Baking a cake is all about following instructions, says Della (Debra Jo Rupp, That ‘70s Show, This Is Us) as the lights go on and she stands in her quaint little bakery in North Carolina. This idea of following the recipe to a T is construed throughout the 90-minute production in two ways: following the Bible the way it’s written and creating the perfect recipe for The Great American Baking Show.
While one may think a play named The Cake might be a bit on the sweeter side, the four characters act in scenes that make the audience laugh out loud and a few where the audience may find themselves on the edge of tears. The plot develops almost instantly as Della’s late friend’s daughter, Jen (Genevieve Angelson), arrives in town after years of living in New York City to ask Della to make her a wedding cake. However, after joyous squeals, the mood soon shifts when Jen’s fiancé Macy (Marinda Anderson) gives Della the news that Jen is marrying a woman.
The Cake dips in and out of reality, as Della imagines herself as a contestant on The Great American Baking Show, with the voice of George (Dan Daily) booming above her with words that cause self-reflection. Throughout the production, Della toys with the question of whether she should stay true to the religious beliefs in her head by not making the cake for Jen and Macy or do what she feels in her heart is right. While figuring out the answer, more questions regarding her marriage to her husband Tim (Daily) also arise.
The Cake is written by Bekah Brunstetter, a producer on NBC’s This is Us and previously a writer for ABC Family’s Switched At Birth, and directed by Lynne Meadow, with stage manager Denise Cardarelli.
The Off-Broadway production will be performed at New York City Center Stage 1 (131 W. 55th St.) through March 31. For tickets or more information, visit www.thecakeplay.com or call 212-581-1212.