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Page 1

MR. E

by Noah Haidle


4M, 2W (doubling)

Lucy is a four-year-old girl with a very active imagination. Unfortunately,
her imaginary friend Mr. Marmalade doesn't have much time for her. Not
to mention he beats up his personal assistant, has a cocaine addiction, and
a penchant for pornography and very long dildos. Larry, her only real
friend, is the youngest suicide attempt in the history of New Jersey. MR.
MARMALADE is a savage black comedy about what it takes to grow up
in these difficulr rimes.

exhilarating . .. alternately hilarious and heartbrea/~ing . .. through the
alchemy ofHaidle's scintillating style" -The New Yorker

"Haidle's fertile imagination has produced a world in which ... reality and
fantas)! collide and intertwine ... [A} roller-coaster saga ... MR. MARMA­
LADE marks its author ... as a name to watch in the future. "

-The Los Angeles Times (Titus)

"... slyly amusing, envelope-pushing . . . Haidle has the courage ofhis convic­
tions, which he has demonstrated in a mature and accomplished play ...
extraordinary . .. " -The Los Angeles Times (Miller)

''Haidle [has} an Albee-like bent for creating character capable ofboth /~ind­
ness and cruelty ... a poignant story [that} runs the gamut Fom hilarious to
heartbreaking . .. " -The Orange County Register

..
Also by Noah Haidle
KITTY KITTY KITTY

ISBN 978·0-<l222-21 42-5
RAG AND BONE 90000

E
DLE


*
n IV\ MAT1STS
PLAY SERVICE

IN C.
DRAMATISTS PLAY SERVICE, INC. 9 "780822"221425

Page 2

MlZ. MARMALADE

(:0l'yrighL ~C) 2006, Noah Haidle


All Rights Reserved


t ~A lJ' I .I( IN: I'rokssiollals and amateurs are hereby warned that performance of
M il . MARMAI.ADE is subject ro paymem ofa royalry. Ir is fully protected under
II ", < "I, )'ril,.llI laws of the United States of America, and of all coumries covered
1,1' dw 11I1<'I'n:tlional Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and
dw 1('.'1 oj' ,he British Commonwealth), and of all coumries covered by the Pan­
AlI1cri(:l1l Copyright Convemion, the Universal Copyright Convemion, the
Ikrll<' (:ol1vention, and of all coumries with which the United States has recipro­
(.,j < \, pyright relations. All rights, including professional/amateur stage rights,
",olioll picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, televi­
.,iOIl, video or sound recording, all other forms of mechanical or electronic repro­
duction, such as CD-ROM, CD-I, DVD, information srorage and retrieval sys­
Icrns and phorocopying, and the rights of translation imo foreign languages, are
srricdy reserved. Particular emphasis is placed upon the matter of readings, per­
mission for which must be secured from the Author's agem in writing.

The English language srock and amateur stage performance rights in the United
States, its terrirories, possessions and Canada for MR. MARMALADE are con­
trolled exclusively by DRAMATISTS PLAY SERVICE, INC., 440 Park Avenue
South, New York, NY 10016. No professional or nonprofessional performance of
Lhe Play may be given without obtaining in advance the written permission of
DRAMATISTS PLAY SERVICE, INC., and paying the requisite fee.

Inquiries concerning all other rights should be addressed ro The Gersh Agency, 41
Madison Avenue, 33rd Floor, New York, NY 10010. Attn: John Buzzetti.

SPECIAL NOTE
Anyone receiving permission ro produce MR. MARMALADE is required ro give
credit ro the Author as sole and exclusive Author of the Play on the tirie page of
all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all
instances in which the tide of the Play appears for purposes of advertising, publi­
cizing or otherwise exploiting the Play and/or a production thereof. The name of
the Aurhor must appear on a separate line, in which no other name appears,
immediately beneath the tide and in size of rype equal ro 50% of the size of the
largest, most prominem letter used for the tide of the Play. No person, firm or
emiry may receive credit larger or more prominem than that accorded the Aurhor.
The following acknowledgments must appear on the tide page in all programs dis­
tributed in connection with performances of the Play:

MR. MARMALADE was originally produced by South Coast Repertory

(David Emmes, Producing Artistic Direcror; Martin Benson, Artistic Direcror)

as part of the Seventh Annual Pacific Playwrights Festival on April 25, 2004.


The New York Premiere of MR. MARMALADE was produced

in November 2005 by Roundabout Theatre Company,


Todd Haimes, Artistic Direcror.


2


MR. MARMALADE received its world premiere by South Coast
Repertory (David Emmes, Producing Artistic Director; Martin
Benson, Artistic Director) in Costa Mesa, California, opening on
April 25, 2004. It was directed by Ethan McSweeny; the set design
was by Rachel Hauck; the costume design was by Angela Balogh
Calin; the lighting design was by Scott Zielinski; the sound design
was by Michael Roth; the assistant director was Joshua N. Hsu; the
dramaturg was Jerry Patch; the production manager was Tom
Aberger; and the stage manager was Jamie A. Tucker. The cast was
as follows:

I.t J( ~y .................... . Eliza Pryor Nagel
Mit MARMALADE Glenn Fleshier
SnOI(ll;" SUNFLOWER Heidi Dippold
BRADI.FY Marc Vietor
I'~MILY ..... .. Heidi Dippold
CEORGE, CACTUS,AMAN Larry Bates
1,ARRY Guilford Adams

M IZ, MARMAl.ADE was originally produced in New York City
II)' IZ()IIII<l:Iholll Thc:ltre Company (Todd Haimes, Artistic
I lilnlor), opcllillg Oil November 20, 2005. It was directed by
rv1.idLI,·1 (;n'iV; the set design was by Allen Moyer; the costume
dcsil'.'1 was by Constance Hoffman; the lighting design was by
Kevin Adams; the sound design was by Walter Trarbach and Tony
Smolenski IV; and the original music was by Michael Friedman.
The cast was as follows:

I. U( ~Y ................................................................ Mamie Gummer

M IZ. MA1ZMALADE .......................................... Michael C. Hall

S( )() KJI ':, EMILY, A SUNFLOWER .......... Virginia Louise Smith

( ;F< lIZ.c ;E, A CACTUS, A MAN ...................... Michael Chernus

I ,AIUZY ................................................................ Pablo Schreiber

BJZADLEY ...... .. .................................................. David Costabile


Z. SMITH REYNOLDS U8RARV

WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY


3

Page 13

led you on. 11 11 \1/ WI'" VIill l' (i.II C ilp.~rairs?
I, 1\ " j I "


LUCY. Yeah. See you at school. (He's gone.) Are you happy?

LARRY. Yeah. Okay. Maybe I'll see you at school.

,1 ' 11 1 "1 ,1 IWi • .!" 11 ­
BRADLEY. Don't be angry with me, Lucy. I'm juSt doing my job.
i· u IIl d 'Iii/III', til ui~~ II.~s it with you, Lucy.
LUCY. I'm not talking to you right now, Bradley. ' .1 /1 , , 111>111 I . '" j l ~ ...d 1' !'(lln. 1ion.
BRADLEY. Let's talk about it over a cup of tea. Do you have any tea? III \ I I' !I ' I, 11 \ /lill I () :,\() ;llld I've got school in the morning.
LUCY. I'm fresh out. It I ,, ' liEWI !il 1I11, (f! /" 11 /,1/1/I,Ii"tie appears. He smokes a cigarette.
BRADLEY. Maybe I have some. (He begins to open his brieftase but ,~ )
Lucy slams it shut.) 'iJ II , ." t/d'.,'1 '·!.'Y /; ,,- lik" ;lllother half an hour?
LUCY. You should leave, Bradley. i 'lil ,1 11 1 I', I ,ll' Y. 1 ( :111 '1. Tdl your mom she can pay me
BRADLEY. We have to get om stories straight, Lucy. Mr. Marmalade
is going to wonder where I've been and if om stories don't match up ' I Ulli\.\ r'hr gor", J

I promise you I'll be in as much trouble as you are. Probably more. I Ait.,~ I ' i A I )I ,,, CoOtI evening.

LUCY. Tell him the truth. I U{;V .1 ilHII',11I w~· w~' rl: having brunch on Sunday.

BRADLEY. Don't be ridiculous. I'll tell him you weren't feeling ' ii ' ~ !Ai ~J\ I \ 1,/\ 1II :. ~ollle lime freed up tonighr. Thought I'd

well and that I made you some chicken soup. (George comes down I, ' j ' 1,\ Ii d 1111 '\ II lu)I.

the stairs, triumphant. Emily follows him.) I II , I, I ~ i " Wldl 111 1,;.

GEORGE. Come here, I need a babysitter. (He pinches her. She " 1 , \l I~ 1 1\ 11\ 1 II ':. YOll 're not happy to see me?

giggles.) ',', l ilt. I , 1111 , II 's !I slirprisc, that's all.

BRADLEY. Okay, Lucy? Please.
I \1'f\ IA I A I )F. Bradky said you weren't feeling well. He

EMILY. Not in front of Lucy.
• 00 u ll )'1 '1\ II/'Ill (; c.hicken soup.
GEORGE. Hiya, Lucy. I Y, , , llI1 lt i f'",~IJ. ) That's right. He did .
LUCY. Hello. ;"-11\ 141\ 1/\ 1/\ 1ll ~. You mind ifI sit?
BRADLEY. You weren't feeling well. I made you chicken soup. II, II.' H'!I'~ I ,
LUCY. (To Bradley) Fine. ~II\ II " I \ 1 i\ I )E. Thanks. (He foils into the couch with a thud.)

I GEORGE. Did you and Larry get along? ' Iii. I dill' ,', III,,, (/rzkes offhis shoes.)
LUCY. Yes. He's a very sweet boy. ji lt" \\1, 1', work ?I
GEORGE. Where is the little shitbird? tv! \I'I\ I \ l /il)I ':. l;lIcking nightmare. You have no idea.

IIII LUCY. He left. 1' 1\ , \ ' ''11 I ltT ll drinking?

GEORGE. What do you mean he left?
li t ~M I{ "I\1./\ () E. I had a few after work to unwind. You
LUCY. I asked him to leave and he left. Unlike some people. ! dd i ,!(' II 1"1\ : I ('v( 'r worked a day in your life,
BRADLEY. Mum's the word. Goodbye, Lucy. (Bradley disappears') J I I " i \ ,.,, 1.11\'1 kll ow.
GEORGE. You're fucking kidding me. ~ I J MA 1(" I'" I 1\ I ) 1-'., No, you wouldn't.
LUCY. No. , I II I! 1\' , 1 '"1 11I :ld L' rhe reservations?
GEORGE. My parents are gonna fucking kill me. He's suicidal, 11\ i( r\ t \ I 1\ 1IF . Reservations for what?
you know. r" t\ I, ,." ( ../w San Lucas. First class across the board.
LUCY. He was suicidal. He's not anymore. M,\ I( r\ I" I 1\ I ) I': . No, I haven't made the reservations yet.
EMILY. I'm sure he's fine, George. \,, \ . ,1\ I"oi ng 1.0 have Bradley do it?
GEORGE. Fuck do you know about it? If there's anything wrong II '" !\ i \11"I"I AI )/ ':. Get off my ass, all right? Jesus. I just got here.
with him I'm gonna sue your ass, you little bitch. (He goes.) 10 i 111 1 I 'I II ', l; I! dOWJl and you just start nagging me about Mexico.
EMILY. Asshole. UCy \\ , '" ',1ill gn illg to go, right?

24 25

Page 14

t'o. ! l{ "IA ltM AI AI >I'.. SIII(, we arc. I'll do it tomorrow, okay? (MI
r1/lll/lI/tillflr up I'm I,it IlIi(:/i,tl.re. Takes out a vialofcocaine. He cuts two
~I: /flil" 1\illl\ II./' II I wenty-dollar bill.)

U JL Y. M I. Marmalade, is that cocaine?
M Ie MARMAlADE. What? I'm sorry. You want some?
I .UCY. No. I don't want any cocaine.
MR. MARMALADE. Suit yourself (He blows a line.) You sure!
This is some good shit.
LUCY. I'm sure. (He blows the second line.)
MR. MARMALADE. Hey, let's play House. "Hey honey, I'm
home!"
LUCY. No.
MR. MARMALADE. That's when you say, "How was work?"
LUCY. I don't want to play House with you.
MR. MARMALADE. And I say, "It sucked balls. But somebody's
gotta fucking provide for this fucking family, you lazy bitch. "
(Silence.) You don't want to play House with me?
LUCY. Not like this.
MR. MARMALADE. What do you mean not like this?
LUCY. When you're drunk and high.
MR. MARMALADE. What? Who's high? This is like a cup of cof­
fee. I don't even feel it. Hey, Lucy, I work twenty hours a day you
know? I gotta stay alert.
LUCY. I'm still not playing.
MR. MARMALADE. Fuck that. I want to play House.
LUCY. I won't play House with you.
MR. MARMALADE. Then let's play Doctor. Come here. My
prostate hurts. I might need surgery.
LUCY. I'm not going to play Doctor with you.
MR. MARMALADE. My prostate hurts.
LUCY. Get out!
MR. MARMALADE. Fine. I don't need this shit anyway. (He strug­
gles to stand up. He opens his briefi:ase the wrong way Everything folh
out. Filthy porno magazines, dildos, whips, drugs, maybe an injlatablt
blow-up doll with the mouth open for blowjobs.) Oh shit. (He gets 0 11
his hands and begins to pick up the magazines and dildos.) These aren'1
even mine. I was just holding onto them for a friend.
LUCY. Get out.
MR. MARMALADE. Okay, okay. Jesus Christ. So sorry to dis·
turbo I'll see you at brunch on Sunday.
LUCY. No you won't.

26

lI e ll ' l l' V ~'11 1l1illC, I swear.

I", II, i t Ih ," " d rq )i:l ccmenr of me?
11 111 1 J'II I1" W illi YOLl,

, I!I I' . Thne's some­

'" ! , ~ Irry?
11 _ ! il U It fll '

I I I, I, !, I , ,1', III II. y, 1hI', "I, i l. Whar's this

FII'l, cI.,, ·;, 11,;11 mea)) he 's fi ve?
" ,,1.1

I , " " '" II L',') t,; r:l'f.y here, Lucy. You're not going
j PII I.II,'1 III IIIIHillc)s lhere's always a compromise.

I'll ( U 1 back at work.
t l",

I )1'" I'll gel help for the drugs. Okay? Lucy? I'm

27

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Page 25

LUCY. I'm sorry George beat you up.

LARRY. No, it was good. I was happy. Because I realized when he

was beating me up that I didn't want to die. And that I wanted to

come by this morning to see if you wanted to play Dodgeball but

I totally understand if you don't because you've gOt company and

all. But the thing is we can do it some other time, because­

LUCY. - I'm going to play Dodgeball with you, Larry.

LARRY. You are?

LUCY. I am.

LARRY. Cool. Okay. I'll just wait outside.

LUCY. Okay.

LARRY. Okay. See you in a minute.

LUCY. See you in a minute. {He goes outside.} Bradley, you can

come back. {Bradley comes back.}

BRADLEY. He certainly was talkative, wasn't he?

LUCY. He had a lot to say.

BRADLEY. You're going to play Dodgeball with him?

LUCY. Yes.

BRADLEY. I think you're going to like it. It's a good game.

LUCY. How do I look?

BRADLEY. You look beautiful.

LUCY. Thank you, Bradley. {Bradley helps her with her coat.}

BRADLEY. Do you want me to stay here?

LUCY. If you would like to.

BRADLEY. I would.

LUCY. Just make yourself at home.

BRADLEY. Okay.

LUCY. So, I'll see you later.

BRADLEY. See you later. {She goes. Bradley walks around the room.

Touches the forniture. Straightem things up a bit. He takes off his

shoes. Sees the La-Z-Boy. Gets on it. Pulfs the lever to recline and then

again to return upright. He does this a couple times, having a hoo-ha

ofa time. We see Lucy outside the houseplaying Dodgeball. She's happy.

Bradley lies back as the lights slowly fade. Maybe Bradley sings during

the curtain calf like in Twelfth Night.}


End of Play

50


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Page 26

LUCY. I was here with you, Larry, but I was still lonely.

LARRY. Oh. Okay. I'll go. Goodbye, Lucy.

LUCY. Goodbye, Larry. (He goes, with his tail between his legs. Lucy

looks at the disgusting room. Sighs and begins to clean up a little. Mr.

Marmalade appears with a trash bag and rubber gloves. He's dressed

immaculately in his suit')

MR. MARMALADE. Good evening.

LUCY. What are you doing here?

MR. MARMALADE. Looks like you could use an extra pair of

hands.

LUCY. That would be nice.

MR. MARMALADE. Allow me. (He picks up the rose from the floor

and gives it to her while on one knee.) A rose for milady.

LUCY. Thank you, fair sir. (She curtsies. He cleans up all the junk

food.) You don't have to clean up, Mr. Marmalade.

MR. MARMALADE. It's my pleasure. Who made this mess?

LUCY. Larry and his plant friends.

MR. MARMALADE. How is Larry?

LUCY. We broke up.

MR. MARMALADE. I'm sorry to hear that.

LUCY. Yeah, right.

MR. MARMALADE. No, really. It took some getting used to, but

I think you were good together. Probably better than you and I

were. He seemed like a good guy.

LUCY. He wasn't. (Mr. Marmalade takes goggles out ofhis briefcase.

Hands them to Lucy.)

MR. MARMALADE. Put these goggles on.

LUCY. I love goggles. (He puts his own goggles on. She puts goggles

on. Mr. Marmalade whips out a large leafblower.) What's that, Mr.

Marmalade?

MR. MARMALADE. It's my SuckBlow 6000.

LUCY. It's really big. (He turns it on and blows all ofthe junk food

off the stage. It's really loud and you shouldn't really be able to hear

what he's talking about.)

MR. MARMALADE. I won it in a poker game.
LUCY. What?
MR. MARMALADE. I bluffed. I only had a pair of twos but I just
kept raising and raising until finally my friend Ramon put up this
SuckBlow. Ramon was never much of a card player. But I think he
was sort of happy to get rid of it because his ex-girlfriend Rita gave
it to him so every time he blew leaves he thought of her. * (He's fin­

36

ished. He turns it off. [IfMr. Marmalade needs more time to get the
stage clean here is some more for him to say: "Rita was a real charac­
ter. She had a tattoO on her upper inner thigh that says 'Slippery When
Wet. ' You're probably wondering how I know that. One night we got
wasted doing tequila shooters and she pulled down her pants in the
middle of the bar, and I'm like whoa, Rita, you're my friend's girl­
friend, I don't want to see your upper inner thigh. But there she was in
the middle ofthe bar with her pants down. Anyway that's how I saw
the tattoo. Their breakup was a real mess, Rita and Ramon's. She
burned most ofhis stuff, even his antique toy collection which he loved

more than anything. Like I said, Rita was a real character. '1)


LUCY. What?
MR. MARMALADE. Don't worry about it. (He puts the SuckBlow

away.) Where were we?

LUCY. We were talking about Larry.

MR. MA.RMALADE. I could talk to him if you want.

LUCY. Let's talk about you. How's work?

MR. MARMALADE. I quit.

LUCY. You quit?

MR. MA.RMALADE. I realized I'm not getting any younger.
What am I doing busting my hump twenty hours a day? Carpe

diem, you know?

LUCY. You look great.

MR. MARMALADE. I went through rehab.


LUCY. Really?
MR. MARMALADE. I did detox in Newark. Then I was in a

halfway house up in New Haven for awhile.
LUCY. That's wonderful, Mr. Marmalade. I'm so proud of you.
MR. MA.RMALADE. My sponsor's an ex-junkie. He was blind.
When he was using he ran out of veins so he shot up in his eyes.
He changed my life. I'm sorry, you don't want to hear about all this

stuff.
LUCY. No, it's fascinating. I can't believe you've changed so much.
MR. MARMALADE. I did it for you, Lucy.

LUCY. Really?
MR. MARMALADE. Of course. It's always been for you. I made

you a pair of moccasins.
LUCY. No you didn't. (He whips out a pair ofhandmade moccasins.)
MR. MARMALADE. What are you, a size three?

LUCY. Three and a half.
MR. MARMALADE. You've grown. See if they fit. (He puts the

37

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