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Lookingglass Theatre Extends CASCABEL Through April 29


Lookingglass Theatre, Frontera Grill and Silverguy Entertainment announce additional performances of Rick Bayless in Cascabel: Dinner – Daring – Desire, a theatrical adventure featuring a feast, circus acts, and a love story starring celebrity chef Rick Bayless. The culinary and theatrical experience has been extended an additional week, through April 29, 2012, at Lookingglass Theatre Company, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works.

Currently, only a total of 200 seats remain.  Tickets are available for performances during the extension week (April 24-29), April 8 (Easter) and Tuesday, April 17.  Lookingglass will be tweeting about last minute availability on a daily basis, @gglasstheatre.  Tickets are available online,; by phone, (312) 337-0665; or at the Lookingglass Theatre box office, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.  For more information and box office hours, visit

In this sensual tale of love and hunger, the audience will join the guests of the boardinghouse Cascabel at their courtyard table where they will enjoy the same meal the Chef is preparing for the boarding house. From his meager kitchen, the mysterious new cook conjures an enchanting cuisine, which seems to give those who eat it fantastic and magical abilities. But he is singularly focused on the proprietress of the house, a melancholy woman with no interest in his food, who barely ever leaves her room. Will she ever try a bite? And what will happen if she does? 

"In Rick Bayless, Lookingglass has found a kindred spirit who loves adventure every bit as much as we do – and nothing could be more adventurous than combining theater, circus, and dinner in this way that has, literally, never been done before, says Artistic Director Andy White.  "Like many Lookingglass shows, this will be an evening that celebrates discovery, as a new cook arrives at a boardinghouse, and his recipes soon have a transformative effect on the lovelorn owner and her eclectic guests. This production will be a total feast for the senses, providing a combination of spectacle, athleticism, music, dancing, circus – and, oh yes, the best aromas and tastes that the brain can conceive or the body enjoy."

Cascabel features Rick Bayless (Cook), Artistic Associate Tony Hernandez (Houseboy), Ensemble Member Thomas J. Cox (Suitor), Carlos Basile (Musician), Nicolas Besnard (Solitary Traveler), Shenea Booth (Solitary Traveler), Anne Goldmann (Gardener's Wife), Chiara Mangiameli (Señora), Lindsey Noel Whiting (Daughter), Jesse Perez (Maitre'D), Alexandra Pivaral (Bathing Chica), and JoNathan Taylor (Gardener).

Designers include Artistic Associates Andre Pleuss and Rick Sims (Co-Composers & Sound Designers); Ensemble Member Mara Blumfield and  Lijana Wallenda Hernandez (Co-Costume Designers); Production Affiliate Brian Bembridge (Scenic & Lighting Design); Maria DeFabo (Properties Designer); and Lee Brausell (Rigging Designer). The Dance Choreographer is Emilee Peterson. The Production Stage Manager is Rose Marie Packer.

Walgreens is the Presenting Sponsor of Cascabel.

Richard A. Ditton, Incredible Technologies is the Production Sponsor for Cascabel.

Rick Bayless (Co-Creator/Cook) Most people know him from his highly rated on-going Public Television Series, "Mexico - One Plate at a Time" and from his seven cookbooks. His side by side award-winning restaurants in Chicago were founded in 1987:  the casual Frontera Grill and the 4-star Topolobampo.  In 2007, Frontera Grill won for Outstanding Restaurant by the James Beard Organization.  His award-winning Frontera line of salsas, grilling sauces and organic chips can be found coast to coast. Rick Bayless has won James Beard awards for:  Midwest Chef of the Year, National Chef of the Year and Humanitarian of the Year.  "Mexico - One Plate at a Time" is currently in its eighth season on PBS and Rick's book Mexican Everyday was nominated for a James Beard Award. XOCO, Rick's latest restaurant, is LEED certified and is known for house-ground chocolate. He was also recently crowned Bravo's Top Chef Master.  Rick's seventh book, Fiesta at Rick's spent the summer on the New York Times Best Seller list.

Tony Hernandez (Co-Creator/Co- Director/Houseboy/Artistic Associate) is currently performing in Absinthe at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV. Tony was last seen in Chicago in 2010 at the Goodman Theatre playing the title role in Lookingglass/Silverguy's Hephaestus, which he also created, co-wrote & co-directed with Heidi Stillman. He was also seen perched atop  a ladder at Belmont Harbor in Redmoon Theatre's Last of my Species. A company member at Lookingglass Theatre, his credits include Arognautika, Lookingglass Alice, Hard Times, La Luna Muda, The Old Curiosity Shop and The Baron in the Trees. Other Chicago stage credits include Up (Steppenwolf Theatre), and The Skriker (Defiant Theatre Company). Growing up in the circus, including five years with Ringling Bros., he was a part of the Wallenda's Guinness World Record on the highwire..

Heidi Stillman (Co-Creator/Co-Director/Artistic Director of New Work/Ensemble Member) Most recently at Lookingglass, Heidi co-directed Trust with David Schwimmer and co-wrote/directed Hephaestus with Tony Hernandez at the Goodman. Other Lookingglass writing/directing credits include The Brothers Karamazov, Hard Times (5 Jeff Awards, also traveled to The Arden in Philedelphia), and The Master and Margarita (with David Catlin). Directing credits at Lookingglass include The Wooden Breeks (by Glen Berger), and Hillbilly Antigone (Book and Music by Rick Sims). She also recently staged Laura Eason's Around the World in 80 Days at Kansas City Rep and Mary Zimmerman's The Arabian Nights at Berkeley Rep.  Other Lookingglass adaptation credits include The Old Curiosity Shop co-written with Ray Fox and Laura Eason (Jeff award), and The Baron in the Trees with Larry DiStasi. She was last seen on stage in The Arabian Nights. Heidi was awarded the 2010 Raven Award for Excellence in Arts and Entertainment for The Brothers Karamazov.

Carlos Basile (Musician) has a Master's Degree in Classical Guitar Performance from NEIU and he has also studied Spanish flamenco guitar in Andalusia (Spain). He has visited over 30 countries to gather musical materials, perform, teach and collaborate. Carlo has taught guitar workshops in Hanoi, Vietnam; Chang Mai, Thailand and Cebu (Philippines). He has collaborated with musicians in Cuba, India, Senegal, Morocco and Bali (Indonesia). Carlo founded the Spanish guitar influenced world music ensemble, Las Guitarras de España (The Guitars of Spain). The ensemble's latest CD, "Tantas Cosas" featuring Patricia Ortega was given consideration for a Grammy in 2011. Info at:


Nicolas Besnard (Solitary Traveler) developed his art at National Circus School and at the University of Dance of Montreal. In 2005, Nicolas was invited to be a guest act in Zumanity, a production of Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas where he performed over 2000 times in four years. He has performed all around the globe and has appeared in many different TV shows including "Le Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde," and "Benissimo." He also won the Silver Medal in Paris at the most recognized Circus Festival in the world - 31st Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain and made it to the finals of "French Got Talent."

Shenea Booth (Solitary Traveler) is a former two time World Champion in Acrobatic Gymnastics, and is a recent USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame Inductee. In 2004 she retired from the competitive arena and evolved into a world renowned artist, creating a groundbreaking genre of entertainment as an acrobatic duo. As an entertainer, Shenea has made special appearances on "Dancing With The Stars," "So You Think You Can Dance", Cirque Du Soliel premier special events, NBC's "Ice Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular," and was a finalist on "Americas Got Talent."

Thomas J. Cox (Suitor/Ensemble Member) is a founding ensemble member of Lookingglass, with whom he has done over thirty productions, including Nelson Algren: For Keeps and a Single Day (Jeff-Nominated Solo Performance), The Old Curiosity Shop (Jeff-Nominated Supporting Actor), 1984, Vanishing Twin, Master and Margarita, Jungle, S/M, Peter Pan (a play), and most recently The Great Fire. He has appeared at Goodman, Steppenwolf, Court, and Northlight Theatres, among others, most recently appeared in The Outgoing Tide at Northlight. Film/TV: Chi-Girl (independent), Since You've Been Gone (Miramax), "Brotherhood" (Showtime). He also serves as Master Teacher for Lookingglass Education and Community Programs. 


Anne Goldmann (Gardener's Wife) started her physical training as a gymnast for 10 years ago. Her theater training came from 15 years of live performance in conventional, absurd and avant-garde productions. She studied at ACT Academy in San Francisco and engaged in extensive study of vocal production and world music. She also went to the SF Circus School and trained in hand-balancing and acrobatics and learned wire-walking from the Flying Wallendas. Anne studied Clown with Canadian Master Teacher Sue Morrison and afterwards co-created and produced award-winning shows, Does this mean anything to you? and Extra-Ordinary Vacancy, which premiered at PS122 in New York. Since 2001, Anne has performed in festivals, cabaret and street theater in over fourteen countries solo and with her husband as the "Daredevil Chicken Club". 


Chiara Mangiameli (Señora) A native Italian, Ms. Mangiameli has been appearing on national and international stages for well over a decade. Trained in flamenco in Seville, Spain, she is the co-founder of the music trio Idilio, with which she released her debut album, as well as the Chiara Mangiameli Ensemble. In addition she has collaborated with some of Chicago's most critically acclaimed groups including Las Guitarras De España and The Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater. A graduate of The Theater School at De Paul University, her acting credits include The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci at The Goodman Theatre, and Arthur Laurents' Time Of The Cuckoo at the Lincoln Center in NYC. In June of 2011, Chiara celebrated the much anticipated opening of Studio Mangiameli where she teaches a wide variety of flamenco technique and ryhthm classes. Currently, she is choreographing and directing her new dance work, A Través Del Espejo, premiering in May of this year.

Lindsey Noel Whiting (Daughter) most recently appeared at Lookingglass in The Great Fire. Other Lookingglass credits include Icarus and Lookingglass Alice. Lindsey has performed regionally with Actors Theatre of Louisville, The ALLIANCE THEATRE and Syracuse Stage. Chicago credits include: The Snow Queen (Victory Gardens); Once Upon A Time (or The Secret Language of Birds), The Golden Truffle, The Cabinet, and Sink, Sank, Sunk (Redmoon); as well as Dream and Lost & Found at Actors' Gymnasium. Lindsey is also a member of Barrel of Monkey and performs with Mucca Pazza, a circus punk marching band. 


Jesse Perez (Maitre'D) Off-Broadway: Triple Happiness (Second Stage Theatre), Barrio Girl (Summer Play Festival), Recent Tragic Events (Playwrights Horizons), In the Penal Colony (Classic Stage Company), Up Against the Wind (New York Theatre Workshop). Regional: Candide (Huntington Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre, The Goodman), A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare on the Sound), A Servant of Two Masters, Lulu, Cherry Orchard, and Taming of the Shrew (Yale Repertory Theatre), Hard Weather Boating Party (Humana Play Festival), The Arabian Nights (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Argonautika, Lookingglass Alice (Lookingglass Theatre Company), Celebrity Row (Portland Center Stage), Pericles (Goodman Theatre), Hamlet (McCarter Theatre Center), Lucia di Lammermoor (The Metropolitan Opera). Film and Television: Enter Nowhere, American Splendor, All Night Bodega, Playing God, Kazaam, "Person of Interest", "Life on Mars", "Law & Order," "Law & Order SVU," "The Job" and "Third Watch." Jesse is a graduate from The Juilliard School.

Alexandra Pivaral (Bathing Chica) was born in New York City in 1994 to world traveling acrobatic parents. She began her training at age 7 and performed in her first show shortly thereafter as the lead in Imagination Entertainment's iL CiRCo production. Since then, she has performed and headlined in countless productions around the world including iL CiRCo productions in Atlantic City and the Phillipines, the International Youth Festival in Switzerland, the Mexico tour of Viaggio, and The Shiek Mohammed in Dubai UAE. She is considered one of the most talented acrobats in her field of contortion and balancing and is recognized for her stage presence and the originality of her elements and choreography that set her far above the rest. Sasha Pivaral performed and worked for many corporate clients including: Harrah's Rincon Casino, Mandalay Bay Resort, Dr Pepper, La Quinta, Toyota, KIA Motor Company, Microsoft, General Motors, Bally's, Epson and Wells Fargo.

JoNathan Taylor (Gardener) trained at the Dell'Arte School of Physical Theater, Ringling Bros Clown College, and with Clown Master Sue Morrison. He directed and performed with Blue Man Group for eight years in the U.S. Canada and Germany. He also toured the states with Ringling Brothers Circus as a clown and co-created a clown show, Freaks in the Box, with Voki Kalfayan. Jonathan now performs the Honeymoon Cabaret with his wife, Anne Goldmann, and his solo clown show The Collector and also tours their Mini/Cabaret Venue, Le Tigre Tent

Tickets are available online,; by phone, (312) 337-0665; or at the Lookingglass Theatre box office, located inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.  For more information and box office hours, visit

Cascabel began performances on March 21, 2012. The press openings are Tuesday - Thursday, March 27-29, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.  The production runs through April 29, 2012.  Tickets are $145-$225 during the regular run (through April 22).  Ticket for the extension week (April 24-29), are $250. Ticket price includes hors d'oeuvres, dinner, and non-alcoholic beverages. Wine is not included in the ticket price, though several different wines will be available for purchase the night of the show.  Information on wine pairings, food allergies and dietary restrictions are available at

Lookingglass Theatre is located in the heart of the Magnificent Mile shopping district inside Chicago's historic Water Tower Water Works, 821 N. Michigan Ave. at Pearson.  Discounted parking is available for Lookingglass patrons at both the nearby John Hancock Center and Olympia Centre Self Park (161 E. Chicago Ave.). To purchase tickets, call the Lookingglass Theatre box office at (312) 337-0665 or visit

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