BWW Review: MR.MARMALADE - Indigestible!

BWW Review: MR.MARMALADE - Indigestible!

MR.MARMALADE/by Noah Haidle/directed by Aubree Bowen/Stuart Rogers' Studios/thru March 31, 2018

The SRS Production Wing is currently reviving playwright Noah Haidle's 2005 hit MR.MARMALADE. Wondering what changed from that hit production to this current most nonsensical, two-hour puzzlement. Wanted so much to buy into the conceit that Lucy, a four-year-old (played with much commitment by the pig-tailed, adult Kaitlin Sullivan), would have such a vivid imagination, with such dire consequences as making herself miserable, unhappy, abused and with child. MR.MARMALADE vividly illustrates Lucy's BWW Review: MR.MARMALADE - Indigestible!imagination in the form of an abusive adult lover Mr. Marmalade (an intense Johnny Wactor) who promises her a trip to Cabo, strikes her, and impregnates the four-year-old. And what Lucy does (in her imagination) to her newborn's simply inconceivable.

When Lucy's teenage babysitter invites her horny boyfriend over for a booty call, he incomprehensibly brings along his five-year-old brother Larry (also played with much commitment by the adult Matt Gardner). Before 'retiring' to the bedroom, they ditch Larry in the living room with Lucy. Lucy convinces Larry to play the same games she plays with her imaginary Mr. Marmalade - having tea, home and doctor. The five-year-old, a suicide survivor, can also see Lucy's imaginary Mr. Marmalade and his personal assistant Bradley.

BWW Review: MR.MARMALADE - Indigestible!Alyssa Rodriguez and Tyler Seiple both shine in their respective roles of Lucy's mother and Mr. Marmalade's personal assistant. Theirs are the play's most realistic roles that Rodriguez and Seiple most believable nail. Seiple also gets the lovely, but inexplicable, opportunity to display his dulcet vocals in "La Vie en Rose." Rodriguez, with her effective comic chops, also scores as Lucy's disinterested teenage babysitter Emily.

Charlie Farrell (with his three, actually four, roles) registers best as the two men that Rodriguez (as the mother and as the babysitter) brings home to bed.

BWW Review: MR.MARMALADE - Indigestible!Would love to see Sullivan and Gardner in some other vehicle essaying roles of their own actual ages. Would love to see the rest of the cast, especially Rodriguez and Seiple, in another show with a sensible, logical-to-follow script. Had to keeping reminding myself that all the dark, demented goings-on were supposedly from the mind of a four-year-old.

Julisa Wright designed the very basic, functional living room set of Lucy and her mother.

Program notes has director Aubree Bowen waxing poetic on this play. Wish I could do the same.

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From This Author Gil Kaan

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