Chicago’s Lookingglass Theater looks to make an upscale event out of dinner theater, teaming with chef and TV host Rick Bayless for a production that combines circus acts, a romance narrative and a meal.
Show, heftily titled “Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner — Daring — Desire,” is created by Bayless, Tony Hernandez and Heidi Stillman. Hernandez and Stillman previously collaborated with Lookingglass on “Hephaestus,” a similarly cirque-esque offering that preemed in 2008 and returned for a 2010 run.
Bayless, a winner of Bravo skein Top Chef Masters, has hosted PBS series “Mexico: One Plate at a Time” for eight seasons and counting. He’s also the founder of the Windy City restaurant chain whose flagship is Frontera Grill.
Bayless will also star in “Cascabel,” set in a Mexican boarding house in the 1940s. Plot centers on a chef who falls in love with a woman who doesn’t eat.
Hernandez, an associate artist with Lookingglass, is topper of Silverguy Entertainment, which produces “Cascabel” with Lookingglass and Frontera Grill. Stillman is a member of the theater troupe’s ensemble of regular collaborators.
With a full meal served to each patron, tickets top out $205 for most weekend perfs.
“Cascabel” is offered outside of Lookingglass’ main 2011-12 slate, comprised of new tuners “The Great Fire” and “Eastland” as well as play “Mr. Ricky Calls a Meeting.”
Cascabel” runs March 23-April 22 at the company’s venue in downtown Chi.