This event is in the past.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Portland Center Stage (map) Northwest
Tue., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays-Sundays, 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through March 27 2011

$20 & up

A few years ago, Portland Center Stage produced an original adaptation of Ken Kesey's brilliant Sometimes a Great Notion. But while Notion managed to distinguish itself from both the novel and film versions of that story, PCS' current production of Kesey's equally compelling 1962 novel One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest can't quite crawl out from the shadows of the work that came before it. As the swaggering Randle P. McMurphy, PJ Sosko has the unenviable task of playing a role defined by Jack Nicholson—and while possessing a certain charisma, he never quite resonates as a symbol of all the freedom the men on the ward are afraid to take. Gretchen Corbett successfully conveys a menacing restraint as the infamous Nurse Ratched, and if Tim Sampson seems born to play the role of Chief Bromden, it's because he basically was: His father played the same part in the film. Bromden's oppression, Ratched's pinched authoritarianism, and McMurphy's oversized spirit never quite line up, as though each actor is acting on a slightly different stage. It's the stage itself that offers the show's best moments: Now and then, the shadows hit right, the ward thrums like a machine, and a heavy sense of menace and claustrophobia sets in—but otherwise, it's just a bunch of loveable crazies, playing basketball in a psycho ward. ALISON HALLETT

Portland Center Stage

128 NW 11th, Portland, OR 97209
503-445-3700
http://www.pcs.org/

Event Times
This event is in the past.
  • Tue., Feb. 22, 7:30 p.m., Tuesdays-Sundays, 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Continues through March 27 2011