Monday, March 9, 2015

"One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" - Chanticleer

"There's such alot of things that are true, even if they don't really happen."

Think about the truth in that statement.

Can a group of men who individually have problems with their everyday lives learn to help themselves and each other? The answer can be found at the Chanticleer Community Theater this weekend in the current show, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest".

In the domineering and demanding role of Nurse Ratched, Debbie Bertelsen is wonderful being despicable and overbearing tyrannical ruler in this group of dysfunctional men. As one character states about life in this room, "You'll be safe as long as you keep HER temper."

Even with Nurse Ratched the eight men in the mental ward command this stage. In this small microcosm of society, each character has their own individual problems and learns more about themselves and each other as they join together in helping each other.

As the innocent and inexperienced Billy Bibbit who stutters and who still needs his mother's approval, Brandyn Burget is phenomenal.  He perfectly embraces this role. Joseph Eddie excelled in the role of the catatonic Ruckley. Chief Bromden is portrayed by Frank Insolera Jr. as the mute Native American descendant of a peaceful tribe who imparts wisdom through his visions to the audience. As the leader of the group, Randy Vest wonderfully becomes Dale Harding whose problem is having a younger wife with urges, desires, and expectations that he has difficulty fulfilling. Charles Cheswick III as portrayed by David Sindelar was glorious as the wimpy, insecure cowardly lion character. Both Jim Farmer as Anthony Martini and Tom Steffes as Frank Scanlon are marvelous in roles that showed their individual peculiarities while allowing their characters to evolve throughout the play.  Craig Bond is an outstanding in the role of Randle P. McMurphy, the small time criminal who is just searching for an easy way out of prison work and an easy path in life.

The small parts were outstanding with the aides, doctor, hookers all being outstanding even during their short time on stage.

The uncomfortable part of this show is the humanity of the story. Everyone one of us can somewhat see ourselves in at least one of the characters at some time. The use of laughter and making the best out of an unpleasant situation are daily life lessons for everyone.

The support crew is absolutely marvelous with every aspect being perfect in adding to the production rather than being a distraction from the sets, costumes, make-up, direction, sound, lighting, management, and program.

This is one play where I unquestionably expect nominations from the area Theater Arts Guild. I expect much recognition for this particular production.

The stage version of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" is different from both the movie. Both the play and the movie were adapted the novel focusing on the best for each rather than a consistent story..

The actual timing of the show is an hour for each act with a fifteen-minute intermission separating the two. The content of this play is definitely adult oriented and not intended for children.

The show continues this weekend with show times at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and a matinee Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the box office by calling (712) 323-9955. The price of tickets is $ 20 for adults, $ 16 for seniors, and $ 10 for older students. Please keep in mind that this is an adult program.

Which character did you enjoy the most? Which character is most like you?