THE CAKE Quick Review

THE CAKE presented by Human Race Theatre Company through Nov. 17. I attended the opening Sunday matinee. 

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Laurie Carter Rose as Della.

Ripped from the headlines, “Bakery owner refuses to make wedding cake for same sex couple.”

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Laurie Carter Rose as Della and Tim Lile as Tim.

That in a nut shell is the plot behind THE CAKE running at Human Race Theatre Company. While Bekah Brunstetter’s script does not take sides or bring any new arguments to the table, it does humanize the situation by making one of the brides-to-be a returning hometown girl and the daughter of a lifetime friend to the shop owner.

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Claire Kennedy as Jen and Candice Handy as Macy.

Laurie Carter Rose plays North Carolina bakery owner Della. Avoiding the pitfall of making her a caricature, Rose’s Della has a wise mind, a loving heart, and a great sense of humor. Jen, played solidly by Claire Kennedy, is the hometown girl pursuing the wedding of her dreams, which includes a cake baked by her late mother’s friend. Macy is Jen’s partner, an intelligent and opinionated writer from NYC. Actress Candice Handy gives Macy an external, semi-sweet calmness that belies, and at times fails, to contain her true thoughts. Two take make for a cute and believable couple. Rounding out the cast is Tim Lile in a fun turn as Della’s put-upon blue-collar husband Tim.

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Candice Handy as Macy and Claire Kennedy as Jen.

Director Greg Hellems brings the characters’ humanity to the forefront, allowing their beliefs to be part of who they are, but not their defining trait. The show is well-paced and emphasizes the humor which allows the audience to connect to each person as an individual.

Scenic designer Dan Gray’s excellent two-sided rotating set is dominated on one side by Della’s bakery with the opposing side split between Della and Tim’s flower-infused bedroom and Macy and Jen’s generically appointed hotel room. Jessica Pitcairn’s costume designs are spot on for each character and neither bride’s wedding gown could be any more perfect.

A charming and entertaining intermission-less production which reminds us that not all disagreements need to be settled in the court room.

My rating: 4.25 out of 5.

Click here for more information on the production.


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