1700 Washington Avenue The Fillmore Miami Beach (next show only)
Miami, Florida 33139
Performing at Mad Cat Theatre Company, Inc. (Jan 3 - Jan 20)
Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
How do you get a cat to stop spraying while simultaneously using theater to end existential loneliness AND racism? This frequently asked question is tackled by Kristina Wong in her devastatingly hilarious play Cat Lady which will open Mad Cat Theatre Company’s 13th season. Cat Lady explores the parallel worlds of two polar opposite archetypes living at the margins of the dating world — musty cat ladies and the fast-talking male pick-up artists who hunt among them.
Wong, a multi-talented performance artist whose diverse body of work ranges from stand-up comedy to commentary on American Public Media’s “Marketplace” to film documentary and articles in Playgirl magazine, has been called “sassy” and “original” (LA Times), “raucous and irreverent” (AP) and an “Asian American Lily Tomlin” (American Theatre Magazine). Cat Lady is her fifth full-length show, and her first full-length ensemble piece.
A theme uniting Wong’s various performances is her offbeat curiosity and social conscience. Whether it’s exploring the high incidence of depression and suicide among Asian American women (Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) or the contradictions of the bio-fuel movement (Going Green the Wong Way), Wong consistently displays a subversive intelligence and a knack for interpreting the strangeness of our times. Cat Lady, which will be directed this time around by Paul Tei, is no exception.
Wong’s cat, Oliver, and his rash spraying problems was the inspiration of Cat Lady, which premiered as a work-in-progress at the REDCAT NOW Festival in Los Angeles followed by runs in Houston at Diverseworks and at the ODC Theater in San Francisco. In Cat Lady, Wong delves into the psychology behind hoarding - of both animals and humans. Unmarried women who live alone with cats (“cat ladies”) and aggressive pick-up artists commingle in Wong’s pop culture universe which manages simultaneously to draw on VH1 and Martha Graham.
In addition to featuring Wong, Mad Cat company member Ken Clement will be playing Oliver the Cat, along with the pick-up artists Jessica Farr, a Mad Cat company member and Noah Levine.
THE BEGINNING ~ Mad Cat was founded in the fall of 2000 by its artistic director, Paul Tei. After leaving Juggerknot Theatre Co. in 2000, he set out to start his own theatre company and his own rules. It was always a dream for Paul to create a theatre company and form it much like a band, with a core playwright writing original scripts, core acting members, and a team of talented designers rounding out the group. Highly influenced by Steppenwolf’s idea of a core company, that allows the audience to grow with them, and the late night theatre in Chicago, which introduces irreverent pieces that are generally geared to younger audiences. He decided to implement this into his own company and take it from there.
THE NAME ~ Mad Cat. The members felt they wanted a name that represented them and the company. Mad – meaning crazy, insane, and at times angry seemed appropriate in more ways than one. Cat – for several reasons: 1) due to the obsession most of the members have with their own pet cats, 2) the different mood swings of a cat, and 3) they wanted something that sounded like a rock-n-roll band.
INFLUENCES ~ Mat Cat is highly influenced by several areas of art: movies, pop art, magazines, comic books, thrift stores, bowling alleys, pari-mutuels, dive bars and television. We are a theatre company for people looking for an alternative to your mom and pop’s theatre company.
PRODUCTION HISTORY ~ Helluva Halloween, Shepherd’s Pie, Here In My Car, Portrait, Shoot, Seventy Scenes of Halloween, Tin Box Boomerang, Cope, Fell In Love With A Girl, Trembling Hands, Betty's Summer Vacation, Arful Dodgers, Action, Matt & Ben, Waiting for Godot, Painted Alice, Terminal Baggage, Mr. Marmalade, Animals and Plants, Everything Will be Different – A Brief History of Helen of Troy, Mister Beast, Some Girl(s), Mixtape, Broadsword, Viva Bourgeois, Shepherd's Pie at the Colony Theater, BroadSword (again, but this time at the Arsht Center), Going Green the Wong Way (Miami and San Francisco and other places in between), The Preservation Society, So My Grandmother Died, Blah Blah Blah, Macbeth & the Monster, RPM, the Hamlet Dog & Pony Show, Cat Lady and now Charming Acts of Misery at the South Beach Comedy Festival.