Review: 4.48 Psychosis by NoExit

Georgeanna Smith plays the central character in 4.48 Psychosis, a stunning performance that mesmerizes the audience.

3.5 stars

NoExit Performance; Big Car Gallery;

directed by Michael Bachman; through March 5.

Brutal and beguiling, 4.48 Psychosis,

is not for the faint of heart, nor the thin-skinned of wrist. It’s

one of those plays that’s already in progress when you arrive

at the theater. No one comes out to welcome you, invite you turn off

your cell phone and note where the nearest exit awaits in case of

disaster. It’s just Georgeanna Smith, the central character in

this piece, staring at you as you come in. Making eye contact with

you as sit. And as you squirm.

Playwright Sarah Kane wrote this free

form poem — no stage directions, scenes or characters defined —

and, soon after, she killed herself. Suffice to say, if suicide has been

part of your world, then this play will either push the right buttons

or smash the wrong ones.

In a stunning performance, Georgeanna

Smith inhabits the pain, angst and occasional comedy of a psyche in

disintegration; she’s mesmerizing. Tommy Lewey is a fine

complement, choreographing the movement and appearing on stage with

Smith in various capacities: boyfriend, doctor, shadow.

The cast includes Matt Goodrich and

(NUVO contributor) Katelyn Coyne as a tapestry of voices that inhabit

the back of the theater — and the inside of the main

character’s mind. Director Michael Bachman makes sure the play

doesn’t last TOO long, and adds much-appreciated moments of

humor and relief throughout. Additional performances: Feb. 25, 26,

27; March 3, 4, 5.

For tickets and information: 339-0911.