A Wave Review - RTC Audiences Cuckoo Over ‘Nest’
The Rockaway Theatre Company’s 2005 season of great theatrical entertainment is presently in full swing. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, written by Dale Wasserman and based upon the classic Ken Kesey novel, opened at the Post Theater in Breezy Point on June 10 and just one weekend into the show’s three week run, it has already garnered tremendous audience acclaim.
The production features an exceptional cast of actors. The role of Randle Patrick McMurphy, immortalized in the movie version by Jack Nicholson, is skillfully portrayed by Roger Gonzalez, a talented actor with experience on many community theater stages. His nemesis, the controlling and calculating Nurse Ratched is played by the lovely and talented Lynda Browning. While offstage the actress appears to be nothing like her evil stage persona, her performance is intense. Lynda told us, “I must be doing something right, I’ve been booed at every curtain call” The show boasts an incredible cast of eighteen very gifted actors each of whom would receive individual acclaim were it not for space limitations.
Michael Wotypka, the play’s director, says, “This is a superb group of actors. They work beautifully together and the chemistry on stage is excellent. As a high school English teacher, presently teaching at Goldstein H.S. in Manhattan Beach, I have taught the novel many times. The play is, therefore, quite near and dear to my heart and I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to direct it.”
The actors are not the only ones responsible for this incredible evening at the theater. The show’s fantastic tech crew, consisting of Andy Nellen, Frank Caiati, Eric Fitzgerald, Diane Agnelli, Rob Press and Herbert Villanueva, (just to name a few),has created an amazing set which takes the audience inside what appears to be an actual mental institution. Sound and lighting effects, provided by RTC veteran, John Henshon and RTC newcomers George Woods and John Palmieri, are both dazzling and eerie.
According to John Gilleece, The Rockaway Theatre Company’s Artistic Director, “We are all thrilled to be able to offer such a fine production of this memorable play as the kick-off of what we know will be the RTC’s finest season yet” The season is off to a great start with this June production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and continues with My Fair Lady, July-Aug., Arsenic and Old Lace, Aug.-Sept., The Rockaway Café 2005 (An annual RTC musical variety event) Sept.-Nov. and Little Shop of Horrors in December.
For the Rockaway Theatre Company, the 2005 season marks its eighth year of bringing quality live entertainment to the Rockaways and to theater lovers in the entire tri-state area. Previous seasons have included such great musical classics as Once Upon a Mattress, Nunsense, Guys and Dolls, Pajama Game, Fiddler on the Roof and last season’s blockbuster production of The King and I. There were also such great comedies as, You Can’t Take It With You, Come Blow Your Horn, Lend Me A Tenor, Barefoot in the Park, The Good Doctor and Send Me No Flowers. If you have never seen a Rockaway Theatre Company production, you are missing some of the finest theatrical productions that local Community Theater has to offer. It is an opportunity to see Broadway-quality plays, stress-free and at a fraction of the cost.
The R.T.C. performs, in partnership with the National Parks Service, at the newly heated and air-conditioned Post Theater located at Fort Tilden, Gateway National Recreation Area, in Breezy Point, NY. The comfortable facility is handicap accessible and features plenty of free parking.
“I am very proud to have worked as a theatrical consultant on this play, the cast was a joy to work with” gushed Peggy Page. Peggy, a founding member of The Rockaway Theatre Company invites readers to visit the Post Theatre and see this excellent production of One FlewOver the Cuckoo’s Nest. “ If you do, you will surely want to come back and see every play in the season line-up.