The rise of the celebrity chef has been one of the more curious developments of the 21st century.
Leave it to Rick Bayless turn the screws on the "celebrity" half of that phrase by orchestrating a real life circus at the Looking Glass Theater built around his Mexican cooking skills. He said the show would spin dinner theater on its head.
"What we are going to offer to theater goers in Chicago is elements of a show, the food, the circus, the story that are all inseparable," Bayless said in announcing the show, theaticrally. "They're all inseparable."
The show, titled Rick Bayless in Cascabel, stars Bayless as the chef of a 1940s boarding house who seduces a woman without an appetite with his food. Bayless, a longtime advocate for Mexican cuisine, will be pulling triple duty as theatergoers will also be fed a three-course meal from his flagship restaurant, Frontera, during the show.
The act will also include circus performers -- a la Cirque du Soliel.
Bayless has always had a certain theatricality to him, which makes this week's announcement that he'll be starring production next spring somewhat less shocking.
Still, it's plenty interesting, somewhat unprecedented, and a little weird.
Tickets range from $180-$205, and given it's a limited engagement -- from March 23 to April 22, 2012 -- they're likely to sell like Mexican hotcakes.
You can read more about the show over at Lookingglass' announcement.