Sometimes a Great Notion Hits Portland

Sometimes a Great Notion, Portland Center StageSometimes a Great Notion, the famous second novel from Pacific Northwest iconoclast Ken Kesey, has been adapted into play form and premiers at Portland Center Stage (PCS), located in Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District. Written and directed by Aaron Posner, the play runs from April 1-27th on PCS’s Main Stage. Kesey’s epic saga of rival brothers, striking loggers, love and betrayal love takes place in the fictional town of Wakonda, Oregon. This is the first stage adaptation of this important fictional work. Marty Hughley, in his review for The Oregonian, calls the play “an artistic triumph worthy of its lineage.”

While Sometimes a Great Notion was critically acclaimed (as was the case with One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), even hailed as a masterpiece upon its release, it was the mythology surrounding Kesey “the man” that ultimately led to his celebrity. Tom Woolf’s wildly popular expose on Ken Kesey and his Marry Pranksters,Ken Kesey 1965 The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, made Kesey into a counterculture icon almost overnight. Then in 1975, Milos Forman made a movie out of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest starring Jack Nicholson (and filmed at the Oregon State Hospital) which went on the win five Oscars. Kesey, who adamantly pushed for Gene Hackman in the lead role, claims to have never once seen the film. Sometimes a Great Notion, which was also made into a successful film (starring Paul Newman and Henry Fonda), is sometimes referred to as “the best Northwest novel you’ve never read.”

Portland Center Stage : 128 NW 11th Ave. (503) 445-3700

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