One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest | Constellation | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 21 2010
Price: $10-$12
It makes sense that Dale Wasserman wrote stage adaptations of Cervantes's Don Quixote and Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Both novels center on men who tilt at windmills. In the case of Cuckoo, the man is Randle McMurphy, a petty criminal and low-end bon vivant who thinks he's playing it smart when he evades prison time by acting crazy and getting himself committed to a psychiatric hospital. There he encounters his windmill in the form of head nurse Ratched, who maintains her authority with an iron hand and evil mind games. Dating from 1963, the play offers a window into some emerging preoccupations of the period: antiauthoritarianism; minority rights; the shifting lines between sanity and madness, progress and regression, freedom and subjugation. But this debut production by the Consortium Project doesn't supply the best view. Though some supporting roles are nicely acted and S.A. Soltero is impressive as tormented Chief Bromden, Evan Absher fails to charm as McMurphy and Tracy Wray fails to intimidate as Ratched. --Tony Adler



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