Skip to main content

SummerWorks Reviews: Hot Marmalade and Social Work

Mr. Marmalade
SW Description:
Comparable to an episode of Rugrats on LSD, Mr. Marmalade centres around Lucy, age four, and her abusive relationship with her imaginary friend, a violent, sex-obsessed drug addict. The play examines children pressured into adult situations. Our site-specific production takes audiences on the opposite journey, inside the walls of a kindergarten classroom.

Cast: David Storch, Amy Keating, Katherine Cullen, Sebastien Heins, Ishai Buchbinder, Jason Chinn, Producer: Simon Bloom, Designer: Jon Grosz, Audience Guide/Stage Manager: Ava Jane Markus.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars
My Review: Four year old Lucy knows too much about the sully side of adult life. Her vocabulary is full of phrases she has obviously overheard, and her adult imaginary friend, Mr. Marmalade (David Storch) is a manifestation of what she has absorbed. Absurd and heartbreakingly funny, we laugh at the well-acted performance of Amy Keating (Lucy) as we follow her character around a classroom filled with childish displays of innocence that are in stark contrast to Lucy's worldliness. There were a few times when the audience is forced to move too quickly from place to place and there needs to be more adult-sized seats for those with mobility issues, but for the most part, I appreciated the staging and thoroughly enjoyed this biting satire. Warning: This is an adult play with adult language.

Remaining Performances
St. Mary Catholic School.
20 Portugal Square (one block North of King and Bathurst).
Kindergarten Room 219.
Saturday August 13th 3:00 PM

SW Description: Three overwhelmed Children's Aid workers fight a hopeless battle against an ever-growing stack of cases. To catch up, they speak in truncated language, piling new thoughts upon unfinished ones, only to get stuck even deeper in the pitfalls of paragraphs, moral obligation, failed judgment and hidden self-interests. Borders between clients and caretakers begin to blur.
Cast: Ese Atawo, Miranda Calderon, Jacklyn Francis Set & Costume Designer: Ashley Corley Sound Designer: Lyon Smith

My Rating: 4/5 Star
My Review: Truncated lines reflect the fractured work and lives of the three social workers, and the broken world of their clients. A set cluttered with laundry and hanging newspaper enshroud the women further signifying an eternal Sisyphean connection between the two worlds. Unexpected humour helps to break up the tragic tone of the piece. Wonderful performances by a very talented cast.

Remaining Performances
Lower Ossington Theatre
Saturday August 13th 2:00 PM
Sunday August 14th 4:30 PM
August 4 - 14th
Various venues
Single Tickets $15
Box Office: 416.504.7529


Anonymous said…
I love everything about Mr. Marmalade (best use of kindergarten ever), but again with tastes I can see others being offended and hating it. My friend was lukewarm on it - saying it was interesting but ran too long. A valid point as it was rather episodic.

Popular posts from this blog

donna g's TIFF 08 Coverage: Day 2 aka The Miscasting of Renée Zellweger


Appaloosa wasn't on my "Must See" list of films, simply because my Festival experience is seeing the films without the big stars that may not get distributed. Appaloosa is directed by my love, Ed Harris (who also stars in the film) and has such notable names as Viggo Mortensen and Jeremy Irons. I love Westerns, and an invite to the film had me in line at the elegant Elgin Theatre. While I enjoyed the Marshall (Harris) and his gun-toting, literate sidekick (Mortenssen) battling it out with the bad guy (Irons), I did not enjoy Renée Zellweger in the role of the woman who clings to whatever alpha male is dominating the scene. I kept trying to re-cast her, but it wasn't until I got home that Virginia Madsen's name popped into my head. Virginia would have been perfect and also luminous. Renée may be from Texas, but I wasn't buying her in this one. If you think I'm being harsh everything I've just written was also said by two guys walking behi…

Ross Petty's Sleeping Beauty BFFs: Meet Alexandra Beaton & Taveeta Szymanowicz

Fall/winter theatre favourite Ross Petty Productions is back with another fairy-tale pantomime! This year's treat is Sleeping Beauty-The Deliriously Dreamy Family Musical. The beauty is Kinky Boots star, AJ Bridal and playing her best pals are Alexandra Beaton and Taveeta Szymanowicz of Family Channel's The Next Steps. Taveeta and Alexandra were in rehearsals but took time out to share some insights into their roles.

donna g: Were either of you familiar with pantomime before being cast in Ross Petty's version of Sleeping Beauty?
Taveeta: Yes! I saw Ross's production of Peter Pan when I was in Elementary school. I remember having such a lovely time. I was thus very excited when I was cast in Ross's 2015/16 production of Peter Pan in Wonderland last year. I was thrilled to be cast again this year! 
Alexandra: Of course! Growing up in Toronto, going to the Panto at Christmas  time was a tradition for a lot of my friends. I even saw a few myself.
donna g: You both play Bea…

TIFF16 Day 5: Lion, (re)ASSIGNMENT, Julieta and a monk

Five days into TIFF16 and I'm exhausted. Its a happy tired for most of us who cover the festival, because we love film and we want others to love film too, which is why we share what we've been up to. We want to communicate the passion that is in the air around the central hub at King and John streets, the cinemas, and the stages that show the films and host the conversations.

Yesterday, I began my morning standing in the rush line on Queen Street, around the corner from the Elgin Theatre (called the Visa Screening Room during TIFF) waiting to see if I could get into the public screening of Lion, starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. I was number 78 in the line but I got in and had a bird's eye view of the screen from my lovely single seat next to a column in the balcony.

I rarely cry at the movies, but Lion got me in end. Upon sharing this shocking news on social media some friends of mine quickly let me know that they teared up too. This from a feel good movie where we …