Side Effects May Include…laughter

| January 16, 2013 | Comments (0)

Side Effect May Include….is a thought-provoking play that will have you laughing until you cry, gasping as you recognize your relationship and marvelling at a love strong enough to battle anything.

Seinfeld writer Marc Jaffee and Emmy nominee Eric Coble wrote a love letter to Karen Jaffe, Marc’s wife of more than 20 years. The plot premise is that everything we do has side effects. This is especially true of the medication Karen takes after being diagnosed with early onset Parkinson’s disease.

The press release describes it as “the story of love and devotion in the midst of coping with the heartache of an escalating mountain of pills, dangerous (yet faithful) liaisons, marital secrets revealed, questions of manhood and womanhood, age, and desire.” All of these are addressed by one person, Phil. He’s a middle-aged stand-up comic living a typical, middle-class happy life. His world is rocked with his wife’s diagnosis of early onset Parkinson’s disease.

Andrew J. Pond turns in a marvelous performance in this one man play. He voices all of the characters in ways you find believable and unbelievable. When his daughter tells him about her fears since her mother was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you step into her shoes. When he voices his friend, the Rabbi, you can see the person in your mind. As Phil Andrew manages to pull you across all the emotions he’s feeling in a way that is real, not stage-like.

There were so many times I wished the play wasn’t about Parkinson’s. I realize it has to be connected to some disease, and this really was the disease Karen developed. The problem I see is people won’t give the play a chance if they don’t know someone with Parkinson’s.

What this is really about is the way things change and the way we deal with the change. It’s about managing the side effects of decisions we make and decisions that are made for us. I thought about everything my husband and I have been through in our nearly 15 years of marriage. Through each step there have been side effects we anticipated and some we didn’t. It’s the same thing Phil and his wife go through. It’s the same thing all people in any relationship go through.

Side Effects May Include…is at the Greenhouse Theater (2257 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago) Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons through February 10. Tickets are a very reasonable $25 for general admission and $20 for students/seniors. Make time to see this wonderful, funny, poignant play.

Disclosure:  We received free tickets as part of the press opening. The words and opinions in this post are my own.


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Category: Reviews

About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

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