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'The Cake' and the gay wedding cake debate head to La Jolla Playhouse

'The Cake' and the gay wedding cake debate head to La Jolla Playhouse
Bekah Brunstetter's play "The Cake" will head to La Jolla Playhouse in February. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Playwright and "This Is Us" writer Bekah Brunstetter's "The Cake," a comedy about a Christian-conservative baker who balks at making a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, will follow its premiere last year in L.A. with a production at La Jolla Playhouse in February.

The theater announced that the creative team will include director Casey Stangl (South Coast Repertory's "Venus in Fur") and a cast featuring Aubrey Dollar (the film "One Small Hitch"), Wayne Duvall (Broadway's "1984" and La Jolla's "Bonnie & Clyde"), Miriam Hyman (TV's "Blue Bloods") and Tony Award-winner Faith Prince ("Guys and Dolls").

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"The Cake" had a successful run at Echo Theater Company last summer with Debra Jo Rupp as the conflicted baker. In an interview with The Times, Brunstetter said her approach to a story centered on current events was to give both sides of the gay-marriage debate characters with whom the audience could sympathize.

The play received favorable reviews, including one in The Times from Philip Brandes, who wrote, "'The Cake' explores human conflict from an insightful, slightly offbeat perch with understanding, respect and compassion for opposing points of view — and without dumbing down or sentimentalizing its characters."

Brunstetter is a writer and co-producer for NBC's "This Is Us." She is also the author of the plays "Going to a Place Where You Already Are" (at South Coast Repertory), "The Oregon Trail" (Portland Center Stage and the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's National Playwrights Conference), "Cutie and Bear" (a Roundabout Theatre commission), "A Long and Happy Life" (a commission of Naked Angels in New York) and "Be a Good Little Widow" (Ars Nova and the Old Globe).

"The Cake" runs at La Jolla Playhouse from Feb. 6 to March 4.

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