Mr. Marmalade

Four-year-old Lucy (Heather Ann Smith) is learning that boys are impossible. She wants to play house; they’re content with doctor. Her pal, Larry (Walter A. Lutz Jr.), cops to being a suicidal robber of piggy banks and too eagerly strips down to his Spider-Man skivvies. Her imaginary friend, Mr. Marmalade (Scott Brady), is the worst. He batters his assistant (David Jay Barry), checks his BlackBerry all through teatime and blows her off with “This week is terrible — maybe we could do sushi?” Why Lucy conjures up an abusive, coke-head playmate is left for her future therapist. Noah Haidle’s savagely funny comedy is interested in the love triangle that unfolds violently while distracted Mommie Dearest (Deborah D’Ottavio) is out with her latest stallion (Michael Wilson). With two pretend pregnancies and several black eyes, Haidle and director Stephen Ferguson integrate adult humor with a keen kids’-eye view. (When Lucy and Mr. Marmalade slow dance, she rests her feet on his.) Oversize performances complement the quirky tone, particularly Brady’s go-for-broke bastardy, and Smith’s scorned romantic, who acts out with a petulance recalling Pee-wee Herman’s. Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m. Starts: Feb. 22. Continues through March 29, 2008


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