I got three things to say about last night production of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” at Newark’s Chapel Street Player, on well … Chapel street.
Directing. You can’t see it, but I am standing in front of my computer, clapping. Bravo Brian Touchette and Susan Boudreaux. Just beautiful. You said you’ve been wanting to direct this play for more than four years; I can only guess it’s been etching at the back of your mind just as long. Your retelling of the archetypal Christ story was superb (I won’t get into a whole archetypal criticism discussion, but just know Mr. Touchette and Ms. Boudreaux get it). The pacing was excellent and the production consistently interesting.
Set Design. According to the program, Mr. Touchette also designed the set. Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. I’m flat out of superlatives. I am clapping so loud; my poor Dachshund is howling from all the noise; it is 0612 Sunday morning. The set is superb. It is a standalone work of art. Mr. Touchette and Ms. Boudreaux’s use of vertical space by putting the nurse’s station physically aloft from the patient area helped create a sense of isolation for both the nursing staff and patients. The set itself was actually a member of the cast.
Tech. tech, tech. The tech was simply great. Shout out to everyone. From Set decoration and effects to the painting of the floor and everything in between It was boffo. The tech design and execution had the effect of deepening the overall story and creating an ambience that complemented the story, set design, and subtext.
I guess that’s it. Oh, the acting was the usual Chapel Street high standard. It was excellent. I won’t go into any great detail about who did what, because well, that’s not what I want to write about this time and I’m running out of gas.
With that being said, I have to confess admiration for Andre Wilkins – I love watching him act. He does so many things well. His physical schtick is always a blast.