia professor) George Lewis (Nov. 7). WILLIAM ROBIN
Pop Music: Julien Baker Leads an Indie-Rock Supergroup
Nov. 6 and 7; bowerypresents.com.
The band name boygenius was conceived of with tongue firmly in cheek: When singer-songwriters Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus decided to turn a national tour together into a six-song EP, they thought of the people who were, for once, not included. “We were just talking about boys and men we know who’ve been told that they are geniuses since they could hear, basically,” Dacus told The Times, “and what type of creative work comes out of that upbringing.”
Their self-titled EP was recently released on Matador, just ahead of their 19-show tour which includes a two-day run at Brooklyn Steel. The women will perform separate sets, with some songs together. All three share a talent for making heartfelt, earnest songs that still sound fresh; beyond that, they each have distinctive styles.
Dacus veers toward folk and rock; Bridgers, grungy pop; and Dacus, melancholy tunes with unconventional arrangements. Luckily for fans, instead of fighting the fact that they are grouped together because they’re all women, they chose to lean into it. The result is even more thoughtful and cathartic pop music that sounds new thanks to the original voices singing it. NATALIE WEINER
Art: Martha Rosler’s Uncompromising Vision
Through March 3, 2019; thejewishmuseum.org.
In Martha Rosler’s classic 1975 video “Semiotics of the Kitchen,” the artist recites an alphabetical list of cooking paraphernalia, beginning with the apron she’s wearing, and demonstrates the use of each tool with a violent, awkward pantomime. Her tone is a bit self-conscious, but she keeps a mostly straight face until the end when, after slashing a “Z” in the air with a knife, she raises her eyebrows, throws up her hands and cocks her head as if to say, “What did you expect me to be doing?”
Nuanced but uncompromising, the video pretty much says it all. But it’s only one of the scores of photographs, videos and large-scale installations, from the 1960s to present, in “Martha Rosler: Irrespective,” a new retrospective at the Jewish Museum in Manhattan. WILL HEINRICH
TV: Jenna Coleman’s Heartbreak in ‘The Cry’
Nov. 8; sundancenow.com.
“Of all the things that can happen to a person, and there’s a few things that could be worse … can you think of any?” asks Joanna (Jenna Coleman), a Scottish teacher whose infant son has been abducted. But as “The Cry,” a BBC One drama second in popularity in Britain this year only to the blockbuster “Bodyguard,” soon proves, you really can’t.
The four-part psychological thriller — based on Helen FitzGerald’s best seller and debuting on Thursday, Nov. 8, on the streaming site Sundance Now — begins with a wailing baby, whose father, Alistair (Ewen Leslie), nudges a depleted Joanna from sleep to tend to matters because, well, he’s a working man. But the crying continues — throughout Joanna’s fitful days and onto the couple’s 30-hour flight to Australia, where Alistair is fighting his former wife (Asher Keddie) for custody of their teenage daughter. Then, during a quick stop for groceries in Alistair’s hometown, Joanna makes the fateful decision to leave their baby in the car. And when she and Alistair return, their son is gone and fingers start pointing, including at the parents themselves.
Coleman, who portrays Queen Victoria in Masterpiece’s “Victoria” on PBS, will also be seen onstage at the Old Vic in London this spring alongside Sally Field and Bill Pullman in Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons.” KATHRYN SHATTUCK