One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 

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Powerful performances make Open Eye Productions' revival of Dale Wasserman's play, a 1963 adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel, worth seeing. Mark Pracht brings swaggering charisma to rabble-rouser McMurphy, who motivates the other men in the mental institution to stand up and fight back. Manny Sosa, Anderson Lawfer, and Kevin M. Grubb are particularly affecting as three patients involved in McMurphy's power struggle with Nurse Ratched, played by Anne Sheridan Smith as chillingly committed to her convictions. Most of the supporting cast is also strong, and set designer Meghan Gates effectively converts the Strawdog space into an asylum. But the violence is unconvincing, and tension dissipates too quickly in director Christopher Maher's fast-paced staging. --Jenn Goddu a Through 8/11: Thu-Sat 8 PM, Sun 3 PM, Strawdog Theatre Company, 3829 N. Broadway, 773-528-9696, $16-$20.

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