Lyric Arts brings “The Red Velvet Cake War” to life on the Main Street Stage May 30 through June 14.
In this southern-fried comedy, the three Verdeen cousins – Gaynelle, Peaches, and Jimmie Wyvette – could not have picked a worse time to take over planning the family reunion. But they can’t back out now.
They face an uphill battle as a parade of eccentric Verdeens gathers on the hottest day of July, smack-dab in the middle of Texas tornado season.
Director Dann Peterson described the play and the family dynamics portrayed on stage.
“Scout from ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ says, ‘You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family, and they’re still kin to you whether you acknowledge them or not.’ That’s very true of ‘The Red Velvet Cake War,’” Peterson said. “But beneath all the chaos is a good-heartedness and love that gives the whole pistol-packing Verdeen bunch a strong family foundation.”
Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope, and Jamie Wooten – the same team that created “The Dixie Swim Club” and “Hallelujah Girls” – wrote “The Red Velvet Cake War.”
In fact, Wooten wrote for the television sitcom, “The Golden Girls,” before working on “Red Velvet.”
“(Wooten) gave a voice to Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sofia for many years,” said Peterson, “so you may be able to see elements of those characters in the Verdeen family throughout the show.”
In conjunction with this production, a bake sale will be held and a Truffles and Tortes designer cake will be raffled off each night of opening weekend (May 30, 31 and June 1).
Local baking enthusiasts are invited to bake and donate treats for the bake sale. Audience members can buy treats at the bake sale, enjoy them during “The Red Velvet Cake War” and take some home afterwards, too.
(Contact Sharon Broscha at 763-233-0802 for more information and to sign up to be a bake sale baker.)
Lyric Arts’ Marketing and Communications Associate Bailey Haack said that all funds raised during the “Red Velvet Cake War” bake sale go directly to Lyric Arts.
“That money will be used to help with production and overhead costs not covered by ticket sales,” Haack said. “Lyric Arts (a nonprofit theater) relies on donations to make up over 30 percent of annual expenses not accounted for by ticket sales and general income.”
For tickets to “The Red Velvet Cake War” call 763-422-1838 or visit LyricArts.org.
Page & Stage
Theater enthusiasts (age 15 and older) are also welcome to participate in Lyric Arts’ Page & Stage event before, during and after the June 8 matinee performance of “The Red Velvet Cake War.”
Page & Stage begins at noon that day, and participants for the event (sponsored by the Anoka County Library) are provided a free script of “The Red Velvet Cake War” and are invited to participate in a facilitated discussion before the show. In addition, Page & Stage participants are invited to stay for a question/answer session with the cast and crew immediately following the June 8 performance.
To learn more about Page & Stage, or to register (registration is required and must be completed by May 30) contact Lyric Arts’ Education Director Cassandra Proball at 763-233-0804 or at [email protected] and mention the Anoka County Library Page & Stage program.
Sue Austreng is at