Cat match (making) fever 

There’s only so much time that a writer can spend alone, holed up in a room working on a novel, before the need for human contact begins to set in. So, Pamela Holm decided to do what any scribe yearning for the company of others would do — she wrote a musical.

The San Francisco-based author of "The Night Garden" and "The Toaster Broke, So We’re Getting Married" admits that while she was tired of being in a room by herself, the quirky comedy "Lovesick: The Cat Allergy Musical" was actually penned as a joke.

"This sort of happened as a lark," she says. "I had this idea for a long time and was waiting for the right music person to come along."

The right person did come along — in the form of Jim Fourniadis, the frontman and guitarist of the punk band Rats of Unusual Size. Fourniadis wrote the music and lyrics for the production, which follows the unfruitful romantic pursuits of Serenity, much to the displeasure of her cat Lucky, played by Steffanos X, the frontman for the band Tom Jonesing.

Holm’s feline musical romp first hit the stage at San Francisco’s Dark Room Theater in 2005, where it was met with much fanfare. Back by popular demand, "Lovesick" returns to its old stomping grounds on Friday, with a few new jokes, but the same medley of outrageously funny tunes, which tackle such topics as suicide by way of over-the-counter medications and the alpha-male tendencies of a certain kitty named Lucky.

"Everything is a bit more polished and professional the second time around," says Holm. I’d say the writing is more confident. The first run was a freight train that went song to song to song. This time the pace has relaxed some."

Holm, who also serves duty as DJ Pixie for Pirate Cat Radio shows "Suspect Advice" and "Pixie’s Bordello," wrote the character of Serenity with the contemporary Bay Area woman in mind.

"She’s in her mid-30s, she would like to be in a relationship, but San Francisco is a really hard place to be a single girl," she says.

Lucky, on the other hand, serves as voice of reason for the lovelorn lead. The mangy alley cat disapproves of Serenity’s Internet trolling for dates and does his best to scare off unfit suitors.

"He’s protecting her in a way. He’s sort of her screening service. It’s funny, now that I think about it Lucky is sort of patterned after my daughter. She would run off anyone she didn’t like," says Holm.

When it comes to finding love, Lucky’s meddling ways certainly make Serenity’s search a difficult one, but Holm insists that the cat is worth keeping around on principle alone.

"If you have to remove something important from your life, you’re probably looking for love in the wrong place to begin with."

Lovesick: The Cat Allergy Musical

When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays; closes May 20

Where: The Dark Room, 2263 Mission St., San Francisco

Tickets: $15

Contact: (415) 401-7987, www.darkroomsf.com

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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