Bekah Brunstetter's THE CAKE to Close La Jolla Playhouse's 2017-18 Season
La Jolla Playhouse announces The Cake, a new play by Bekah Brunstetter (TV's This is Us), as the final production of its 2017/2018 season, running in the Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre February 6 - March 4, 2018.
Jen lives in New York but has always dreamed of getting married in her small North Carolina hometown, so she heads down south with her partner to ask Della, her late mother's best friend, to do the honors of making the wedding cake at her bakery. Della's cakes are legendary - even earning her a spot as a contestant on the Great American Baking Show. She is overjoyed at Jen's request - until she realizes there's not just one bride, but two, forcing her to re-examine some of her deeply-held beliefs, as well as her own marriage. Faith, family and frosting collide in this touching and timely new play.
"Bekah Brunstetter's work acutely and humanly depicts both sides of challenging national issues through a sharply-focused, deeply compassionate lens. Hers is a riveting new voice in theatre and television, and we are so pleased to have The Cake round out our 2017/18 season," said Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley.
Bekah Brunstetter hails from Winston-Salem, North Carolina and currently lives in Los Angeles. Her plays include The Cake (Ojai Playwrights Conference), Going to a Place where you already are (South Coast Repertory), The Oregon Trail (Portland Center Stage Fall 2016, O'Neill Playwrights Conference; Flying V) Cutie and Bear (Roundabout commission), A Long and Happy life (Naked Angels commission), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova, Collaboraction, The Old Globe), Oohrah! (Atlantic Theater, Steppenwolf Garage, Finborough Theater/London), Nothing is the end of the World (except for the end of the world) (Waterwell productions), House of Home (Williamstown Theater Festival) and Miss Lilly Gets Boned (Ice Factory Festival). She is an alumna of the CTG Writers Group, Primary Stages writes group, Ars Nova Play Group, The Playwright's Realm, and the Women's Project Lab. She is currently a member of the Echo Theater's Playwright's group. She has previously written for MTV (Underemployed; I Just want my Pants Back,) ABC Family's Switched at Birth and Starz's upcoming series American Gods. She is currently a Co-Producer on NBC's This is Us. She received her B.A. from UNC Chapel Hill and her M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from the New School for Drama.
The Cake joins the previously-announced 2017/2018 season productions of Escape to Margaritaville (May 9 - June 18), At the Old Place (July 5 - 30),Kill Local (August 1 -27), Wild Goose Dreams (September 5 - October 1) and SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical (November 7 - December 10), as well as The Playhouse's third Without Walls (WoW) Festival in October. Tickets to the first four productions of the season are now on sale. Tickets to SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical and The Cake are currently available only through a subscription purchase. Visit LaJollaPlayhouse.org or call (858) 550-1010 for tickets and information.
About the 2017/2018 Season:
Escape to Margaritaville
World Premiere Musical
Music and Lyrics by Jimmy Buffett
Book by Greg Garcia and Mike O'Malley
Directed by Christopher Ashley
May 9 - June 18, 2017; Mandell Weiss Theatre
Imagine a place where the sun is hot, the ocean's warm, and the drinks are as cold as they are plentiful. Welcome to Margaritaville, the island paradise where city folk get away from it all and the locals get into the kind of trouble you can almost always sweet talk your way out of. This new musical - featuring brand new music, specifically written for the musical by Jimmy Buffett, along with many of his hit songs that are near-and-dear to fans' hearts - is the story of a part-time bartender, part-time singer, and full-time charmer named Tully who thinks he's got life all figured out. Until a beautiful career-minded tourist steals his heart and makes him question everything.
At the Old Place
By Rachel Bonds
Directed by Jaime Castañeda
July 5 - 30, 2017; Mandell Weiss Forum
In her mid-40s and facing a breaking point, a literature professor returns to her childhood home in Virginia only to discover two young people camped out on her lawn. This keenly-observed, intimate new play about the search for the roads not taken is directed by Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Jaime Castañeda, who helmed the theatre's recent acclaimed productions of Tiger Style! and Guards at the Taj.
By Matt Smart
Directed by Jackson Gay
August 1 - 27, 2017; Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre
Sheila and her sister Abigail work for their mother's small family business. Sheila's job used to be a source of joy and exhilaration; now she's questioning everything. But when you're an assassin, being uninspired means getting sloppy, and getting sloppy means getting killed. Kill Local, by UC San Diego M.F.A. playwriting graduate Mat Smart, is a pitch-black comedy about blood ties, revenge and trying to get unstuck - especially when your life is dedicated to ending others'.
Wild Goose Dreams
By Hansol Jung
Directed by Leigh Silverman
September 5 - October 1, 2017 Mandell Weiss Forum
A North Korean defector who has left her family behind and a lonely South Korean father start an unlikely online romance as they each attempt to allay their fears and alienation in this inventive, lyrical and darkly humorous piece directed by Tony-nominated and Drama Desk Award-winning Leigh Silverman (Broadway's Violet, Chinglish).
SUMMER: The Donna Summer Musical
World Premiere Musical
Choreography by Sergio Trujillo
Musical Supervision by Ron Melrose
Directed by Des McAnuff
November 4 - December 10, 2017; Mandell Weiss Theatre
This vibrant, world-premiere musical charts the incomparable life of Donna Summer - the undisputed Queen of Disco. Playhouse Director Emeritus Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Who's Tommy) directs this musical extravaganza, featuring more than 20 of Summer's classic hits and electric dance in a tribute to the voice of a generation.
February 6 - March 4, 2018; Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre
Jen lives in New York but has always dreamed of getting married in her small North Carolina hometown. She heads down south with her partner to ask Della, her late mother's best friend, to do the honors of making the wedding cake at her bakery. Della's cakes are legendary, even earning her a spot as a contestant on the "Great American Baking Show." Della is overjoyed at Jen's request - until she realizes there's not just one bride, but two, forcing her to re-examine some of her deeply-held beliefs, as well as her own marriage. Faith, family and frosting collide in in this touching and timely new play.
The Tony Award-winning La Jolla Playhouse is internationally-renowned for creating some of the most exciting and adventurous work in American theatre, through its new play development initiatives, its innovative Without Walls series, artist residencies and commissions. Currently led by Artistic Director Christopher Ashley and Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, The Playhouse was founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, and reborn in 1983 under the artistic leadership of Des McAnuff. La Jolla Playhouse has had 26 productions transfer to Broadway, garnering 35 Tony Awards, among them Come From Away, Jersey Boys, Memphis, The Who's Tommy, Big River, as well as Billy Crystal's 700 Sundays and the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife, both fostered as part of The Playhouse's Page To Stage Program.