8 The Compass Friday, December 5, 1997 Entertainment I Eugene O'Neal photo Members of the cast of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest gawk ai pictures of nude women provided by Randle McMurphy. Cast members are (from left) Bob Abeary, Khalid Baum, Jeff Meads, Shaunell McMillian, Alan Alexander, and Joel Parker. Players ‘score big’ with fall production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Tiffany Newell The University Players have done it again. The season premiere. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, was a smash hit. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a comedy-drama by Dale Wasserman adapted from the novel by Ken Keasey. It is centered around the character of Randle P. McMurphy, a high-strung gambling convict who tries to serve a short sentence in a mental institution rather than do jail time. With solid performances from the veteran actors and newcomers, the pro duction was destined to score big. Shaunell McMillian as the charming rogue, Randle P. McMurphy, gave a stellar performance, as usual. It was hard to distinguish whether McMillian was acting or if he really was as twisted as the character. His skill was espe cially evident in Act Two, when McMurphy and Chief Bromden were pushed on stage in straight jackets. His actions, gestures and facial expressions drew a fine line between sanity and insanity. McMurphy and Bromden were laughing and joking while await ing their fate. McMillian has won audiences' ado ration in several University Players pro ductions, including Of Mice and Men and A Raisin in the Sun. Marsha Lynn Williams gave a fine characterization of head nurse Hatched, who is engaged in a constant battle with McMurphy This becomes appar ent in Act Two when McMurphy and Ratched go head-to-head after Billy Bibbit commits suicide. Although he had very little to say, Lamar Fraiser more than made up for it in his exceptional portrayal of the "deaf and dumb" Chief Bromden. In the opening of the play. Chief Bromden is subdued and child-like and Fraiser does a great job of making the trans formation from the "deaf and dumb" child to the strong man he was before he was institutionalized. The supporting roles of Jeff Meads as Dale Harding, Bob Abeary as Charles Cheswick and Alan B. Alexander as Frank Scanlon, gave the play season ing. These characters were the "acutes" of the mental ward. Their constant bick ering elicited many laughs from the audience. Stacy Brock, an ECSU freshman, did a superb job in her acting debut as the timid Catholic Nurse Flirm. In Act One, Scene Two, Brock races to the nurse's station to avoid McMurph/s sexual innuendoes. Felicia Best, who played McMurphy's "lady friend". Candy Starr, has come a long way since her acting debut in Dearly Departed, in which she portrayed a distraught house wife. Best, who no longer seems as if she's reciting memorized lines, brings her character to life in this play. Joel L. Parker's portrayal of the stut tering Billy Bibbit touched the audience's hearts. Some members of the audience couldn't hold back their tears when Bibbit commits suicide in the last scene. Khalid K. Baum as the hallucinating Anthony Maritini provided comic re lief in the play. He makes the audience laugh with his ridiculous clothing and his imaginary basketball teammate. Samuel Norman as Ruckley was a constant reminder that the play was set in a mental institution and fore shadows the fate of McMurphy. In the first scene Ruckley is sitting on a book shelf with his arms spread as if he was Jesus on the cross. Although the acting was strong, the performance was marred by some mi nor flaws with lighting. The audience may have been distracted by the fail ure to fade the lights for Chief Bromden's flashbacks. Despite the lack of a scene shop, the staging of the play was impressive and realistic. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was performed on Nov. 5,6,7, and 9. The production was directed by Shawn Smith, a professor in the Department of Language, Literature & Communi cation.