Who’s the real cuckoo one? ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ opens in Key West

Melody Moore and Ross Pipken star as Nurse Ratched and Randall McMurphy.
Melody Moore and Ross Pipken star as Nurse Ratched and Randall McMurphy.

A classic battle of authority vs. individualism takes the stage in Key West for the rest of this month.

TheatreXP takes over the Red Barn Theatre for its production of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” forever ingrained in culture by the movie of the same name with Jack Nicholson as faux psych patient Randall McMurphy and Louise Fletcher as the hated Nurse Ratched. In 1976, the movie won Oscars for best film, best actor (Nicholson), best actress (Fletcher) and best director (Milos Foreman)

The story: Nurse Ratched has ruled the psych ward in this Oregon hospital for more than 20 years with an iron fist disguised as a helping hand. Has she met her match in Randall McMurphy, a criminal faking insanity to stay out of prison?

Living a shadow life of strict routine and few distractions, the inmates of the psych ward are about to have their boring world turned upside down with the arrival of McMurphy, who takes on Ratched head-on.

Melody More plays Ratched and Ross Pipkin is McMurphy. Karl Stahl is the seemingly catatonic, deaf and dumb Chief Bromden, a Columbia River Native American who will find himself attached to McMurphy in life-changing ways. No spoilers here; listen to their conversations.

Also in the cast are Matt Hollis Hulsey, Mathias Maloff, Tony Konrath, Lisa Elena Monda and Erica Lee Bigelow.

The runs at 8 p.m. through July 23 at the Red Barn, 319 Duval St. Tickets for all shows are just $5. Go to redbarntheatre.com.