Tuesday, March 15, 2022

EXTENDED: Chef Rick Bayless Stars in Windy City Playhouse's Foodie Farce "A Recipe For Disaster" Now Playing Through April 24, 2022

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar 

NOW Starring Celebrity Chef/Playwright 

Rick Bayless for select performances!

Rick Bayless set to star in A Recipe for Disaster!

That's right folks! The Michelin-starred celebrity chef of Topolobampo and Frontera fame is starring for a limited time in the very show he created starting March 23, 2022.

Rick Bayless and Windy City Playhouse present Rick Bayless in A RECIPE FOR DISASTER, the hilarious food-filled farce based on real stories from the beloved Bayless kitchen.

Chef Bayless will perform for only four weeks starting March 23 with private meet and greets on Saturdays and Sundays, so get your tickets now!


It's influencer night at The Contumacious Pig, one of the city's hottest restaurants, and with folks like @VeganChic in attendance, it's bound to be an exciting evening. There's only one problem: the head Chef just called in sick and the Sous Chef might have taken the wrong pill to calm his nerves. The health inspector showed up unannounced, there's possibly a spy from CP's biggest competition in tow, and oh yeah, the busboy is hiding a wild pig. In the meantime, the GM is trying to hold it all together while keeping customers from tweeting negative reviews. Can this team of misfits join together to offer up a great dining experience, or will they end up (literally) with egg on their face?

On the following dates, Celebrity Chef Rick Bayless will be joining the cast of A RECIPE FOR DISASTER as Jude!

March 23rd 7:30PM         April 6th 7:30PM         April 13th 7:30PM        April 20th 7:30PM

March 24th 7:30PM         April 7th 7:30PM         April 14th 7:30PM        April 21st 7:30PM

March 25th 8:00PM         April 8th 8:00PM        April 15th 8:00PM        April 22nd 8:00PM

March 26th 8:00PM         April 9th 8:00PM        April 16th 8:00PM        April 23rd 8:00PM

March 27th: 6:00PM        April 10th 6:00PM      April 17th 6:00PM        April 24th 6:00PM


Conceived by Rick Bayless and Windy City Playhouse's artistic team, A RECIPE FOR DISASTER is a live experience that combines immersive theater, food, and farce. Guests are invited inside the restaurant to join us for "influencer night." The actors will not touch or talk to audience directly, allowing you to feel like a "fly on the wall" as the hilarity unfolds around you. Admission also includes six bite-sized tastings by Chef Rick Bayless, one cocktail sampling from Lanie Bayless, and two wine pairings.


This experience will take place at Petterino's, located in the heart of the Chicago theater district at 150 N Dearborn. The entrance to Windy City Playhouse’s space is just around the corner on Randolph Street.

Image courtesy of Emily Madigan

James Beard Award-winning Chef Rick Bayless and Windy City Playhouse Artistic Director Amy Rubenstein announced the extension of their immersive production, “A Recipe For Disaster,” written by Bayless, Rubenstein and Windy City Playhouse Associate Artistic Director Carl Menninger and directed by Jeff Award Winner David H. Bell, through March 27, 2022. 

Lauded as “a truly delicious spectacle for the audience…that’s worth seeing a second time” by Eater Chicago, the fully immersive event gives audiences the opportunity to sample food designed by Bayless, with cocktails and wine pairings by Lanie Bayless as the hilarity unfolds. Based on Bayless’ real-life experiences, the story is set during influencer night at The Contumacious Pig, one of the city’s hottest restaurants, when everything that could possibly go wrong occurs. From a sick head chef and unexpected health inspector to a spy from a competing restaurant and the bus boy hiding a wild pig, the evening is nothing short of hilariously chaotic. 

The cast of a “A Recipe for Disaster” includes Emma Jo Boyden as Shelley, Kierra Bunch as Loreen, Carley Cornelius as Kiki, Ian Maryfield as Boris, Alex Morales as Iggy, Ben Page as Jude, Ryan Reilly as Clyde and Daniel Trinidad as Felix. The creative team for the show includes director David H. Bell who received a Jeff Award for his direction of Windy City Playhouse’s smash hit “Southern Gothic,” set designer William Boles, who received a Jeff Award for his design of Windy City Playhouse’s “The Boys in the Band” and costume designer Uriel Gomez who was nominated for a Jeff Award for his work on the same production. Rounding out the creative team is lighting designer Jared Gooding, sound designer Willow James and properties designer Caitlin McCarthy.  

Tickets to “A Recipe for Disaster,” which include six bite-size tastings and three cocktail and wine samplings are on sale now, with regular and VIP options available. Limited to 30 guests per performance, the VIP experience includes a pre-show charcuterie board and cocktail, premium seating and a gift bag including dessert, a party favor and a signed photo of Chef Rick Bayless and the cast. 

“A Recipe for Disaster” is now open on the Club Level at Petterino’s, located at 150 N Dearborn. For tickets and more information, please visit www.windycityplayhouse.com


About Rick Bayless  

Most people know Rick Bayless from winning the title of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters.” His highly rated public television series, “Mexico: One Plate at a Time,” is broadcast coast to coast and his nine cookbooks have earned multiple high-profile accolades.

Located in Chicago, Rick's Frontera Grill and Topolobampo have each received the “Outstanding Restaurant of the Year” designation from the James Beard Foundation — an unprecedented feat for side-by-side restaurants. His wildly popular fast-casual Xoco debuted in 2009 and Tortas Frontera at Chicago’s O’Hare airport has changed the face of airport dining. In 2016, he opened Frontera Cocina in Disney Springs. In 2018, Rick expanded his Clark Street restaurants by opening Bar Sótano, a Oaxacan-inspired mezcal bar with modern Mexican bar food. Tortazo, Rick's new fast-casual concept, debuted in 2020 in Chicago's iconic Willis Tower, with plans to open an outpost in New York City in fall 2021.

In 2012 and again in 2014, Rick joined forces with Lookingglass Theatre Company to create “Cascabel,” the story of food’s capacity to change lives. The audience for “Cascabel” shared a meal with the cast of actors, musicians, singers and circus performers as the tale of unrequited love resolved into magical beauty.

Always a philanthropist, Rick and his staff established the Frontera Farmer Foundation in 2003 to support small Midwestern farms. To date, the Foundation has awarded nearly 200 grants totaling nearly $3 million. He also launched the Frontera Scholarship, a culinary school scholarship for Mexican-American students in Chicago. In 2019, Rick founded Impact Culinary Training, a restaurant job readiness program on the city’s west side. And in 2017 he established the Bayless Family Foundation to support the city’s vibrant theater scene with grants to Chicago theater companies totaling $1.5 million to date.

The Government of Mexico has bestowed on Rick the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle–the highest decoration bestowed on foreigners whose work has benefitted Mexico and its people. 

About Windy City Playhouse 

Windy City Playhouse is a professional theater and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, located on Chicago's northwest side. Premiering in March of 2015 with a mission to present contemporary, relevant, and approach art, the Playhouse has quickly become a mainstay of the Chicago theater scene. In 2018, its runaway hit, the immersive “Southern Gothic” solidified the Playhouse as the first choice in Chicago theater for one-of-a-kind audience experience. "Experience driven. Audience first." 

For more information, visit WindyCityPlayhouse.com and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.  

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