Sick

Elizabeth Kenny’s one-woman play about her experiences with psychopharmaceuticals is punctuated by a bell, controlled by her onstage assistant, Tina Kunz Rowley. Kenny delivers a series of brief monologues, each one interrupted at a climactic point by the dinging of the bell that forces her to move on to the next episode. The bell is brilliant, and I fantasize about every Seattle stage production having one. It urges Sick forward at a fast pace and leaves you wanting more from each vignette. Indeed, there’s never a dull moment in Kenny’s funny and moving story, directed by John Kazanjian. After she begins taking hormonal medication to combat ovarian cysts, Kenny feels depressed—a side effect that leads her to Paxil, which leads her to more side effects, which lead her to more psychotropic drugs (not to mention her self-treatment with tequila and cocaine). Over nearly two years, she was diagnosed with, among other things, depression with psychotic features, schizophrenia with hallucinations, and bipolar II disorder. While she’s quick to acknowledge the complexities of mental-health treatment, Kenny’s story is a damning one that should be seen by psychotherapists, the pharmaceutical industry, and you. BRENT ARONOWITZ Re-re-extended: must close June 25.

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: April 9. Continues through June 25, 2011

 
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