CAKEWALK by Nalsey Tinberg


CAKEWALK is a tour-de-force for a mother and Holocaust refugee, Sprintze, and her only daughter, American-born Bersahla (Barrie). Their both share a Christmas birth of sorts: the daughter actually born the first baby on Christmas Day in Seattle forty years ago, while the mother recalls awakening from typhoid fever in Poland on this night almost 70 years ago.  Both episodes affect them deeply.  The mother believes she has escaped death in the war because of her special relationship to God, yet reveals that the Jews may have brought the Holocaust upon themselves because they were not “righteous enough.”  That “bad things do not happen to good people” is concretely tested once her cherished daughter comes face to face with mortality because of her own cancer diagnosis.

Both story-tellers in their own right, their deepest beliefs are questioned as the mother moves from refugee to survivor, from mother to skeptic, and the daughter from motherhood to cancer survivor.  They take this ten year journey together, celebrating each Christmas birthday, with the ultimate aim of finding themselves and each other.  They do so with great humor, great dignity, and the proper amount of disrespect.



MA, the mother, ages from 75-85; Jewish; smart but uneducated; tough as nails; European (Polish/Russian) by birth; has slight accent.

BARRIE, the daughter, ages from 35-45; Jewish; smart and educated; tough as nails; American; assimilated.



CAKEWALK was originally entitled “Christmas Babies.”   It was produced at Laurelgrove Theater, Studio City, California, April-May 2002. Accepted as staged reading in “Springboard Series” (at JCC, Manhattan NY). The play was  read as part of The NY Chapter of the National Television Academy play reading series, NYC, March 15, 2004.

Renamed CAKEWALK, this play was read at the Manhattan Theatre in October 2005. CAKEWALK was  (May 2006)  a second place winner in the eighth national readers theatre competition of The Open Book.  CAKEWALK was then produced at Main Street Theater, Houston, Texas, Main Stage, October 29 – November, 27, 2011.



Houston Public Radio Front Row Interview with the Actors and Director: –

Montrose Star review – click here

SVN Review – click here

Houston Chronicle Article – click here

Houston Chronicle Review – click here



Approximately 2 hours



Preview available here

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