Gastro-politico-rock 'n' roll sass! Writer/actress Donna Jo Thorndale brings an all new, expanded version of ALL CAKE, NO FILE: The Johnny Cash Prison Tribute Comedy Cooking Show/Concert, starring celebrity chef Jewell Rae Jeffers, to The Actors' Gang every Friday and Saturday, June 11 through July 31, at 9 pm.
Thorndale's Jewell Rae Jeffers is a celebrity chef, home economist, and host of the popular syndicated live cooking show, "Tastes Like Home." Jewell Rae's love of music, boxed cake mixes, and convicted felons inspired her favorite project, ALL CAKE, NO FILE, during which she bakes and serves guests of the California state prison system - all the while accompanied by Johnny Cash tribute band With A Bible And A Gun. This summer, Actors' Gang audiences have the chance to see her Amoeba Records® endorsed prison show - and to taste a different Jailbreak Cake every weekend.
"The most powerful avenues for connecting to people - that aren't illegal - are humor, music, and food. When we come together in the presence of that trinity, anything is possible," explains Jeffers, who knows her rock 'n' roll as well as her scripture. "It was either Bob Dylan or Jesus Christ who said, 'You're gonna have to serve somebody,' and that's why the call on my life is to make the world a better place - one recipe, and one cake, at a time."
Best known for progressive, flavor-forward recipes like her sweet 'n' spicy Republican Backyard Barbecue: Getting Porked Three Ways, Hillary Clinton's Black & Bleu Salad, and irresistible Barack Chocolate (visit www.eatdrinkordie.com to view cooking demos), Jewell Rae originally hails from Lexington, Kentucky. It was there, training at her grandmother's apron strings on a tobacco farm in Woodford County, that she learned the two guiding philosophies of her life: "If you've got it, give it," and "If you cook it, they will come." Her passion for cooking and connecting with people has taken her from coast to coast, to the stage and studio, and currently, to the streets of America where she is filming her documentary Get It Real, Get It Right: Feeding Humanity, Not Celebrity. She is also a knife-skills educator, a dedicated rollerblader and a beginning piano player. An ardent fan of music and flawed men, Jewell Rae is married to award-winning mandolin player, Dwayne "Brick" Jeffers. When Jewell Rae isn't cooking, she engages in activism by writing a political culinary blog which appears on The Huffington Post.
In ALL CAKE, NO FILE, Jewell Rae offers up her incomparable tasty mix of cooking, politics and rock 'n' roll - laced with a spiritual message of optimism and redemption.
"We have to hold onto our hope and our sense of humor," says Thorndale, who performed an earlier version of the show both in the maximum security California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, CA and as part of The Actors' Gang's WTF?! Festival last fall. "If there's breath in your body, then there's a way to move forward, there's a way to use your time and life positively. Short of that, there's at least time to eat some cake and listen to Johnny Cash."
To that end, a portion of the ticket sales from ALL CAKE, NO FILE will be used to support The Actors' Gang's Prison Project, which has been helping to reduce recidivism through in-prison theatrical training since 2007.
"The core of The Prison Project is to address recidivism by encouraging creative, nonviolent expression," Thorndale concludes. "That's why Jewell Rae Jeffers supports the program. She's a bad girl that got lucky and lived to tell the tale. She's not busy judging anyone; she's about connecting through the food, the humor, and the music."
Writer/actress Donna Jo Thorndale has hosted the Tastes Like Home live cooking show as celebrity chef and home economist Jewell Rae Jeffers since 2003 in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, and San Diego. Her politico-webseries Year of the Rat: Nutritional Guidance for the 2008 Presidential Election was featured on the popular websites "Funny or Die" and "Eat, Drink, or Die." Donna Jo played the role of Gina in Nora Ephron's adaptation of Love, Loss, and What I Wore, directed by Shira Piven. At The Actors' Gang, where she has been a member since 2004, Donna Jo has appeared in The Women of Lockerbie, Klüb, Carnage: A Comedy, King O'Leary, Bury the Dead, and Cymbeline the Puppet King. As a writer, her plays have been produced in Lexington and Louisville, KY and in Los Angeles, CA. Her one-act play exploring gender politics, Apron, Apron, Screwdriver won the University of Kentucky's Oswald Award for Research and Creativity. Her political culinary blog appears on The Huffington Post. Originally from Lexington, KY, Donna Jo is American by birth and Southern by the grace of God.