Metro Weekly

Editor’s Pick: Makin’ Cake at The Alden in McLean

Everyone gets a slice of cake at the end of Wisconsin Poet Laureat Dasha Kelly Hamilton's entrancing 'Making Cake.'

Dasha Kelly Hamilton -- Andrew Feller
Dasha Kelly Hamilton — Andrew Feller

“I don’t bake,” Dasha Kelly Hamilton concedes at the top of Makin’ Cake, her stimulating and inspired multimedia presentation with dessert course.

In fact, Hamilton is a writer/poet and performance artist, and the most recent Poet Laureate of her home state of Wisconsin, and her work, broadly defined, focuses on inspiring creativity, facilitating dialogue, and building community.

The nationally touring show comes to The Alden in McLean as a Women’s History Month Event.

With Makin’ Cake, baking, and specifically the history and ingredients of cake-making, simply works as an accessible, opportune, even rewarding means to those ends.

In the show, cake becomes both a real experience — every attendee gets a slice of freshly made cake by two on-stage bakers at the conclusion of the performance — and also a metaphor for America and American life and discourse, or the “mode of being that’s baked into all of America.”

“The point is that we all have a slice in this cake,” as Hamilton put it in a summary of her show and its larger import published last month in Virginia’s Chesterfield Observer. “We’ve been debating each other for years over whose truth is real, over whose reality is worthy, over whose perspective makes sense — and that’s the wrong conversation.

“You can’t tell me that my slice is dense, and I can’t tell you that yours is rich. Instead, I can tell you about my slice of cake, and you can tell me about yours. But it came from the same box – we’re all in this together. This is an experience of, ‘your story matters, my story is real, this experience is valid, and that perspective is in the mix, whether I agree with it or not.'”

Saturday, March 18, at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 to $25. The Alden in the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave. Visit or call 571-296-8385.

Other upcoming events this month at the McLean Community Center you might want to consider attending include:

New Zealand’s Trick of the Light Theatre and the show The Griegol, described as “an eerie, elegant, wordless tale about death, love, grief, and monsters,” and “a mythic, gorgeously rendered dark fantasy [conjuring] magic and laughter out of silhouettes, puppetry, live music, and animation.” (3/25)

Fiesta Del Sol: Latin American & Caribbean Festival featuring exhibitors, live music, dance lessons in salsa and merengue, tapas, and rum and tequila bars. (3/25)

BLCKSMTH, a community engagement project in which funny, clever, and off-the-wall quotes generated by community members on the topics of motivation, support, self-expression, and creativity, will be installed throughout the center’s facilities. (3/27-4/1)

Visit or call 703-790-123.

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