The timeless story of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of triumph and tragedy within a cruelly run mental institution. We are familiar with the film version. Jack Nicholson is superb in his role as the over-the-top McMurphy, a criminal who is hiding in the nuthouse rather than going to prison. While inside, his antics have the unexpected side effect of helping the patients get a little more "well." However, in the process, McMurphy succumbs to the machinery of the system he was trying to fight and is ultimately destroyed by it. The play version is based on Ken Kesey's classic 1962 novel and was actually first produced only a year after the book was released. Kesey famously did research for this book by working as a night-shift orderly at a California mental institution and ingesting massive amounts of LSD and other psychoactive drugs. This gave him a special insight into the mind of mental patients and conditions at the hospitals. The realistic feel of the story coupled with the fascinating characters Kesey created make this a raw, emotional show. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest runs at Onstage in Bedford, 2819 R.D. Hurt Parkway, through May 23, with shows at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays (and additional 2 p.m. matinees on Saturdays). It is recommended for mature audiences. Tickets are $15. Call 817-354-6444 or visit onstageinbedford.com.
Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m. Starts: May 8. Continues through May 23, 2009