Cake, a high-energy political farce currently playing as part of the Planet Connections Festival, is basically a frustrated American lefty's wet dream - and a very pleasurable one at that. The play takes place in 1999, when a popular neo-con pundit, who likes to spout offensive platitudes about the glories of the free-market and the need for welfare mothers to stop breeding, is kidnapped by a small band of anti-globalization revolutionaries. The band consists of a depressed middle-aged radical who made a name for himself way back in the 80's in South America and has done nothing notable since, and his three young proteges - two bickering gay lovers and a young woman who specializes in infiltrating corporations and causing mayhem.
You would never think that this little group of operatives could manage to bring any actions to completion, but they successfully kidnap the conservative media darling and hold her hostage in a basement, taking turns guarding her, bathing her, and re-educating her. Plot twists ensue: the leader of the rebel group turns out to be the pundit's brother - his motivations are more about family injustice rather than social injustice, and the pundit, his sister, is somehow persuaded to assist the rebels in their plot to disrupt the global financial system and make a tidy profit in the process. The thrill and success of this endeavor converts her into a radical even further to the left than her brother, and she departs for Chiapas to join the Zapatista movement.
The writing and direction are clear and clever, and the cast has great chemistry and seem to be having a lot of fun with the material. Erin Shmoyer, in particular, stands out as the impassioned anti-corporate activist hell-bent on steering her misguided conservative 'sister' to the light (and the left).
The play is a pleasurable trip down memory lane for anyone who falls to the far left on the political spectrum and went to college in the nineties, and generally well-worth seeing for those who enjoy astute political satire.
(Cake is part of the Planet Connections Festivity and plays at the Green Room Theatre, Theatres at 45 Bleecker Street (downstairs), 45 Bleecker Street. Remaining performances are June 13th at 8:30pm, June 17th at 4pm, June 19th at 3pm, June 22nd at 8pm and June 27th at 8:30pm. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased at www.planetconnectionsfestivity.com or by calling 866.811.4111. Proceeds from this production benefit THE RESOURCE FOUNDATION.)