Letter: ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’
Theater and the arts, generally, get a fair amount of attention in our valley. The quality varies greatly but intentions are always good. Being a former New Yorker, I place a very high emphasis on the arts and used to attend theatrical productions in NYC every week and, at times, more frequently. I was raised in a family deeply enriched by music, theater and art.
On April 15, I attended the Sopris Theater Company’s production of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” I had never read the book nor seen a stage production of it. I loved the movie, but who didn’t? The question was how one could bring such a story to life on the stage. The casting pool is limited. Production resources are limited. Budgets are limited. The one thing that was not limited was the cast’s dedication and theatrical prowess.
They came from all walks of life: college kids studying theater, college kids not studying theater, young and old(er) members of the community experienced in stage performance and others who’d never graced the stage before. The real magic happens when someone with exemplary skills brings this somewhat disparate group together and makes utter magic of the whole affair.
The production did not follow the movie, nor did it need to. One could easily appreciate it knowing nothing of the story. The characters sprung to life because the cast cared deeply about exactly what it is they were to portray. They worked hard, rehearsed frequently and the results were, quite frankly, extraordinary. Many of the cast portrayed patients with serious mental disabilities and they were remarkably convincing. I felt a depth and relationship with all of the major characters, which I would admit is rare for me.
I literally would have paid five times what I did to see a production of this caliber and have when I lived in NY. The final performances are this weekend. Go. This is a must see.
Michael D. Levine