Sorry, we can't get all crazy for Jump! Theatre's 4.48 Psychosis

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Through Dec. 16

Tickets are $20; call 262-0240 or visit www.jumptheatre.org.

NOHspace, 2840 Mariposa (at Alabama), S.F.

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Pity playwright Sarah Kane. Not because she committed suicide, nor because she did so shortly after writing 4.48 Psychosis, a play about mental illness and suicide. Pity Kane because her tragic demise has led many a small, well-meaning theater company to perform this play with a heavy sense of Purpose and Seriousness, completely undermining the intelligence, wit, and downright bravura that lies at the heart of its messy, uncompromising script. Jump! Theatre's production seems to be pointed in the direction of bringing out other sides of the story besides the gloom and doom, such as having four very different actors parse out the different personalities, fears, and joys of the one woman caught in the middle. But director Rebecca Longworth's other choices, such as having the actors address the audience with stone-cold expressions and highlighting the dense language with random movement sequences, suck the life out of the play. Bless them for caring about the Important Issue of mental illness, but the thrill you should feel from Kane's provocative musing on the "beautiful pain that says I'm alive" feels stilted and dulled instead.

 
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