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Geffen Playhouse’s Premiere Of ‘Bollywood Kitchen,’ A Virtual Cooking Experience

Sri Rao in the Geffen Stayhouse production of Bollywood Kitchen — Photography by Hartman Benzon Media

Geffen Playhouse, in association with Hypokrit Theatre Company, is launching filmmaker and cookbook author Sri Rao’s “Bollywood Kitchen” this month. The latest show is part of a new lineup of live, virtual, and interactive productions from the Los Angeles-based theater’s Geffen Stayhouse banner.

Previews begin January 15, with opening night taking place on Jan.23. The show runs through Feb. 21.

Sri Rao’s “Bollywood Kitchen,” directed by New York City-based Hypokrit Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Arpita Mukherjee, 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, when growing up in Pennsylvania. While cooking, 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. The show will have the vibe of a Bollywood film to create a festive and fun virtual experience.

“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, who is also the creator and showrunner of Netflix’s upcoming series, “The Actress,” starring Bollywood icon Madhuri Dixit and produced by Karan Johar.

We are thrilled to be partnering with the world-renowned Geffen Playhouse to bring Sri’s unique Indian-American, immigrant experience to life by interweaving food and film into a one-of-a-kind live experience,” said Mukherjee, artistic director and co-founder of Hypokrit Theatre Company in NYC. “Our company prides itself on telling the intersectional stories of people of color, and we are certain Sri’s journey will be relatable to many Indian Americans who embrace their multiple identities and create a confluence of culture by honoring their past and celebrating their present.”

“Bollywood Kitchen” will offer multiple tiers of ticketing options. 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 interact with and cook alongside Rao throughout the show, providing them an opportunity to ask the chef questions and get tips along the way. This includes an 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 and share it with friends.

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. This includes streaming-only ticket for the show; Bollywood Box (by mail); and 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 and digital recipes.

Tickets are currently priced at $40.00 – $175.00 per household. Available by phone at 310.208.2028 or online at

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.