Mr. Marmalade

Lucy is four years old and married (no, you’re not reading the latest news on the polygamist scandal; this is about the play Mr. Marmalade). Her husband, Mr. Marmalade, such as he is, is imaginary — and very, very busy. He can pencil Lucy in for just ten minutes on one day, only 30 the next. When he does make time to have tea with Lucy, he brings an assortment of bad habits with him, including a cocaine problem that’s fueled by his bipolar disorder. More often than not, he stands her up or sends his personal assistant in to make his apologies. When Mr. Marmalade is a no-show one time too many, Lucy starts to look elsewhere for companionship. Maybe that nice suicidal boy from next door has some time for her.

Noah Haidle’s comedy (in case you haven’t guessed) is a twisted look at adulthood. In between food fights and tea dates with her imaginary friend, Lucy is trying to cope with reality, but it’s all a bit much. Her divorced mom is busy serial dating and doesn’t have time for her. The kid next door wants to kill himself. Oh, and the babysitter seems to have a sadistic side. You can catch this whirlwind of laughs and emotional dysfunction at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Through June 1. Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway. For information, call 713-527-0123 or visit www.stagestheatre.com. $26 to $36.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m.; Wednesdays, Thursdays, 7:30 p.m. Starts: May 16. Continues through June 1, 2008

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Olivia Flores Alvarez