PLEASE NOTE EVEN IF THE INITIALS ARE THE SAME, THEY ARE DIFFERENT AUTHORS - JUST WITH THE SAME INITIALS...
"go see The Cake, everybody. It’s a beautiful show." - MM
"Tonight I saw “The Cake” at Stray Cat Theatre and I just have to say a huge thank you to everyone involved with this wonderful show! You all did such a fantastic job!!
And for those of you who haven’t seen it yet, you should see it...a wonderful production!" - SP
"I LOVE THIS PLAY. Beautiful work by all. Go see this!!!! I was blown away, it was truly wonderful." - TD
"Stray Cat Theatre, you did the brilliant thing yet again. The Cake was fantastic!!!!! A must see!!!!!...Gorgeous work!!!!!" - EW
"I loved the show!!!! I laughed and cried!! A must see!!!" - AM
"GO see! THE CAKE has become one of my top Stray Cat productions. The ones that made my head zing and heart pound because of where it hit me; the set, preshow music, direction, perfection of the collaboration, and the actors' devotion to their portrayal and keeping it real...GOING again Sat. Night." - DL
"Jodie Weiss is a force to be reckoned with! What an amazing, bold, brave performance of a complex character!" - SSJ
"Just had the chance to see Stray Cat Theatre’s THE CAKE directed by the amazing Katie McFadzen with an absolutely stellar cast including the PERFECT Jodie Weiss!! I can’t recommend it more." - KF
"...what a great show with some amazing performances at one of THE best theaters in town. Just saying!...Please go support this amazing show!" - VC
"CAKE at Stray Cat was awesome!" - JP
"Drop everything, buy your tickets, and go. Just do it." - KB
"Delicious production of The Cake at Stray Cat! Thank you for baking up all the feels!" - MAW
The Cake: Stray Cat Theatre - The play by Bekah Brunstetter was inspired by the court cases of cake bakers not wanting to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple. Brunstetter imagined a situation where a well-meaning bakery owner is asked by a friend’s daughter to bake a wedding cake for her marriage to another woman. Although Della loves Jen, she is too religious to agree so she says she is too busy that month. The playwright, who was born in North Carolina where she set the play, does not make her characters stereotypes but real people dealing with conflicted feelings. Jen and her lover, Macy, are products of their backgrounds. Della is struggling with beliefs that are preventing her from changing. We thought the play was well-written and the cast, all making their Stray Cat debuts, were great. Jodie Weiss was Della, Chirstopher Haines was her husband, Tim; Megan Holcomb played Jen and Racquel McKenzie was Macy." - BO
"Bekah Brunstetter is my favorite playwright, and the folks at Stray Cat did an excellent job with this piece." - SM
"So glad I didn’t miss this one. It was so good in all the ways: script, cast, direction, all of it. I love when I walk away from a show and I’m still marveling and thinking and respecting all the work. So grateful for great art. Thank you." - MKS
"I absolutely loved it." - LAM
"Excellent theater!" - JR
"It was SOOO great! Congrats to all!!" - KC
"Tonight honored to have attended the closing night of Cake at Straycat Theatre. A tremendous ensemble beautifully directed by Katie McFadzen! SWEET!" - ME
"The show was everything. Every single element came together beautifully and I’m so thrilled I got to see this incredible production. Fantastic theatre." - Anonymous
"We loved this play, one of the best we’ve seen in a long time. We laughed and were touched by the story since it gave a perspective from all points of view. It was well written and the acting drew you into the characters, so engaging. I would see this play again in a heartbeat." - goldstar review
"Such a great script with a great cast and fantastic direction! Loved it!" - DSW
FACEBOOK POST FROM THEATRE CRITIC KERRY LENGEL OF THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC:
"It’s been kind of a crazy week for me, so I just haven’t gotten around to recommending “The Cake” at Stray Cat Theatre. So let me remedy that now.
First of all, it’s great in all the ways that Stray Cat is always great. It has some of the best actors you’ll see onstage in Phoenix — and four out of four of them, not, like, two out of four, which is what you would usually get from a theater with a similarly small budget. (Just keepin’ it real, folks.) Stray Cat punches above its weight and delivers professional polish every time.
No, I probably wouldn’t have listed Jodie Weiss among the Valley’s best actors before “The Cake.” I know her more for her behind-the-scenes roles at Childsplay. I’ve interviewed her and found her a delightful human being. But I had never seen her create a character onstage where the actor disappears and becomes the vessel for the character.
Weiss plays Della, the sunny proprietress of a North Carolina bakery known for its scrumptious show cakes. She is a conservative Christian, so she finds herself in a bit of a pickle when the daughter of her (dead) best friend asks her to make a cake for her wedding to another woman.
Yes, it’s a topical play, inspired by a famous legal case in the news. But it is not a polemic. Bekah Brunstetter’s script is so well-written, and gives individual voice to each of its characters, that it is one of those rare plays that just feels like real life playing out in front of you. It is the playwright’s equivalent of disappearing into a role.
If I saw more from (and, ahem, of) Weiss than I expected, I certainly knew I’d see a good performance from Christopher Haines as Della’s husband, Tim. Haines is artistic director of iTheatre Collaborative, and I’ve seen him do Mamet, so I know he’s got game. I will nonetheless never be able to see him in quite the same light after this production, and if you’ve seen it, you know why.
Also familiar to me: Racquel McKenzie, who went toe to toe with Lillie Richardson in Black Theatre Troupe’s “Lines in the Dust,” and if you’ve been going to theater in this town for a while, you know that’s saying something. She is a recent transplant from Chicago, and a welcome one.
And then there’s Megan Holcomb, whom I saw doing “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” at Space 55, and, yeah, she’s young, but she’s got talent to burn. And it’s her performance that really punched me in the gut, because hers was the character I most related to.
I’m not from the South, but I was raised in a conservative religious community, and I think I have an understanding of the conflict inside Jen. She has found a new, chosen family that not only accepts but celebrates what her own mother would have called “sinful” and, you know, a “lifestyle.” But childhood experiences run deep, and she still feels the pull — the positive connection to hearth and home and, yes, tribe, but also the guilt and self-recriminations — of who she used to be.
When I am asked on occasion what I am hoping for when I go to the theater, I usually answer, “Surprise.” But on an even deeper level, it is this connection to other human beings — empathy — that is the greatest gift theater can deliver. It starts with seeing something of yourself onstage, but it ends in seeing something of yourself in every character, and every person.
At least that’s the dream.
P.S. Grats to director Katie McFadzen. You rock!”
"Actual conversations about the last three productions I’ve seen at Stray Cat Theatre:
Person: What did you do last night?
Me: Caught a play
Person: How was it?
Me: Good! (Insert basic premise here). I think you’d like it!
Person: I want to see that!
Me: oh, last night was closing night.
Yeah my timing sucks.
BUT I’M LEARNING! Tonight I caught “The Cake” and it’s fantastic AND running for two more weekends! So....GO!!!" - JT
"If you haven’t seen this fabulous show by Stray Cat Theatre, we HIGHLY recommend it!" - MD
"Saw The Cake, directed by Katie McFadzen and we really enjoyed it. We found the topical story compelling, and the lead believable. Her relationship with her husband, played convincingly by Christopher Haines reminded me of my relatives. Solid production Stray Cat. I highly recommend this play production, brought to Tempe by Ron May." - KS
"If you are in the Valley I highly recommend going to see The Cake put on by Stray Cat Theatre." - KE
"We saw it Friday night. Such a timely script beautifully acted AND directed. Katie McFadzen and Jodie Weiss, you rock!!!" - JF
"Saw The Cake a great great piece of theater. All the actors were wonderful. I will never think of mashed potatoes the same lol" - DF
"Loved the play! Bravo and brava! (Won't eat mashed potatoes for a year!)" - DIG
"Love love LOVED THE CAKE!" - ER
"Best show I've seen in a long time....relevant, fresh, sad and funny. Great story!" - DP
"Absolutely must rush to shout kudos to Katie McFadzen for her direction and Jodie Weiss, Megan Holcomb, Racquel McKenzie, and Christopher Haines for superb performances in Stray Cat Theatre's production of THE CAKE. Delicious! Ron May, You've got a winner!!! Great show!" - HP"
"There’s some amazing artists in this Valley! I saw The Cake tonight at Stray Cat. It was a remarkable production! Every performer- perfection! Katie McFadzen’s direction just spot on! Biggest congrats to Jodie Weiss! She’s always great onstage (and off) but her Della was the best. I love characters so conflicted and honestly brought to life. Both subtle and in your face, the play was something you don’t want to miss! Go. See. You’ll be gushing too. Take a few tissues. And not for the little ones. Congrats Ron May! I don’t get to see every show Stray Cat produces but every show I see is a cut above!" - MDW
"Stray Cat Theatre continues to put on thought provoking, gorgeous theatre. Do NOT miss Cake. It's beyond beautiful. Congrats Katie McFadzen. Jodie Weiss's work is phenomenal and lovely and moving and hysterical. Stellar cast. Go see it. You're welcome." - JF
"Yesterday I saw Stray Cat’s current production, The Cake. And I’ve been trying to figure out how to explain why I loved it so much. The performances were great - I expected that. The staging was first-rate - I was not surprised. The material was timely and relevant - well, of course, it’s Stray Cat! But I found this play more moving than anything I’ve seen for quite a while. I cried through a good deal of it. Not sobs, but wet snuffles. Because it wasn’t symbolic or hidden or surreal. Quite the opposite. It was really real. Real people dealing with real shit in real ways. Real change in real increments, sometimes small ones. And out of love, not out of principle. I loved this play. Go see it. Take some tissues (or a hanky if you’re from the South like me). Oh yeah, there are laughs too. Wait for the mashed potatoes." - PFL
"I'm a big "newbie" to the theater scene, but hands down Stray Cat has always put on an excellent show with talented people behind the scenes along with excellent cast with each production. I would absolutely recommend 10/10." - CW
"If you are interested in some FANTASTIC local theater, I encourage you to run to see The Cake! The script, costumes, actors, and directing really coalesce into the most compelling and well-drawn characters I have ever seen onstage. I was WITH them all every step of the way. Go see this!" - JD
"Stray Cat Theatre opened their second show of the season last night with Bekah Brunstetter's highly topical and emotional dramedy THE CAKE. Nutshell, Jen (played by Megan Holcomb) has dreamed of the perfect wedding all her life, and returns to her South Carolina hometown with her cosmopolitan fiancee Macy (Racquel McKenzie) to plan. She asks her late mother's best friend Della (Jodie Weiss) to bake their dream cake, which she is initially excited to do ... until she learns the wedding has two brides. Drama ensues. What I liked about this story is that it humanizes all of the characters -- Della and her husband Tim (Christopher Haines) are not caricatured or villainized; rather, they are portrayed as people who are forced to question the things they have always thought to be true. Jen and Macy are complex characters as well, called upon to weigh the strength of the love they feel against the pain of their pasts. All of the performances are authentic, revealing, nuanced, and powerful. Katie McFadzen's direction is superbly effective in that each scene feels natural and honest as it unfolds. Comic timing and dramatic pauses are expertly wielded by director and cast alike, serving up an emotional roller coaster that leaves the audience with many questions about how the love they feel intersects with a world that may see it differently. Do yourselves a favor and go see THE CAKE!" - ET
"The CAKE is Tasty! Great production of Bekah Brunstetter’s The Cake by Stray Cat Theatre, directed by Katie McFadzen, with a superstrong cast of Jodie Weiss, Megan Holcomb, Racquel McKenzie and as a consummate Southern goober,Christopher Haines. Mash potatoes!" - JB
"I just saw The Cake. Another brilliant production!" - LA
"Went to see The Cake last night it was fabulous, and fantastic do not miss it." - YC
"We saw the show and loved it! Go see it!!" - NC
"Amazing show!!! Don't miss it." - DW
"Do not miss this show!!!" - KKB
"Amazing show!" - CW