(including one in 2014 at SanFrancisco’s Cutting Ball Theater) and is now in its fully-produced worldpremiere run at the Marin Theatre Company.
That opening line is utteredby Sofie (Liz Sklar), an uptight, upper middle class housewife, to her husbandGregor (Seann Gallagher). Gregor’s cold, emotionless response is a pretty bigclue that something’s amiss. A quick blackout takes us to the office of DoctorFrans (Kevin R. Free) where Gregor admits to offing the cat and worse. The gooddoctor attributes Gregor‘s actions to latent homosexuality and encourages Gregorto take those feelings and just “press them down”. Gregor knows the reason forhis actions go deeper and darker than that.
Dr. Frans is also seeingSofie, who has her own issues and troublesome feelings, which the cluelessDoctor also suggests she simply press down and redirect her energies into ahobby like housecleaning.
And then Wink pops back up(in the person of John William Watkins) and hell hath no fury like a catscorned, or in this case, skinned. He shall have his revenge.
Silverman says her play isabout “the possibility of drastic transformation” and her characters do indeed transform.What lies “beneath the skin” in contrast to how we portray ourselves and howour feelings and sense of being come to the surface are at the heart of herscript, which brought to mind Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage. Both shows have a signature scene of destruction,with Silverman’s scene far less disgusting and far more amusing than Reza’s.
That scene (think of OrsonWelles’ Citizen Kane when Charles FosterKane destroys the bedroom of his soon-to-be ex-wife, and just add lots of cattoys) marks the beginning of Sofie’s transformation and the show leaps into theeven more absurd from there.
Often confusing andfrequently bizarre, it is well-acted and director (and frequent Silvermancollaborator) Mike Donahue keeps things zipping along for its very compact 75minute running time. Watkins absolutely embodies the physicality and attitude of a cat and the otherthree cast members keep their somewhat cartoonish characters grounded.
Ultimately, Wink comes off somewhere betweencutting edge, new-age theater and a bad college thesis production with abudget. There’s one thing for sure – it’s no Cats. Meow.
‘Wink’runs Tuesday through Sunday through July 7 at the Marin Theatre Company in MillValley. Tuesday through Saturday evening performances are at 7:30 pm; there areSaturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 pm.
Formore information, go to marintheatre.org.