Friday, January 22, 2010

My final traveling shows: HAMLET & ALL'S WELL in Orlando!‏

My dearest friends and family -

Happy 2010! I hope all is well with all of you - if we haven't spoken in a while, please drop me a line to let me know how you're doing!

Okay, so I know this may come as a shock to most of you, but I'm retiring from the traveling life. THAT'S RIGHT! I'm ready to hang up my wandering shoes, getting married, and nesting in Washington, DC!

So, if you've ever had the urge to travel to any place other than DC to see me in a show, now's your last chance. HAMLET (in which I'm playing Ophelia) opens next Wednesday, January 27, at Orlando Shakespeare Theater (in Orlando, FL), and will run in rep with ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL (in which I'm playing the lead, Helena) through March 14. I can't think of two better productions with which to tie up the vagabond portion of my career.

More info is here at

And yes, I slipped it in there that I'm getting married! My wonderful fiancé's name is John Coleman - he's the wine & cheese buyer for Balducci's - and we're having the ceremony on October 23 of this year in a remote location of the Outer Banks, NC. I'm blissfully happy and can't wait for the big day.

I hope 2010 is treating you all just as well!
Big hugs and lots of love to all of you,

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Where the heck am I? In DC!

Hey there, my marvelous friends and family!

Me as Jessica and Bruce Nelson as Salvador Dali in HYSTERIA at Rep Stage.
Photo by Stan Barouh:

I was trying to remember how long it’s been since my last MarniWatch, and a quick check of the blog shows it’s been FIVE MONTHS! My life has completely turned upside-down and backside-up since then, and the upshot is that I’m doing great and busier than ever.

I toured around Europe in August with my dear friend Brittney Rentschler, visiting friends and family in England, Ireland, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy… Now I’m back with a vengeance, and relocated back down to DC, potentially permanently… it’s made me very happy! (My parents are certainly thrilled.) ;)

I’ve just opened Terry Johnson’s fabulously hilarious play HYSTERIA with Rep Stage in Columbia, MD. It’s an historical fantasy-comedy about Sigmund Freud’s last few hours; a young student (me) breaks into his garden to discuss an old case, then Salvador Dali shows up, and things go berserk!

The amazing cast includes Bruce Nelson as Dali and Jeff Baker as Freud, along with the fabulous talents of Conrad Feininger and Elizabeth Simmons. Heads-up that the show includes nudity (some of it mine…) but it’s smart and funny and audiences and reviewers are loving it. (From the Baltimore CityPaper: “[Penning] is riveting.”) :) Hope you can make it there to see it!

HYSTERIA by Terry Johnson, directed by Steven Carpenter
now playing through November 1, 2009
Wed, Thurs, Sun at 7pm
Fri-Sat at 8pm
Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2pm

And next up: I’ll be back in New York on November 19 (Telephone Bar) & December 10 (Cornelia Street Café) to do Shakespeare, Anyone? again - then it’s back down to Orlando Shakespeare Theatre from 12/21/09-3/14/10 to play Ophelia in HAMLET and Helena in ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL in rep! More to come on that later…

I miss and love you all - please drop me a line to let me know how you’re doing - and if you’re in DC, we should definitely grab a cup of coffee soon!

Big hugs,

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Time Clarification: Marni's performing at 6:30 TONIGHT - doors open at 6!‏

Hi there my NY friends!

Several of you have told me you're coming to the show this evening (Thursday 5/14)! Hooray!

There was some confusion about the time: my original email was incorrect. Doors open tonight at 6pm, and the show starts promptly at 6:30. It's only 50 minutes long, and we're expecting a great crowd, so get there early for the best seats!

I'll be doing Portia, Mistress Page, Alice, and Malvolio (how often does that get to happen?) Hope to see you tonight at the Cornelia Street Cafe!

Hugs to all,
Marni :)

Shakespeare Anyone?
TONIGHT at Cornelia Street Cafe
29 Cornelia Street
$7 at the door includes a free house drink
Doors open at 6, show starts at 6:30

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Back in NYC and performing May 14!

My dearest friends and family:

I can't believe it's been three months since I set out for Florida - I had the most amazing time there and my life has changed immeasurably.

Firstly, if you're interested in reading our glowing reviews from Orlando Shakespeare Theater, links and clips are at the bottom of this email, and I've attached some pics for your enjoyment. :)

Secondly, even if you didn't get to see the shows, you can still see me do some Shakespeare on May 14 if you're in NYC!

Now that I'm back in the city: it's SHAKESPEARE, ANYONE? time again... one hours' worth of expertly-performed Shakespeare scenes, this time on the theme of "For Love or Money." Come see us at Cornelia Street Cafe, Thursday, May 14, 7pm!

$7 gets you in and a free house drink. For more info and directions: (click on May 14)

Thirdly, I've moved into a new apartment back in Manhattan (Washington Heights area) - let me know if you're around this Spring/Summer, and let's grab some coffee!!! I've missed you all so much!

Lastly, I'm headed to Europe for the month of August with my friend Brittney to couch-hop our way around the continent - if we might be able to stay with you during that time, or if you have recommendations, please let me know! (Some of you have already offered - yippee!!! Can't wait to finalize plans!)

Let me know what's going on in your lives!
Hugs and love to all,
Marni :)


"the entire cast is as close to perfect as any I have seen of late. Much Ado’s dramatic and romantic tensions largely depend upon the actions and motivations of its main pair of lovers, Benedick and Beatrice. So the success of the play naturally falls upon the shoulders of the performers who inhabit these two pivotal roles, and it is safe to say that in Darren Bridgett and Marni Penning, director Delaney has found two generals capable of leading their troops to a well-deserved triumph. Both actors have a way of making dialogue eminently understandable, their inner desires succinct and revealing, and their conflicts both personal and universal. And while Bridgett can utilize his entire rubbery body to convey his emotional turmoil, Penning can do the same with a tilt of her head or the widening of an eye." - Orlando Weekly:

"Marni Penning’s Beatrice and Darren Bridgett’s Benedick freeze when the other steps into view: These are two people who really believe they detest each other, and it takes all the manipulations of the entire Sicilian town of Messina to set the lovers straight. Meanwhile, you get to know the two of them from the way they interact with others — Penning’s Beatrice a bright, warm-hearted, stubborn woman, Bridgett’s Benedick a hapless but loyal and capable man. Penning makes a wonderfully vivid Beatrice." - Orlando Sentinel:

"'Much Ado' is terrific theater... The top notch cast keeps you engaged throughout.
Marni Penning delivers a rapturously hot-headed Beatrice who likewise finds romance and slapstick compatible. This production is fun, fun, fun." - Florida Today:


"Marni Penning brings the same down-to-earth spirit to Portia that she does to Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing: Her Portia may be self-pitying, but she’s also smart, and she leaps to action more quickly than any man." - Orlando Sentinel:

"...Marni Penning (as Portia, a rich heiress who later doubles as the young lawyer who confronts the vengeful Shylock in court), is free to sport more diaphanous garments. Beautiful, giddy and love-struck, her character charms and connives, giving Merchant most of its lighthearted and enjoyable moments." - Orlando Weekly:

Friday, March 13, 2009

MUCH ADO opens TONIGHT in Orlando!

Hello there, my fabulous family and friends!

It's been WAY too long since I sent a MarniWatch (since early December?), as evidenced by the number of "Where are you?" emails I've been getting!

The answer... I'm in sunny Florida for three months!

I got down here at the beginning of February and am playing Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing and Portia in The Merchant of Venice in rotating rep at Orlando Shakespeare Theater. We open Much Ado TONIGHT, and the shows run through April 26; if you'll be down here vacationing, come and see me!

There are pics, video clips of me, and more info at, plus an article on me and two others involved here.

I'm also in pics 2, 6, and 7 on this page.

I hadn't told anyone I was coming down here because of the tenuous nature of the economy, but OST is, thankfully, very responsibly managed, the contracts are intact, and the shows are fantastic! (Cast list below in case you guys know someone here with me...)

I've also cut off all my hair and gone blonde for Portia (pics in My Photos - you'll notice I'm being wigged for Much Ado) - Don't worry, it's going back to brown when this is done and I'm back in NY in May.

If you can't travel, you can always see me for free on - my new character, Fannie Mae Feelgood, has 12 episodes up and gives weekly "Feelgood Tips" on surviving in this hard economy (eating ramen, doing your own laundry, noticing a gigantic park in the middle of Manhattan, etc.)

I love and miss you all!
Sending some sunshine your way -

Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Dennis Delaney
and Merchant of Venice, directed by Jim Helsinger
at Orlando Shakespeare Theater in partnership with UCF now through April 26, 2009
More info at

Cast: Desiree Bacala, Michael Beaman, Kyle Crowder, Darren Bridgett, Bob Dolan, Nathan Gregory, Anne Hering, Armistead Johnson, Andrew Knight, Bob Lipka, Ingrid Marable, Chris Mixon, Steven Patterson, Marni Penning, Brittney Rentschler, Brad Roller, Isreal McKinney Scott, Joe Vincent, Amanda Wansa (I hope I didn't forget anyone!) ;)

Photo at top is the opening sequence of Much Ado with me as Beatrice, Brittney Rentschler as Hero in background. Photo by Rob Jones.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Final two pre-election Sarah Palin videos‏

Hi once more to my incredible support network of friends and family!

I can't tell you how much your great comments have meant to me over the last couple of months. What a ride. I especially want to say a little thank you to my Republican friends on this list, who have enjoyed my impersonations, content notwithstanding! ;)

So here are my final two pre-election videos: one is Sarah, one is just me singing about her.

This one I've been working on for weeks - it was an editing nightmare, but worth it in the end! And you get to hear me sing!
Special thanks to Dorothy Doyle for giving me the suggestion that the "maverick winking her eye" could be a parody of "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" from Oklahoma:

Sarah Palin Song: A Voter's Prayer (Oh What a Beautiful Palin)

And the other one is the final in the Sarah Palin pre-election series: Sarah Palin Endorses Barack Obama for President! >:D
Turns out she's upset with her treatment, and will be running in 2012...
(Special thanks to Adrienne and Lam Nguyen for the use of their dining room)

My videos have received nearly 15,000 VIEWS on YouTube, which is amazing to me. That's largely from you guys. Please send these around, too. YOU ROCK!! After Tuesday, I'll go back to normal MarniWatch mode, but I have a feeling I'll be doing more videos. I've had SO much fun. If you want to see them as they come out, you can hit the "subscribe" button on my YouTube channel page here:

Also up on Again, please rate them "Funny," or... Ya know. ;)

And once again, this goes without saying, but make your voice heard, and PLEASE VOTE ON NOVEMBER 4TH!!!! :)

All my best love to you all,

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sarah Palin Shops for a Halloween Costume...‏

Hi again, my amazing friends and family... I was just interviewed as Sarah Palin (with GW Bush impersonator John Simmons of GNP) by ABC Australia!!! So fun!!!!

The election is right around the corner!

Here's the latest: Sarah Palin Shops for a Halloween Costume in Real America -

I had SUCH a blast making this one. Special thanks to the aforementioned John Simmons as guest cameraman, and everyone at the Halloween Adventure Superstore. ;)

Newest count: My videos now have over 13,000 VIEWS on YouTube (You guys are amazing. Thank you!!! Please continue to pass them around, and rate them if you can!)

Also up on Again, please rate them "Funny," or... Ya know. ;)

I can't wait to send you a NON-election-based MarniWatch after the 4th with all the incredible career news I have linked to all this stuff... suffice to say, it's keeping me busy! Next live Palin is in Boston on Saturday...

And this goes without saying: PLEASE VOTE ON NOVEMBER 4TH!!!! :)

XOXO to everyone - I can't begin to thank you enough for your support!

Sarah Palin at the White House‏

Hey there, everyone!!!

We're in the home stretch of the campaign, so only a few more videos to go...

Live Palin went great on Saturday, and now... my eighth Sarah Palin video is available online... Sarah Palin at the White House!!!!

This one was a coup - it was quite a trick to find a solid two minutes where no one was bothering me or talking loudly near me. There was even a guy who started taking my picture paparazzi-style! Weird!

And a REALLY bizarre thing... when I first arrived (dressed in black, holding a tripod and skulking around the perimeter of the White House) I saw the rooftop sniper train his rifle on me! Talk about scary! I just put on my Palin glasses and stared at him until he realized I wasn't going to be an immediate danger to others and took his sights down. YIKES!

Newest count: My videos now have over 11,000 VIEWS on YouTube (Thank you so much!!! Please continue to pass them around, and rate them if you can!)

Also up on Again, please rate them "Funny," or they die. That's the premise. ;)

I'm also in a series of five "Sarah Palin's Road to the White House" videos on YouTube, written and directed by San Francisco filmmaker Ken Edwards, and a new character, "Fannie Mae Feelgood" can be found on YouTube and at

I'm having such a blast - I hope you're enjoying them, everyone!!
(Good things are coming from this... more info soon!) :)

Love and big hugs to you all,