One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
May 30, 31, June 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 2008

Chief BromdenGary Martin
Aide WarrenJames Tully
Aide WilliamsKeith Moser
Nurse RachedJonelle Pionegro
Nurse FlinnAmanda Shellhammer
Dale HardingRalph Schwalm
Billy BibbittDwight Young
Charles Atkins Cheswick IIIGary Boyer
Frank ScanlonJerry Brucker
Anthony MartiniMickey Brown
RucklyJoseph Pionegro
Randle P McMurphyMichael Febbo
Dr. SpiveyLarry Harris
Aide TurkleNick Englesson
CandySyd Stauffer
SandraBecki Wenhold
Production Staff
DirectorRalph Montesano
Stage ManagerCheryl Wenhold
Set DesignRalph Montesano
Set ConstructionDaniel Lewis
Lighting DesignJ Bradley Youst

Cast Photos
Click on any image for a larger version, if available.


Pa. Playhouse's 'Cuckoo' casts a spell

By Myra Yellin Outwater
Special to The Morning Call

June 4, 2008

One of the many reasons to see Pennsylvania Playhouse's well-cast and well-staged production of ''One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'' is Mike Febbo's superb performance as the truculent, cocky, supremely self-confident and street-wise Randle McMurphy. Febbo creates a fascinating character study of this con man turned mental ward resident, who is used to playing the odds and winning, until he comes up against the intractable and authoritarian tyranny of Nurse Ratched, played with deliberate and exaggerated understatement by Jonni Pionegro.

From the moment Febbo swaggers onstage and plants himself firmly in the center of an inane card game, he enlivens the stage with his braying laughter, and his aggressive and menacing stance. Physically and mentally Febbo is up to the game afoot, his battle against the indomitable will of Nurse Ratched. And it is this battle between a rebellious individual and an unbendable system that becomes the glue that holds together this classic drama of individuals being crushed by that system.

Director Ralph Montesano has cast actors who not only click as a well-nuanced ensemble, but who are able to consistently maintain their own pathologies and exaggerate their eccentricities. In addition, Montesano has been extremely inventive in using the Playhouse's long and narrow stage area.

Ralph Schwalm plays the seemingly lucid and well-spoken Dale Harding. Jerry Brucker plays the militaristic Frank Scanlon. Mickey Brown brings a light humor as the delusional Anthony Martini, and Dwight Young brings sensitivity to the role of the ineffectual Billy Bibbit. Gary Boyer brings his own style and complexity to the role of the nebbish Charles Cheswick and Larry Harris is poignant as the inadequate Dr. Spivey, another one of Nurse Ratched's victims.

Comic relief comes in the form of cameos by Joe Pionegro as the automaton Ruckley, just as happy posing as a crucified Christ or a basketball hoop in a hilarious game of basketball, and Nick Englesson as the tipsy guard for hire.

Gary Martin brings pathos and humor to the role of the totem-like Chief Bromden. And Bradley Youst's eerie lighting gives Martin an eerily mystic aura.

''Cuckoo's Nest'' is one of those classics everyone thinks they know. But this production is so well done and absorbing that it not only entertains but emotionally involves the audience in its onstage psycho drama.

''One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,'' 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 6 p.m. Sundays through June 15, Pennsylvania Playhouse, Illick's Mill Road, Bethlehem. Tickets: $20; $17 seniors, students.

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