Piece of Cake | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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Piece of Cake

Live Bait Theater


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Piece of Cake, Live Bait Theater. Anyone who's planned a wedding--or had a friend, sister, daughter, cousin, or even office acquaintance plan one--will know that the subject of the new comedy Piece of Cake is ripe for jokes, given the anxiety and second thoughts not only about marriage but about the wedding festivities. Bobbi Panter and Kate McClanaghan's script (written with Rachel Hutcheson and Blair Kaplan) ridicules all the right things: the cost of bridesmaids' gowns, the engagement party at which the bride doesn't know half the people, the annoying calls from both mother and future mother-in-law. But unfortunately these great opportunities for satire aren't mined below the surface, the characters--Panter as the bride and McClanaghan as her best friend Maureen--are pretty one-dimensional, and the scenes conclude just as they're starting to get interesting.

According to their bios, Panter and McClanaghan are taking their work to Los Angeles to show it to interested studios, which makes sense. As TV material, where conflict is resolved in under 30 minutes, their characters and approach might fly. But as theatrical comedy, despite strong performances, the material is too slight to succeed. --Gabrielle S. Kaplan

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