Tastykake is showing itself to be a champion of the French Revolution.
Bastille Day will be celebrated Saturday at the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia with a comical re-enactment of the storming of the iconic French prison.
At the climactic moment of the event–when Marie Antoinette is led to the guillotine–the queen will call out to the audience, “Let them eat Tastykake!” At that point, 3,000 individually wrapped cakes will rain down from the parapets of the prison.
“In years past, we’ve haven’t always been able to get all the Tastykake donated,” said Sean Kelley, program director at the penitentiary. “We’ve ended up having to buy Twinkies to round out the supply. But Tastykake has been very generous this year and donated all 3,000 cake products, which we will hail down on the audience at the end of the event.”
Since last year’s Bastille Day celebration, Tastykake has been sold to new owners.
The sweet avalanche comes at the end of a sketch routine that roasts people and events in the news. This year, while awaiting her fate at the foot of a ready guillotine, Marie Antoinette (played by Terry McNally, co-owner of London Grill) will jealously rage against Kate Middleton. The coup de grâce will be delivered by an Edith Piaf impersonator (John Jarboe of the Bearded Ladies Cabaret, currently performing at the Wilma Theater).
“The script always takes shots at everybody,” said Kelley. “There are a few condescending remarks said about PIFA [last April’s Francophile Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts], there are some condescending remarks said about the restaurants in the neighborhood. We also take some shots at Eastern State Penitentiary itself.”
The Fairmount neighborhood businesses are hosting a street fair in the afternoon. The storming begins at 5:30 p.m.