All Cake, No File with The Actors’ Gang

Marni (left), Jewell Rae Jeffers (center), me (right).

Marni (left), Jewell Rae Jeffers (center), me (right).

Last Friday, Marni of Happy Go Marni, my boyfriend, Rory, and I went see a comedy/live cooking/Johnny Cash tribute show at The Actors’ Gang theater in the Ivy Substation in Culver City. Now, you may be wondering, what the heck is a comedy/live cooking/Johnny Cash tribute show? Well, until we saw the show ourselves, we didn’t really know, either!

Marni saw the show listed on Goldstar, and she wrote me an email: “Please say yes. I want to go to this event. I think we should go together. What do you think???? It’s crazy and bizarre sounding and that’s why I’m so drawn to it! What the heck is it!” Well, how could I say no to that?

What it turned out to be was a performance by Actors’ Gang member Donna Jo Throndale, who mixed together a cake on stage as “celebrity chef” Jewell Rae Jeffers, a politically outspoken recovering cocaine addict who lost her TV cooking show because of her big mouth, and a concert by Johnny Cash tribute band With a Bible and a Gun. When Jewell Rae took a break to “bake” the cake, which the audience ate after the show on the theater’s back patio, that’s when the band launched into a much-to-short set of Cash songs, including “Folsom Prison Blues” and “I Got Stripes.” They were really good, which was a pleasant surprise as I’m normally pretty skeptical of cover/tribute bands. Check ’em out (this song was great live):

The show raises money for the actors and band to travel to and perform in prisons, a la Johnny Cash’s Folsom prison performance. And at this particular show, Wayne Kramer of MC5 was the special guest, playing a solo acoustic set that included such a version of MC5’s “High School.” Kramer also does his part to reduce recidivism, the show’s intended purpose, by performing at L.A.’s drug court graduation.

My boyfriend, Rory, and Wayne Kramer of MC5 fame. Kramer really wanted to eat his cake...

My boyfriend, Rory, and Wayne Kramer of MC5 fame. Kramer really wanted to eat his cake...

“All Cake, No File” is part of the Actors’ Gang WTF?! Festival, which runs through Dec. 19. There are all kinds of shows, including a performance by Tom Morello (the space is tiny, so a concert here is a guaranteed good show). There’s one more performance of “All Cake, No File” this Friday. Tickets are $15. Get your cake and Cash on!

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Maya Meinert

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11 2009

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