This play did not receive a standing ovation, but I don’t know why. “Sick” written and performed by Elizabeth Kenny, directed by John Kazanjian, recounts the experience of a young woman, suffering from psychiatric malpractice, specifically the tendency nowadays to over prescribe psychiatric medications for physical aliments and the disastrous consequences.
The show illustrates that the best humor is based on profound tragedy. Elizabeth Kenny, was an ace at comedy, tragedy and an innovative approach to a one-person show. Instead of getting up and talking at the audience for one hour, the play had several stand-up monologues, with several interruptions and cues from a woman sitting at the desk with a bell. The bell went off at strategic times, leaving the audience asking for more. The audience was enthralled from the very beginning. The actress, Elizabeth Kenny, was funny, tragic and had a gift for using mundane details to highlight her emotions as she struggles with her over-medication.
I told my partner, that he would have to write the review, because I did not know how I was going to write a few paragraphs about something so flawless, instead, I came home and emailed my neighbor, a professor of psychiatry who has strict views about over-medication, to go see this play, wrote to a few other psychiatrists and friends and told them that this show is a must-see. I would not be surprised if this play enters the canon of socio-political literature, such as “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and changes medical practice as well as government policy. But it was no political diatribe.
“Sick” Produced by Shady Lane Theater, New City Theater, 1404 18th Ave, ( E. Union and 18th) Thurs, Fri, Sat June 23, 24, 25 at 8 pm. Tickets and Info: www.bit.ly/Sick 2011