BWW Review: ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST at Ridgefield Theater Barn
On Friday, June 7, I had the pleasure of seeing ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST at the Ridgefield Theater Barn in Ridgefield, CT. This brilliantly written and phenomenally performed dark drama is based on the novel by Ken Kesey and adapted for the stage by Dale Wasserman. Director Kevin Sosbe brings the best out in this strong cast of actors and actresses whose talents blend together well, creating a show that excels in generating intense feeling and emotion from the captivated audience.
The story takes place in a mental hospital that gets quite lively after the admittance of a committed man named Randle P. McMurphy, a character wonderfully portrayed by Fred Rueck whose performance of this central protagonist is so powerful that it feels as if McMurphy is a real person, Fred Rueck truly bringing the character to life. McMurphy comes right into the mental hospital as if he owns it and makes it clear from the start to both staff and fellow patients that his personality commands control and that he answers to no one. This draws the ire of central antagonist, Nurse Ratched who Alicia Dempster intentionally and successfully portrays as corrupt and highly dislikeable.
While the entire cast performs their roles well, some other stand-out performances from this ensemble cast include Sam Bass as young stuttering patient Billy and A.M. Bhatt as a mysteriously interesting patient named Chief Bromden.
Special effects include flashing lights during some of Chief Bromden's monologues, truly creating the feel that there is something not quite right about what is going on in that mental hospital.
Will McMurphy succeed in driving Nurse Ratched crazy? Will Nurse Ratched succeed in provoking McMurphy to violence in order to try to medically justify extreme inhumane measures to deal with his serious behavior? Will the other workers at the hospital take issue with Nurse Ratched's unethical ideas and behavior, stop being her toadies, and rebel against her? Will the other patients in the hospital accept McMurphy as a leader? If so, will McMurphy successfully lead them in a physically violent revolt against Nurse Ratched and her toadies? Come to the show and find out!
For mature audiences, I highly recommend ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST which is scheduled to continue to run at the Ridgefield Theater Barn in Ridgefield, CT., through June 22, 2019. For times and tickets, please go to Tickets