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  The Cake Reviews
The Cake
The Cake

The Cake
Rivendell Theatre
Thru - Jun 2, 2018

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Show Information


Rivendell Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Sun Times- Recommended

"...The play is sweet and never too blatantly sugary, and Della and Jen are both deeply true characters for whom Brunstetter has obvious kinship (she is herself from North Carolina, living in famously leftist Hollywood). And director Lauren Shouse guides the proceedings with the right delicate touch. The set, from designer Arnel Sancianco, is spot-on perfect, with the bakery looking absolutely real and even cake-like in its pink and white stripes, and wainscoting ingeniously disguising pull-out beds for the home-based scenes."
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Steven Oxman



Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...The route to the play's engrossing emotional climax is as engaging as it is schematic. Often Brunstetter reduces her characters to singular points of view (Della follows instructions, Macy expects everyone to think like her), depicting certain cultural divides with excessive tidiness. But just as often she lets ambiguity reign, leaving director Lauren Shouse's sensitive cast ample room to breathe full dimension into their characters. As Della, a woman whose faith corrodes the only nurturing relationship in her life, Rivendell founder Tara Mallen is heartbreaking."
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Justin Hayford



Let's Play at ChicagoNow- Somewhat Recommended

"..."The Cake" is a play that is a stepping stone about trying to bridge the gap of differences of how we define love with a little empathy. How we can come out of our secluded worlds and accept change and see one another, even if it is sitting down and having a piece a cake together to break down some of the walls of polar opposite views."
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Rick and Brenda McCain



Around The Town Chicago- Recommended

"...Directed by Lauren Shouse on a cleverly designed and built set (Arnel Sancianco) that is an adorable bake shop and doubles ( or should I say quadruples) as all the other spaces with just a bed coming out of a wall, or another coming out of an oven. Cleverly done and designed to never let the flow of action come to a stop ( or even a “slowness”). This is a 100 minute story (without an intermission, that is ideal, as is), that takes place in North Carolina and I would have to say the time is “now”!"
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Alan Bresloff



NewCity Chicago- Somewhat Recommended

"...The validating of this kind of bigotry—which the play does not just in its agree-to-disagree final moment but throughout its entire duration as it constantly seeks to qualify Della’s attitudes toward homosexuality—is an enormously privileged thing to do. Promoting the repressed anxieties of religious white women over a truly balanced conversation about the state of privilege and the types of identities (intersectional or otherwise) that are never safe or supported in America reflects a blind spot in Rivendell’s mission. Concealed as a light delight, this “Cake,” much like the real thing, is an indulgence that not everyone can afford."
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Kevin Greene



Third Coast Review- Recommended

"...Bekah Brunstetter’s play shines in giving us insights on the thinking behind a baker’s refusal to make a cake for a same-sex wedding. Brunstetter helps us understand the thinking on both sides; this is not a leftwing harangue. Della, who quotes the Bible, and her husband Tim (Keith Kupferer, one of Chicago’s stage stalwarts) express their long-held traditional positions and so do Jen and Macy. By the end, the knots are tied up, perhaps a little too neatly."
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Nancy Bishop



Picture This Post- Highly Recommended

"...Playwright Bekah Brunstetter's pen though doesn't just want to give us political stereotypes. She aims, and succeeds, in forcing the more liberally minded in the crowd to take in Della's humanity-and not dismiss her as a conservative stereotype. These four characters-Della, her husband Tim (Keith Kupferer), Jen (Tuckie White) whose person embodies the culture war, and her lesbian fiancee Macy-make this fun script come to life."
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Amy Munice



The Hawk Chicago- Recommended

"...Other than a few moments that pander a bit too much, the play is one that highlights a complex issue often unheard under the rumble of angry voices. With a wonderful set (compliments of Arnel Sancianco), a talented cast, and a relevant script, Rivendell Theatre Ensemble’s production of The Cake is worth every bite."
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Emily Schmidt



Chicago On Stage- Highly Recommended

"...Written by Bekah Brunstetter, The Cake is a warm-hearted portrayal of the conflict between religion and homosexuality, using as a template the now-familiar case (currently in front of the Supreme Court) of a baker refusing to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding. Brunstetter has no agendas to settle here: she somehow manages to make all characters sympathetic and help us to see things from new perspectives."
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Karen Topham