Sex, porn, satire, a talking cactus, and Suck-Blow 6000. You want it, Mr. Marmalade’s got it.Mr. Marmalade is a contemporary dark comedy, written by Noah Haidle, and put on entirely by Castleton seniors.
It is the story of Lucy, a lonely 4-year-old who elaborately acts out disturbingly adult fantasies with the help of her dysfunctional imaginary friends – al la Jerry Springer.
The nine seniors running this year’s Senior Project will take you on a powerful journey of dysfunctional working class America through the eyes of not so innocent children.
“The strength of the show is that it uses the audience’s own knowledge against them,” said Chris Piechuta, who plays the role of Bradly, the flamboyant, abused imaginary personal assistant.
At times it’s hard to remember that Lucy, played by Heather Barnes, is only 4 because her fantasies range from playing “doctor” and candle-lit dinners to adultery and cocaine addiction.
Barnes does a phenomenal job capturing the character of Lucy. She is transfixing, and a completely convincing actress. Just when you start to forget Lucy is 4, Barnes’ brilliant acting subtly reminds you that ‘wait, she’s only four!’
Barnes is complemented by Julian DeFelice, who plays Mr. Marmalade, Lucy’s abusive, strung out imaginary friend/love interest. DeFelice is explosive. His ability to play a character that shifts through strikingly different personalities as the show progresses is instrumental in maintaining the momentum of Mr. Marmalade.
“I’ve never played a character this evil,” said DeFelice
Bob Pelletier plays Larry, a 5-year-old boy repeating pre-school because he committed petty larceny and attempted suicide. Pelletier is quite convincing as Larry. His diction and mannerisms mirror that of a small child.
While Mr. Marmalade can be down right disturbing in spots, it is nonetheless a comedy.
Comic relief is abundant from Michelle Page, who plays a rather silly imaginary plant, as well as Lucy’s absent mother and Emily, the babysitter who is worried about her breasts coming in.
Adam Desaultes plays several small roles that are equally amusing and further build the overall satire of the show. It is hard not to laugh out loud when the characters make cracks about the healthcare system, and a cactus and a sunflower start a food fight with stolen 7-Eleven junk food.
“There will be on stage here, for the first time — Dildos!” theater Professor Harry McEnerny said proudly.
McEnerny, while chair of the theater department and faculty advisor for the project, is not directing this show or actively involved with it. For those of you unfamiliar with the senior project, it is a theater course in which students pick, direct, manage, and perform a production with minimal faculty contribution.
“We’re here to support. Not to lead,” said McEnerny.
“It’s the Senior Show put on by seniors,” said Tirzha Osmun Palmer, director of Mr. Marmalade. “We want this to be our great last show . this group of actors is amazing.”
There are eight seniors enrolled in the course, and a handful of volunteers that help out. Each takes on multiple jobs in the production. Actors are also responsible for technical aspects of the show, like lighting, music and costume design.
Mr. Marmalade transcends genre. In just over an hour, the cast will take you on a disturbing and hilarious journey that will entertain you, disturb you, make you laugh, and make you wonder if you should laugh.
There are many reasons to see the phenomenal train wreck that your fellow Castletonites bring to life. Strong acting crossed with controversial subject matter creates an entertaining show that you won’t want to miss. Besides, what else are you going to do on Monday or Tuesday night? Plus it’s free. Indulge your curious side!
“It’s not your typical play at CSC,” said DeFelice
So make the walk across campus (it’s not that far); take your mind off of homework and beat the Monday night blahs with Mr. Marmalade.
“It is everything that makes good television,” said Piechuta.
Except it’s better than TV. It’s live.