“The Armfeldt matriarch, Desiree’s mother and grandmother of Fredirica is played with just the right touch by Marguerite Mariama…” – Albert Williams, Around The Town, Chicago
“As magisterial Madame Armfeldt, a woman with a dozen “pasts,” Marguerite Mariama delivers no flinty northern Lady Bracknell. Even without the usual wheelchair, she incarnates Wheeler’s wistful, life-proof dowager-courtesan with all her rueful survivor wisdom and a sly smile. Her fully felt “Liaisons” is a sex novel bathed in redemptive nostalgia and minus a single regret…” – Lawrence Balmer, Theatre Chicago
“Madame Armfeldt (an imperious Marguerite Mariama), a woman whose expertly played youthful trysts netted her a country manse and a Belgian Duchy, among other things…” – Caty Sullivan, Chicago Sun-Times
“Madame Armfeldt’s “Liaisons,” too, is an homage to the past tinged with regret, and Mariama is perfect as the regal matriarch reminiscing…” – Karen Topham, Chicago OnStage
“Last week, I took a 24-hour trip to Chicago to experience A Little Night Music, one of Stephen Sondheim magical musicals that reaches deep into the complexities of relationships. It features that memorable song Send in the Clowns. The Theatre was sold out; I think I purchased the last ticket. At the end of the performance, the standing ovation went on for several minutes praising the stellar performance of the actors. Bravos were echoing throughout the Theatre. … Marguerite Mariama playing the role of Mme. Armfeldt, was amazing…her poise, her grace, her delivery impeccable. Her voice touched our hearts. Mme. Armfeldt made us laugh, sigh and believe. It was a great evening indeed… “ – Carmen Smith, Vice President Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering
“…For Sondheim agnostics, though, the pleasures on display here are sparse: Marguerite Mariama as Desiree’s retired courtesan mother radiating world-weary wisdom and Belle Epoque elegance…”
– Hugh Iglarsh, New City Stage
Photo Above: It was my great privilege to have portrayed the matriarch Madame Armfeldt in the Stephen Sondheim Hugh Wheeler musical, A Little Night Music. She was a no-nonsense woman who reminded me of the women in my family. I loved living in her skin for the 8 week run of the show in Chicago.
As an actor, Marguerite Mariama has performed in theatre, film, commercials and print and has won critical acclaim on New York City stages in both ensemble and solo productions. More recently, she narrated the PBS award-winning documentary 70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green. Her Theatre credits include Monody (18th Street Playhouse, NYC); First Kiss (The Samuel Beckett Theatre, NYC) Supper Service at Six (The 5th Avenue Presbyterian Church, NYC); Odyssey Now (Art Institute of Chicago); A Little Night Music, The Greenhouse Theatre – (BoHo Theatre). Film and TV credits include Coming of Age, A Short Break, I Am Pearl James, Hoodlums, My Best Friend’s Wedding, What Women Want, Take No Prisoners, Journal to the 21st Century, The Joe Franklin Show, The Cosby Show, Jazz Central (BET). A contributor to “The Blues” a PBS documentary on the history of blues music, produced by director Martin Scorsese, she made a cameo appearance in director Marc Levin’s segment on Chicago Blues – Godfathers and Sons. A former professor in the City University of New York (CUNY), and education consultant she created Performance Pedagogy® a theory and methodology which intersects the arts (dance, music and Theatre ), arts therapies and educational psychology as a strategy for student personal and artistic development. Marguerite Mariama holds a Ph.D. in Performance Education with a specialization in African American Musical Culture. She is a Southern Illinois University CoLa Distinguished Alumni award recipient and a former Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar. During the fall of 2015, she began touring her latest project the one-woman show, History, Dunham, and Dance – Unwrapping the Legacy: A Multimedia Experience, in honor of one of her mentors Katherine Dunham. Marguerite Mariama conducts workshops and performs worldwide. She is represented by Gray Talent Agency and is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA.