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Geffen Playhouse Announces World Premiere of Sri Rao’s “Bollywood Kitchen”

GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE ANNOUNCES WORLD PREMIERE OF SRI RAO’S “BOLLYWOOD KITCHEN”

DIRECTED BY ARPITA MUKHERJEE

LIVE, VIRTUAL AND INTERACTIVE COOKING EXTRAVAGANZA IS THE LATEST PRODUCTION UNDER THE “GEFFEN STAYHOUSE” BANNER

Previews Begin January 15, 2021 – Opening Night is January 23, 2021

LOS ANGELES (December 9, 2020) – Geffen Playhouse will launch filmmaker and cookbook author Sri Rao’s (Netflix’s upcoming The Actress) Bollywood Kitchen in January 2021, it was announced today. Bollywood Kitchen is the latest show in a new lineup of live, virtual and interactive productions from the Los Angeles-based theater’s Geffen Stayhouse banner. Sri Rao’s Bollywood Kitchen is inspired by his cookbook of the same name, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

In this interactive production, Rao invites us to prepare a homemade Indian meal along with him, drawing on the recipes that were staples at his family’s table. As we join him in cooking these delicious dishes in our very own kitchens, Rao interweaves the story of his parents immigrating to America, the joy and nourishment that Bollywood musicals brought to his whole family, and the culinary traditions they shared. Mouthwatering flavors come together with the colorful exuberance of Bollywood films to create a festive and fun virtual experience about rediscovering the comforts of home.

“The two questions I get asked most often at cocktail parties are, ‘Can I get one of your mom’s recipes for homemade Indian food?’ and ‘I’ve never seen a Bollywood movie beforecan you recommend one to me?’ Well, the Geffen is giving me the opportunity to answer both questions at onceand this time, the cocktail party is at my place! Bollywood Kitchen is my way of introducing audiences to two of my passionsIndian food and filmswhile taking them on a personal journey of my family’s immigrant experience,” said Rao.

Bollywood Kitchen joins the currently running Geffen Stayhouse live, virtual and interactive productions of Inside the Box, from The New York Times crossword constructor and magician David Kwong (The Enigmatist); playwright, director and current member of The Kilroys Chelsea Marcantel’s (Airness, Tiny Houses) Citizen Detective; and illusionist and storyteller Helder Guimarães’ (Invisible Tango, The Present) The Future.

The Geffen Stayhouse banner originally launched in March 2020 with free, short-form content in response to Geffen Playhouse temporarily closing as a result of COVID-19. Geffen Stayhouse went on to develop and produce its first full-length effort The Present, a live, virtual, and interactive experience from magician, illusionist and storyteller Helder Guimarães, which made its world premiere in May 2020. The 250+ performance sold-out run was extended three times before closing with a global, livestreamed grand finale on October 17 with more than 6,000 viewers in the finale’s audience.

BOLLYWOOD KITCHEN
WORLD PREMIERE
Written and Performed by Sri Rao
Directed by Arpita Mukherjee
Produced in Association with Hypokrit Theatre Company
January 15, 2021 – February 20, 2021

HOW IT WORKS
Bollywood Kitchen will offer multiple tiers of ticketing options that allow the audience to choose their own unique level of participation, including a livestream viewing-only option.

For audience members who prefer an interactive experience, a special “Bollywood Box” will be delivered to their doorstep in advance of the performance. Each box will include an assortment of specially curated Indian spices, recipe cards and other items they’ll need for the show. A shopping list of perishable items that are easy to find in a local grocery store will also be included to complete the dinner menu.

Interactive ticket tiers include a limited number of a premium “Chef’s Table” option, as well as a “Bollywood Foodie” option, which will not have a maximum audience capacity. A “Here for the Party” option is available for a viewing-only experience, also with no maximum audience capacity.

Chef’s Table
A limited number of audience members will virtually cook alongside and interact with Sri throughout the show, providing them with an opportunity to ask Sri questions and get tips along the way.
Includes:
Interactive Zoom ticket for the show
Bollywood Box (by mail)
Recipe Cards
Autographed Bollywood Kitchen cookbook by Sri Rao
Limited-time private Vimeo link after the show to re-watch the performance

Bollywood Foodie
Audience members can choose to prepare their meal in advance with the Bollywood Box ingredients and enjoy it during the performance, or they can virtually cook with Sri in real time as they watch the show.
Includes:
Streaming-only ticket for the show
Bollywood Box (by mail)
Recipe Cards

Here for the Party
This option is available to audience members who prefer a viewing-only experience.
Includes:
Streaming-only ticket for the show
Digital recipes

TICKET INFORMATION
Tickets are currently priced at $40.00 - $175.00 per household. Available by phone at 310.208.2028 or online at www.geffenplayhouse.org. Fees may apply.

ABOUT SRI RAO
Sri Rao is a filmmaker based in New York City. He stands uniquely positioned at the intersection of Hollywood & Bollywood, as one of the few American-born screenwriters to have worked in the mainstream Indian film industry. He is currently making a series for Netflix titled The Actress, as well as developing several other series for Netflix and HBO Max. His production company is focused on creating content by and about South Asian Americans. In his book Bollywood Kitchen (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Sri combines his passion for Indian food and films by pairing Bollywood musicals with home-cooked recipes. www.newyorksri.com

ABOUT HYPOKRIT THEATRE COMPANY
Hypokrit Theatre Company’s mission is to disrupt the pedagogy of American theater, in order to create a more equitable and relevant theater. Based in New York City, Hypokrit exclusively develops work by artists of color and is led and supported by minority communities, who across ethnicities, genders, and sexualities are united in their commitment to elevate multicultural talent and stories.

ABOUT GEFFEN PLAYHOUSE
Geffen Playhouse has been a hub of the Los Angeles theater scene since opening its doors in 1995. Noted for its intimacy and celebrated for its world-renowned mix of classic and contemporary plays, provocative new works and second productions, the not-for-profit organization continues to present a body of work that has garnered national recognition. Named in honor of entertainment mogul and philanthropist David Geffen, who made the initial donation to the theater, the company was founded by Gilbert Cates and is currently helmed by Executive Director Gil Cates, Jr., Artistic Director Matt Shakman and Board Chair Howard Tenenbaum. Proudly associated with UCLA, the Geffen maintains extensive education and community engagement programs, designed to involve young people and the community at large in the arts. www.geffenplayhouse.org

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MEDIA CONTACT

Zenon Dmytryk
Geffen Playhouse