Theatre Mirror Reviews - "One Flew over The Cuckoo's Nest"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

entire contents copyright 2001 by Robert Guenthner

"One Flew over The Cuckoo's Nest"

Reviewed by Robert Guenthner AKA oldgrump


directed by Tom Sypek

Chief Bromden - Stephen Holda
Aide Williams - Tom White
Aide Warren - Jerry Morse
Nurse Ratched - Merrie Mizaras
Nurse Flinn - Lillie LeBlanc
Dale Harding - Chuck Bloom
Billy Bibbit - Dennis Ryan Jr.
Cheswick - William Purcell
Scanlon - Michael Steers
Ruckley - Stephen Gaul
Randall P. McMurphy - Robert Duquette
Dr. Spivey - Eric Ericson
Aide Turkel - Jim Norris
Candy Starr - Melissa Scarry
Sandra - Sharon Glazier

A couple of hundred years ago I read this book. I was in a blue funk for a week or more when I was finished reading it. The gross injustices perpetrated by the hospital and the staff on the patients, disturbed me to no end. The movie, as good as Jack Nicholson is, did not move me the way the book did.

This was the first live performance I have seen of Cuckoo's Nest. I must admit to feelings of trepidation. I have seen many fine comedies done by this group, but never have I seen a drama performed. My fears were dismissed once this cast got into the meat of the story. I didn't expect Tony Award work, but did expect effort. The over all work from the cast was splendid. Several of the actors were worthy of special mention.

I have talked to Merrie on several occasions and thought she was a lovely girl, now I don't know. No one could be as mean and cold as she was on stage without having a nasty streak a mile wide. Her portrayal of nurse Ratched was a top notch acting job. The uptight, strict mannerisms left no doubt as to who was in charge of this hospital ward. I hope she plays a nice person the next time around so I can like her again.

I last saw Robert in Blithe Spirit. His upper class English accent in that play was very convincing. Now he played a hard, fun loving, rather earthy man of Irish extraction just as well. His bio in the playbill listed many varied acting roles. You can add in writing, directing and choreography to his acting credentials.

The rest of the patients and hospital personnel were all well played.

Chuck, as a man who was self committed, but afraid to leave the structured confines of the hospital, did a marvelous job.

I have a good friend who had the now maximum twenty shock treatments. With two hundred of the cruel treatments, William Purcell looked and acted as though he had gone through them.

I have seen Michael dance in a few musicals. He proved his talent was not one dimensional, he could be serious as well as light.

Another of the more convincing acting jobs was done by Dennis Ryan, Jr. His mood swings, his fear of his mother that put him into a stuttering stupor was simply great acting on his part.

I have to mention the two girls that played McMurphys friendly to all, friends. I am certain that any man would love to be friends to either of these charming " ladies". Melissa and Sharon certainly were lovely to look at.

The set was simple. A couple of folding chairs and table, with a rocking chair off to the side. This was all that was needed, more would have taken away from the cast.

If you are thinking of seeing this play, please call. The seats were sold out the night I went, forcing many disappointed people to be turned away.

"One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" (26 & 27 October)
The Black And White Theatre, 250 North Main Street, MIDDLEBOROUGH, MA
1 (508)947-7833

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide