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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 9, 1973)
I y-- ' .' ;
Big Nurse (Jo Hill) and attendants. . .struggle to hold back McMurphy (Bruce Borin).
Cuckoo hovers but misses nest
Review by Jim Gray
Of ton, the role of the director in modern
drama is underrated. As the guiding hand of the
total production, he must be a detached,
objective person who can detect the flaws and
foibles of a production and move to correct
them. He must not be so caught up in the
production itself that he cannot sit back and
appraise its effectiveness.
Kosmet Klub's production of One Flew Over
the Cuckoo's Nest is one example of the way a
generally-good production can be flawed by a
director involved in the pioduction.
Bruce Borin doubles in the KK production
as director and anti hero Randle Patrick
McMurphy. Because of this, he becomes an
emotional part of the cast, leaving the director's
chair for a firmly center-stage spot. This
destroys perspective, allowing problems to
creep into the production.
Make no mistake about it, however. Borin is
smashing as an actor. He devastatingly blasts his
way through the heavy charactered McMurphy,
a robust strong willed sane man injected into an
insane asylum. Borin displays amazing
versatility, varying from the strongly violent to
deeply introspective, a mix that seems hard to
beat in his part.
And other individual actors do singly
excellent jobs in their roles. Jo Hill is
exasperatingly perfect as the stereotyped Big
Nurse who runs the asylum with an unyielding
anesthetic hand. Underplaying seems to be the
key to her success, as she deftly forces a
Colgate invisible shield between herself and the
rest of the cast and the audience,
Even the extremely minor characters-Steve
Shelley and Glenn Cox as institutional aides
and Kristy Ortman and Barb Barron as
partygirl-sluts are excellent on the other
pole-stereotyped, but acceptable.
It n somewhere in between the two outside
gpoups of characters that Bonn's director-actor
d;lemma becomes apparent - in the secondary
characters. In watching the production it
becomes apparent that Borin was not able to sit
in his offstage and on-stage chairs at the same
Places where a detached director's hand
would have helped immeasurably were
all too-visible in the inmates of the asylum.
Without this influence childlike Billy Bibbit
(Mark Nachtigal) becomes hopelessly overdone,
sputtering his stutters like a whiney Porky Pig,
embarrassing the audience almost as much as
Scan Ion (John Murphy), Martini (Jack
Mason) and Harding (Tom Chadderton) all have
moments of shining glory but fail to give
consistent, understandable performances or
sustain well-developed characters.
And what should be the most vital and
vibrant character, Chief Bromden (Lynn
Lockwood), becomes stoic deadwood, ignoring
the changes which must come about for him to
escape the tyranny of the institution-combine.
It would be difficult to pm these character
problems on the script. Dale Wasserman's
adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel is, for the
most part, faithful to the insane tone of the
original pea green institution. In fact, the script
keeps many of Kesey's wildly clever lines
intact. There is little doubt, on the other hand,
that the adapatation is a well-structured play,
not just an adapted novel.
The blame here lies with the direction, or
rather the lack of it. A detached, objective
director might have been able to detect the
deficiencies in his characters. He might have
been able to sustein the intensity and pace set
by the well-staged fight scenes.
He might even have corrected the tones and
innuendoes the cast put into the final scene
which made the audience miss Kesey's original
point-that the Big Nurse had been beaten; that
institutions can be escaped.
But as it was, Borin was too involved as an
actor, the key actor, in the drama. This factor
destroyed his perspective and makes what could
have been an excellent production only good.
As it is, Kosmet Klub's One Flew Over the
Cuckoo's Nest is an interesting production, It's
just nothing special.
Borin. ..chortles during
One Flew Over the
banjo pickin ' Friday
Don't forget to wash your ears during your bath this week,
'cause you'll be needing them Friday night. That's when
bluegrass musician Bill Monroe and his band will give a concert
beginning at 8 p.m. in the East Union.
The free concert is the last of three sponsored by the
Nebraska Union Concerts Committee. The first featured blues
with Muddy Waters and his band and a local blues band,
Cotton. The second was jazz in the form of Herbie Hancock s
band plus some local jazz musicians headed by Vic Lewis.
But don't take too long cleaning your ears or you might
miss the local warm-up band, which would be a mistake.
Opening the Friday show will be The Bluegrass Crusaders.
Monroe has been responsible for changing the sound of
bluegrass music as well as for providing a honing ground for
many of the big names of bluegrass music.
Born in Kentucky, Monroe went to Chicago in the early
1930s where he worked for about five years and formed a
band with his brothers, called, naturally enough, The Monroe
othnre Thoir first remrd was made in 1936. Later Monroe
split up with his brother and formed his own band, Bill
Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys.
After working around awhile they went to Nashville and
wrangled a spot in the Grand Ole Opry. Monroe had developed
the mandolin into something more of a lead than a rhythm
instrument, as it had been used in a lot of folk music. The
sound created by it, along with his unique high tenor voice,
made the group a phenomenal success.
In 1945 he hired Lester Flatt to sing lead for him. Shortly
after that Earl Scruggs joined too. (At that time, of course,
neither Flatt nor Scruggs had gained the fame they now have.
In short, they got their starts with Monroe.)
Probably the most significant change in the bluegrass sound
occurred while Scruggs was playing in Monroe's band; Scruggs'
playing brought the banjo up to the status of the fiddle and
mandolin as a lead instrument. Although many banjo players
were heading in the same direction, Monroe gave Scruggs the
chance and exposure to make his new style of playing an
experience for many audiences.
Scruggs left the group in 1948. Shortly after that Flatt left,
In the mid-1950s the advent of rock 'n' roll in Nashville
made life tough on the strictly bluegrass musician. And
television, of course, meant the end of live radio, which had
been Monroe's mainstay. Although Monroe continued
recording, his records were considered too country for radio.
So, although his fans continued to buy his records, money was
scarce and it became tough to keep a band together.
Then two things happened which probably headed
Monroe's career-and bluegrass in general-up again:
-The national "folk song revival" which began in the late
-A revival of interest in string band music in the
Besides some of the musicians named above, many country
and rock musicians have played in Monroe's band before
moving on. Among them are such respected musicians as
Vassar Clements, Byron Berline, Bill Keith, Pete Kowan ana
k Richard Greene.
Call KUHL INSURANCE AGENCY
for Auto and Motorcycle coverage.,
even if you've been refused, cancelled
or need an SR22 filing.
309 North 27th
i Minimum iiwwwwwawjiwjiiijiiiiiiiMBi4w'iiui)iiiA4Jiui.iM.)
If you are planning on quitting school after
this term or if you will be graduating this
year . . . and you are looking for a good job
(U.S. or Abroad) . . . Help is available . . .
For FREE information on student assistance
send self-addressed STAMPED envelope to:
National Collegiate Placement Service,
Registry Center, Box 6580, Sacramento,
monday, april 9, 1973
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