'I Am Betty' at History Theater brings Betty Crocker to life

People perform on a stage-1
The production features an all-women cast and traces over a hundred years of history behind Betty Crocker.
Courtesy of Rick Spaulding

“I Am Betty,” a new musical at the History Theater in St. Paul, explores the history and impact of the iconic Betty Crocker, a woman who doesn’t exist and yet is very real to many.

The production, which runs through Dec. 23, traces her rise to popularity from the 1920s through 1950s when she became a confidant for many American women who listened to her radio show and wrote her letters seeking advice.

People perform on a stage-2
Performers in the 'I Am Betty' musical at History Theater in St. Paul.
Courtesy of Rick Spaulding

The musical, however, does not shy away from the criticisms levied against Betty Crocker that began to emerge in the 1960s with the feminist movement, notably by another well-known Betty — Betty Friedan who wrote The Feminine Mystique and makes an appearance in the show.

For Cristina Luzárraga, who wrote the show, Betty Crocker is a perfect lens for looking at the role of women. She calls the musical both a reverent and irreverent look at women’s struggles to have it all.

To hear more about the show in our full conversation with Luzárraga, click play on the audio player above.

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