Let Them Eat Cake

Holly Hughes’ Performance Piece About Marriage Both Angers and Inspires

The first thing you should know about Let Them Eat Cake is that you are a guest and if you don’t want to participate, sit in the back. But, really, you should indeed participate, if only to further your own marriage agenda. Whether you’ve got a staunch antiassimilationst anti-marriage stance, a purist pro-marriage equality angle or sit/stand anywhere in between, the gray area is what this performance is all about. It will anger you as well as inspire you, no matter your take on the issue(s).

As the program says, “The show is a tool for stimulating dialogue about marriage in any setting by employing local performers and customizing the performance according to what marriage– and the debates about marriage equality–look like in that particular place.”

We all know that in New York state same-sex marriage is not legal. Oh, we have domestic partnerships in New York City, but it ain’t the same, now its it?

What Hughes has done is put together a wedding party (including cupcakes for everyone) and then deconstructed the meaning(s) of marriage, community, love, commitment and society as well as the haters who use the bogeyman of same-sex marriage as a battering ram with which to beat the queer community.

Since the issue of marriage equality is an often a divisive issue in our community anyhow, a deconstructive performance piece is a welcome addition to the dialogue. A fresh interrogation is just what the community needs right now.

Written by Hughes, Megan Carney (also the director) and local performer and playwright Moe Angelos (who also performs in the show), Let Them Eat Cake is an ironic look at a very serious subject. The cast of local performers (Lea Robinson, Micia Mosley, Elizabeth Whitney and Carmelita Tropicana) bring it all home along with the help of a few audience participants and a little talk back, too.

After the show, GO spoke briefly with Hughes, who indicated that the show is more about questions than answers, about the interrogation of marriage and the many issues surrounding it. Unbundling healthcare from both employment and marriage, for example, is something she is interested in. Other concomitant issues of love, romance, the place of church and state in intimate relationships, monogamy, polyamory, race and oh so much more is on her mind, too, and on display and under scrutiny at Dixon Place, playing now thru Dec 18.

Let Them Eat Cake, 7:30pm, $15 advance/$20 door, Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie St, 212-219-0736, dixonplace.org, playing Thurs-Sat thru December 18th with a matinee performance on Sat, Dec 11 ($10 advance/$15 door)

What Do You Think?