Cat wrecks three lives in ‘Wink’

A missing cat leads to the undoing of the three human characters in Jen Silverman’s “Wink,” a world premiere presented by Marin Theatre Company.

The cat, Wink, was loved by Sofie (Liz Sklar) and despised by her husband, Gregor (Seann Gallagher). Both are separately seeing a psychiatrist, Dr. Frans (Kevin R. Free), about their troubled marriage.

Gregor tells Dr. Frans that, unbeknownst to Sofie, he killed the cat by skinning it and burying it in the garden. However, he saved the skin and keeps it in a box.

As advised by Dr. Frans, Sofie numbly does housework until one day, while vacuuming, she goes berserk.

She strews boxes of cat toys onto the floor and upends the cat perches and even the furniture. For the coup de grâce, she pounds holes in the walls.

When Gregor returns from work, she says an attacker made the mess. In her mind, she calls him Roland and attributes all sorts of disasters to him.

Next, Wink (John William Watkins), wearing nothing but a flesh-colored thong and smeared with dirt, vaults onto the wall.

Soon he moves in on Dr. Frans in a relationship that has homoerotic overtones.

By the play’s end, all three humans are in bad shape, but Wink has departed to go about his cat ways.

As directed by Mike Donahue, the four actors are superb, but special note needs to be made of Watkins’ ability to mimic a cat’s movements even though the character is weird.

The set, which doubles as Sofie and Gregor’s home and as Dr. Frans’ office, is by Dane Laffrey, who also designed the costumes.

Lighting is by Jen Schreiver, sound by Jake Rodriguez and fight choreography by Dave Maier. Daniel Kluger wrote the song that Sofie sings.

Laced with dark humor, “Wink” is preposterous but fascinating.

Running about 75 minutes with no intermission, it will continue through July 7 at Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller Ave., Mill Valley.

For tickets and information, call (415) 388-5208 or visit www.marintheatre.org.

 

About the Author

Judy RichterJudy reviews San Francisco Bay Area theater and writes feature articles about activities of the Stanford women's basketball team and Fast Break Club. A longtime Bay Area journalist, she is retired from the San Francisco Chronicle, where she was a writer and copy editor.View all posts by Judy Richter →