The Year Or Dead Cats
WORLD PREMIERE – SUNDAY, JUNE 16
STAGE LEFT STUDIO
DIRECTED BY CHERYL KING
A SURREAL JOURNEY
A SLAPSTICK COMEDY
AN EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER
A JAZZ IMPROVISATION ABOUT LIFE, DEATH & LOVE
BUT MOSTLY ABOUT LOVE
IF YOU ARE A MOTHER OR A DAUGHTER
IF YOU KNOW A MOTHER OR A DAUGHTER
IF YOU HAVE A FAMILY
IF YOU KNOW ANYONE WITH A FAMILY
THIS IS THE SHOW FOR YOU – IT’LL CHANGE YOUR LIFE
Erica Herd and L.E. Swenson’s breakout comedic masterpiece, THE YEAR OF DEAD CATS, will have its World Premiere on Sunday, June 16th at Stage Left Studio (214 West 30th Street – between Seventh & Eighth Avenues – Sixth Floor) where it will play through Sunday, June 30th with the option to continue through September.
Directed by Cheryl King and technically designed by Alex Chmaj, it’s a stunner.
If you are a mother or a daughter, if you know a mother or a daughter, if you have a family, if you know anyone with a family; this is the show for you.
It’ll change your life.
THE ROLLER COASTER STORY
THE YEAR OF DEAD CATS is based on a true story; the one about Erica Herd’s mother, Katherine Lind, who was considered one of the best actresses working in New York during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Trained at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, the Goodman Theatre School, the Neighborhood Playhouse and the Herbert Berghof Studios, she was gorgeous, talented and a magnate for the adoring reviews heaped upon her graceful and beguiling head. Off-Broadway, she starred in I Am A Camera, The Diary of Anne Frank, Under Milkwood and The Seven Year Itch. She toured Nationally in A Little Night Music and (with the Helen Hayes Repertory Company) Hamlet and Twelfth Night. Regionally she was in demand; starring in The Corn is Green, The Glass Menagerie, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You like it, Hay Fever, Pygmalion, King of Hearts, Picnic, The Fifth Season, Solid Gold Cadillac and Julius Caesar. Her portrayal of ‘Countess Livenbaum’ in Anastasia was so well reviewed, the North Jersey Playhouse invited her back the following season to star as “Natalia’ in their Mainstage Production of I Am A Camera. Her final performance in New York was in 1975 when she starred as Elizabeth I in Elizabeth the Queen, Maxwell Anderson’s theatrical pas de deux of jealousy and power verbally danced by an omniscient queen and her royal favorite, an ambitious handsome general. The reviews were love letters.
Then it all stopped.
Replaced by schizophrenia and eventually Alzheimer’s disease.
THE YEAR OF DEAD CATS begins on January 2, 2011 when Erica Herd’s 14-year-old cat, TULA, has been put to sleep after a valiant struggle with what her veterinarian believes to be lupus. All of TULA’S teeth were extracted, but she was able to enjoy paté almost until the end. TULA is survived by her feline companions, CLEO, MELVILLE and MOUSE, and her human caretakers, Lorin and Erica.
In the midst of numerous trips to the veterinarian and thousands of dollars in veterinary bills, Erica starts getting calls from her mother’s landlord in the Bronx where Erica’s Mom has been living in the building’s basement apartment. Katherine Lind has been on disability for mental illness since 1980. The landlord has instituted an eviction notice. He is the fifth in a long line of landlords and tenants whom Erica’s Mom has accused of trying to poison her.
Thus continues THE YEAR OF DEAD CATS, 2011, a year that includes Katherine Lind’s attempt to set her landlord’s apartment on fire, a car crash, a certifiable neurologist at the NYU Medical Center, Dr. Oliver Wolf Sacks, a court hearing at the Brooklyn Office of Temporary And Disability Assistance, Hurricane Irene and the untimely deaths of CLEO (a large mass on her belly), MELVILLE (myocardial infarction) and MOUSE (stomach cancer).
2011 is also the year that marks the first time Erica Herd diapered her mother.
It is also the year that marked the first draft of Erica and L. E. Swenson’s play, THE YEAR OF DEAD CATS, a celebration of life and the transcendence of suffering that unconditional love offers to those open to its invitation.
Erica’s Dad, the great character actor and film star, Richard Herd, says that Katherine Lind was “very gifted and talented and one of the best actresses I ever saw.”
So is Erica Herd.
STAGE LEFT STUDIO
(214 West 30 Street
between Seventh & Eighth Avenues
THE PLAYING SCHEDULE
Sunday, June 16 at 2:00pm
Wednesday, June 19 at 7:30pm
Thursday, June 20 at 7:30pm
Friday, June 28 at 7:30pm
Saturday, June 29 at 7:30pm
Sunday, June 30 at 5:00pm
TICKETS – $20
RESERVATIONS – www.stageleftstudio.net