I can’t believe it has been almost three years since I started making opening night cakes for the Geffen Playhouse. What initially started as a way to see plays for free has evolved into a real sense of place and camaraderie. In short, the Geffen, and all its people, have become another family in my life.
It all started when I made the closing night cake for Farragut North, the play which the movie Ides of March is based. The Playhouse thanked me and said if I ever wanted to see a show I should just give them a call.
Immediately the gears started working. Being a former actor and a real lover of the theatre I thought, they are going to get annoyed with me because I want to see ALL the shows. After a while they’re going to say, “We were just being nice, enough already, you can’t see any more shows for free.” Seems logical, right? So, I thought, I need to give them something back. It wouldn’t be right to just keep asking to see plays for free.
In the end I offered to make an opening night cake for all of their Main Stage premiers. The main stage is now the Gil Cates Theatre in honor of their guiding patriarch. Gil recently died and will now be forever remembered. A great tribute.
They agreed and it has been “another openin’, another show” for almost three years now. I have met some fantastic actors, Kathleen Turner, Laurence Fishburne, Annette Benning, Gary Cole, Edi Gathegi, Chris Pine and Chris Noth, and a whole lot more. But above and beyond that, I have met wonderful people at the Playhouse; Jenni, Regina, Allison, Miguel, Ken, and so many more.
It has also stretched me as a cake artist as well. More than anything it has done that. Designing a cake that deals with the rape and mutilation of women in the Congo is not an easy task. Cakes, by their very nature, are fun and happy. A cake about the Equivocation and Shakespeare’s possible imprisonment, is not. So the challenge to always think as far out of the box as possible has been really inspiring.
I can’t wait, the final production this year is a staged version of:
hold your breath: