Jason Tamborini and Aria Velz on what takes the cake in ‘The Cake’

DC Theater Arts

Bekah Brunstetter’s play The Cake was inspired by the 2018 Supreme Court case involving a baker who refused on account of Christian beliefs to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple — but if you go see Prologue Theatre’s resplendent production expecting an argument between legal briefs and religious creeds, you’ll be in for a big surprise. Quite a few surprises, actually. The two biggies for me were the design of the show and the main character, Della — a baker who declines to bake a wedding cake for two women on what she believes are religious grounds.

The realistic set, Della’s bake shop, is amazing; it literally looks good enough to eat. The only thing that could have added to its authenticity is if the aroma of baking cupcakes had wafted over the audience and we were invited to taste the delicacies in the display case.

In both the set design by Jason Tamborini and the story arc of Della, I was impressed by two fascinatingly related qualities: authenticity and astonishment. And those qualities were the topic of a recent Zoom conversation I had with Jason and Aria Velz, who directed the show.

A woman baker frosts a cake.

Nicole Halmos as Della in ‘The Cake.