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  The Cake at Atwater Village Theatre

The Cake

Atwater Village Theatre
3269 Casitas Ave Atwater Village

Debra Jo Rupp (That ’70s Show) stars as Della, a baker who makes cakes, not judgment calls — those she leaves to her husband. But when the girl she helped raise comes back home to North Carolina to get married, and the fiancé is actually another fiancée, Della’s life gets turned upside down. She can't really make a cake for such a wedding, can she? For the first time in her life, Della has to think for hesrself. A world premiere play from Bekah Brunstetter (NBC’s This Is Us).

Presented by Echo Theater Company

Thru - Aug 13, 2017

Price: $10-$34

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 323-644-1929
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  The Cake Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Los Angeles Times - Highly Recommended

"...Though the play’s support for marriage equality is never in question, Rupp’s masterfully engaging performance makes it impossible to dismiss Della’s crisis of conscience as simple ignorant bigotry. Her affection for Jen is genuine, but she’s tragically torn apart by a heart at war with her head."
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Philip Brandes

LA Weekly - Recommended

"...Director Jennifer Chambers's efficient staging (on designer Pete Hickock's photorealist storefront set) makes the most of the script's situational comedy, connecting Brunstetter's satiric jabs at both Macy's puritanical self-righteousness and Della's unexamined hypocrisy. But it is finally Rupp's endearing and deeply felt portrayal of a woman groping beyond the parochialism of received beliefs that elevates The Cake from mere sententiousness into something far more hopeful and moving."
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Bill Raden

Broadway World - Highly Recommended

"...The Echo Theater Company's world premiere of playwright Bekah Brunstetter's THE CAKE brilliantly demonstrates the success of following a winning recipe for a memorable theatre production. Start with Brunstetter's witty, relationship-focused script on very timely, hot-button issues of today; generously add a talented cast of actors (led by the most delicious Debra Jo Rupp); mix well with Jennifer Chambers' sure-handed direction; and top off with perfectly synchronized and fitting technical elements; and you have a very well-executed THE CAKE."
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Gil Kaan

Edge - Highly Recommended

"...Contemporary issues can make for quality art; oh, yes, they can. Take, for instance, the idea that if a baker refuses to bake a wedding cake for a same-gender couple, he or she is not facilitating blaspheming their version of an act of love that surely will bring down the wrath of God on his or her head. A storyline presented to us in a brilliant new play, "The Cake," by Bekah Brunstetter."
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Dale Reynolds

Stage and Cinema - Highly Recommended

"...Front and center in this thoroughly professional production is Ms. Rupp as Della. Watching this seasoned actress (That '70s Show) grappling with her equivalent love for Jen and Jesus is akin to observing a master class in acting. Even with other capable thespians on stage, I couldn't take my eyes off of Rupp because she actively listens, reacting organically with a freshness and veracity that is unparalleled. Aside from Brunstetter's coda of convergence, Rupp's vulnerability is the reason why the ending is so touching."
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Stage Scene LA - Highly Recommended

"...Bekah Brunstetter puts a deeply personal, delightfully down-home face on the Gay-Wedding-Cake Wars in The Cake, the gifted young playwright’s latest World Premiere dramedy, another feather in director Jennifer Chambers’ and The Echo Theater Company’s multi-plumed hats."
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Steven Stanley

ArtsInLA - Recommended

"...Playwright Bekah Brunstetter's simple story packs a punch, thanks to Rupp and Lucio's sensitive portrayals of very human characters for whom there are no glib or easy solutions. No matter your personal or political persuasions, Brunstetter challenges ideology by looking at the conflict each character faces on a very personal and believable level. That she adds considerable humor helps mitigate the nature of a play that tackles an issue that is currently in the courts and has passionate people on both sides concerned about the resolution."
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Melinda Schupmann

On Stage Los Angeles - Recommended

"...Echo Theater Company Artistic Director Chris Fields takes chances. Playwright Beckah Brunstetter has taken a chance as well with The Cake. This World Premiere play opens doors for discussion by addressing a moral question that brings each of us back to the way we are taught. Or, just maybe, the way we have over come our basic education."
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Will Call - Recommended

"...This delightful story with a sweet vibe in more ways than one, will resonate with liberals and conservatives. It’s as timely as recent headlines and accentuates the human aspect of how we relate to each other, even though we may have diametrically opposed opinions – on just about everything."
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Ingrid Wilmot

The Los Angeles Post - Recommended

"...Quibbles aside, Ms Brunstetter’s play, like a sinful dessert, provides lots of pleasure, and Jennifer Chambers’s direction makes the most of it. In addition to Mr. Santiago’s lighting, the set by Pete Hickok and costumes by Elena Flores make valuable contributions, and the cakes by Kaleb King, Kellie Haggett, and Elena Calderon look scrumptious. If, in the end, the evening isn’t as completely satisfying as we might wish, it offers plenty to chew on nonetheless. And then there’s Ms Rupp’s performance – truly the icing on the cake."
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Dan Berkowitz

Showmag - Highly Recommended

"...Rupp's Della is simply luminous. Warmth and sincerity envelop the audience, even while she struggles to resolve her feelings for Jen with her religious beliefs. Lucio aptly portrays Jen's vacillating thoughts and that uncertain feeling of reverting to a child when visiting your home. Hart may have the smallest onstage role, but he sculpts a three-dimensional character with absolute clarity. Ratteray has the most difficult job, as Macy is the kind of rigidly aggressive liberal you like better at the protest march than in your living room. But she plays the role honestly and without apology. Morrison Keddie adds indispensable support as the fantasy voice of Della's cooking show judge."
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Michael Van Duzer

Stage Raw - Recommended

"...From the moment the lights come up, Rupp emanates a glowing presence; while she’s on stage, the production never falters. Lucio also delivers a quality performance as the divided Jen, who knows she has found the right person but struggles to be comfortable in a lesbian subculture in Brooklyn so radically different from her upbringing."
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Deborah Klugman

Theatre Notes - Highly Recommended

"...The Echo Theater production of The Cake, directed by Jennifer Chambers with wisdom, heart and superb pacing, has the benefit of a terrific scenic design by Pete Hickok, (skillfully lit by Pablo Santiago), that creates a very believable small bake shop, flanked by snug bedrooms left and right for scenes of intimacy. Costumes by Elena Flores enhance character and action, with wedding outfits especially gorgeous. Sound by Jeff Gardner is flawless."
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Paul Myrvold

Haines His Way - Recommended

"...There is a happy ending for all even though Brunstetter's writing is pretty much one-sided, making Della out to be an anti-gay religious fanatic when she really is just a person with a deep-seated, old-fashioned moral code. She has always done the right thing the way she was raised and following her husband's dictates. But as she finally asserts her own independence, she becomes a newly born woman. Macy is the true villain of the piece as written, not giving Della or even Jen the benefit of their beliefs. Jennifer Chambers has done a fine job of directing and the cast delivers strong performances, especially Rupp. This is one instance where you can see The Cake and get to eat it also (in the lobby after the show)."
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Rob Stevens

Theatre Ghost - Highly Recommended

"...The Cake is a timely tale; and being timely, it's difficult to do well. (It's hard to hear durable truths through all the momentary noise.) But Brunstetter's work doesn't collapse; and it's no mere confection. It seriously addresses some of our most painful concerns, while allowing us to laugh - and to hope."
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Mark Hein

Peoples World - Highly Recommended

"...The Cake, in an intermissionless 90 minutes, is joy from beginning to end, with ample humor (no one's buttons spared) and also deep empathy with people who have been raised with eternal verities that are simply not universal. The writing is crisp, revealing, and idiomatic. Direction by Jennifer Chambers is snappy and fresh, the actors obviously enjoying their roles and their place in history. Especially impressive are the dream and fantasy sequences produced by set designer Pete Kickok, lighting designer Pablo Santiago, and sound designer Jeff Gardner. Costumes ranging from semi-nude to wedding attire are the work of Elena Flores."
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Eric A Gordon

Ticket Holders LA - Recommended

"...The Cake is hilariously biting and an extremely moving subject for Chambers and Echo's world-class designers to explore, smartly presented and beautifully acted by this precision cast of exceptionally talented and fiercely committed players. However, it does still seem to be something of a work in progress, as though Brunstetter needs to go back to the drawing board to tie everything up with a bit more believability and not as quickly and easily as episodic television."
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Travis Michael Holder

Los Angeles Post-Examiner - Highly Recommended

"...While not particularly stressed in the performance, clearly race is another element for Macy is a black woman about to marry a white woman in a state were slaves were once common and where many take Biblical teachings very literally. These are extremely powerful elements and it would be very easy for any presentation of these elements to slip off into one direction or another resulting in some form of catastrophe. Every element of The Cake has been superbly created and is being exquisitely performed on stage. It is simply brilliant and deserves full attention."
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Ron Irwin

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