Quickie with a Choreographer

On The Air co-choreographer Ariana Lallone took a moment to answer five of our quasi-red swanchoreography related questions.

1. When you were a kid, did you make up dance routines with your friends?

I was definitely more of an emulator than a creator. If I saw a performance, a role that I really dreamed about dancing some day or a dancer that I wanted “to be just like”…I would spend hours trying to re-create what I had seen. This usually occurred in front of my biggest fan, loving critic, and only audience member at the time… my mom.

2. You have appeared in Two Teatro ZinZanni dinner shows, numerous kids shows, and now you co-choreographed On The Air, Is this what you thought your retirement from PNB would be like?

I think I could write a book on that question alone. In a nutshell…I had no idea!! In my heart, I was nowhere near ready to stop performing; I had no connection to the word retirement. I was welcomed, with love, into a world that I only could have dreamed about being part of, because I was such a huge fan of Teatro ZinZanni! Through performance, training, and a tremendous amount of encouragement… I have been able to grow as an artist, performer, and person. I went from immediately saying “no” to things I thought I was not capable of doing, to “yes, sure I’ll try it.” I feel so grateful to Teatro ZinZanni for giving me this incredible opportunity to spread my wings.

Ariana Tambourine Sub

3. What was it like co- choreographing a Teatro ZinZanni dinner show?

I can safely say that Mickael Bajazet and I had an incredible time working together on the choreography for On The Air. Though I was a bit nervous about it in the beginning, because I had never done anything like this before, my trepidation quickly vanished. We had immediate symmetry during our brainstorming sessions. We devoted a lot of time to talking about our ideas, blocking those ideas in the space, and then working on the choreography… before the rehearsals with the servers and the cast even started. We wanted to be prepared!! We would bounce ideas off each other, and it seemed, at times, that we were reading each other’s mind. Mickael has an innate sense of music, and I love to count… so we were perfect partners. Collaborating, as part of the creative process, is one of my most favorite things to do. l loved every minute of working with Mickael and hope we will have a chance to collaborate again.

4.  Favorite song to dance to when no one is watching?

I find it hard to hone in on one particular song as a favorite. I love music that gives me energy, inspiration, and the feeling that I can’t sit still when I listen to it. That being said, I must confess that I will always have special place in my heart for disco and a good musical theater sound track.

5.  Favorite song to dance to when someone is watching?

Most of “someone watching” happened during my career at PNB and then very happily continued at Teatro ZinZanni. Because I am unable to pick a favorite role that I danced, it makes it impossible for me to pick a favorite song. When I hear music to some of the roles that I loved performing (or even those that I just loved watching)…I am immediately transported to the experience of all that was involved in that process. It takes me just seconds to remember the steps or the person I worked with that helped rehearse or choreograph the role.

6. If you could teach an animal to dance, which animal would you pick and why (bonus points for picking a song)?

I’m going to have to go with a baby African Pygmy goat.  I’m not sure how coachable it would be, and we would probably have to rely on frequent bottle feedings, intermittent naps, and a lot of improv. I imagine the choreography would mostly include small jumps with an occasional series of turns either in place or all over the place. I think I’d go with an original barnyard musical composition… highlighting its own spectacular newborn voice.

Photo Credit: Maryland Zoo

Photo Credit: Maryland Zoo

Two for You, Juliana Rambaldi

Juliana

What two questions would you ask our performers?  You asked, we got answers. First up in our series, Two for You, Juliana Rambaldi:

TZ: What is your favorite song right now?

Juliana: My favorite song right now is the new aria I’m working up for the show (which was put in the show): Ebben? Nè andró lontana, from La Wally by Catalani.

TZ:  Where is your favorite place in Seattle when you are in town?

Juliana: Not sure about the favorite place – anywhere where my family is! Lately I have been enjoying taking the ferry across to Bainbridge Island. I recently had great Chinese food at Judy Fu’s Snappy Dragon on Roosevelt.

Find out more about Juliana on her website!

Have a burning question, email us at tzsocial@zinzanni.com

Goofing Off and Being a Clown

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For most administrators, reviewing registration paperwork is not the most thrilling part of their day.

Most administrators don’t work for the circus! Also most registration forms don’t ask questions like: Please write a few sentences about your experiences in Circus and Performing Arts. If you have no experience, please tell us what excited you about Camp ZinZanni.

For us perusing camp registration forms are a source of joy and validation. They are teeming with stories from parents running the gamut from  their child having truly transformative experiences under the tent to their kid had a blast learning slapstick comedy (sometimes both). This is not surprising as a  good portion of our camps are filled with former campers or siblings of campers who have grown up hearing all about Camp ZinZanni.

The best stories, however,  come from the kids, especially when it is written by them (see the image below). Here are some of our favorites:

I have never done circus but I have done hip-hop, gymnastics and Youth Theatre.  I have really enjoyed them all.  Last summer my friend went to Camp ZinZanni and said it was so much fun, and that made me want to go really badly.  I’m so excited that I can’t wait any longer!!

I don’t like juggling much.  But I like acting and acrobatics.  I went to this camp one year ago.

The best was learning how to slap myself. I want to do it again!

My mommy told me I had to go so here I am.
goofing off

 

See the 2014 Schedule!

 

On The Food

Let’s talk food for a minute or an hour (really we could go on for days about food).

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Chef Erik Carlson has whipped us into a frenzy over his delicious delicacies (and his pink-salt whipped cream no less) prepared especially for On The Air.

“Chef Erik Carlson has devised a menu filled with complex flavors and delicious surprises.”  SeattleActor.com

Here’s the menu rundown:

APPETIZER

Two endive cups – one featuring cherry molasses pulled pork, the other a tomato-fennel quinoa – with grissini breadsticks and an aged balsamic reduction

SOUP

Carrot and ginger bisque garnished with candied rosemary

SALAD

A fresh mix of arugula and frisee, topped with pickled radish, roasted kohlrabi, bleu cheese crumble, and toasted hazelnuts tossed in a light cumin and lemon vinaigrette

ENTRÉES (or as we call it choices, choices, choices)

Prime Top Sirloin

Double R Ranch 8oz top sirloin with a cabernet reduction, served with caramelized onion and arugula bamboo rice, and garlic squash pasta

Crab Stuffed Sea Scallops

Sea scallops with a Dungeness crab filling served with polenta, oven roasted asparagus, and a rich Tobiko beurre blanc

Vegetable Napoleon

Layers of phyllo pastry, roasted sweet corn-edamame relish, and root vegetable mash on a sun dried tomato cream puree

DESSERT

Golden lemon-basil pound cake with a spiced apple-rhubarb compote center topped with a vanilla-pink salt whipped cream

Here’s what our guests are saying:

“Amazing show and amazing dinner!” -Carman party

“The food was perfect, every course.”  -Marie, Snohomish, WA

“Delicious accommodation to  our gluten allergy!” -Buck party

“My sirloin was perfect!” -Facebook fan

 

Broadcasting from Radio KTZ

Ahhh opening week! The tent is alive from dawn (read 8:00AM) to dusk (midnight-ish).  The tantalizing scents wafting from the kitchen, the cacophony of scenery being loaded in and taken out of the tent,  band rehearsals, last minute costume fittings…

It is all oddly satisfying.

Each new show is like a fresh start. A crisp sheet of paper. Only for us that paper is glittery card stock. In a gilded frame.

Enough about paper, let’s get on with the show already!

On the Air

On the Air
For this show we are taking you back to the golden age of radio! The tent transforms into radio station KTZ, the only station in Seattle broadcasting a nostalgic variety of dazzling music, acrobatic cirque, and hilarious comedy. It’s radio like you’ve never seen!

And the cast:

Original Teatro ZinZanni cast member and side-splitting comedian Kevin Kent returns to the spiegeltent

Singing sensation Anki Albertsson, makes her triumphant second appearance in the tent

Hilarious aerial duoThe Collins Brothers (not actually brothers) are certain to please and delight

Les Petits Freres, everyone’s favorite acrobatic trio return with even more shenanigans

Joel Salom, the juggling juggernaut from Australia

Juliana Rambaldi will dazzle and blind you (not really) with her throat of gold

and the ever-flexible and always radiant Vita Radionova

Get more info!

The Loss of a ZinZanni Maestro

Norman Durkee

The Teatro ZinZanni family mourns the death of Norman Durkee, our founding Musical Director, composer and Maestro. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family, especially his children who shared him with us for the fifteen years since our founding, and to the friends who were especially close to him in the last months of his life.

Every member of every Teatro ZinZanni audience has been carried through an evening of fun and tenderness in the embrace of his music. With a new generation of artists and Durkee’s compositions and creative spirit still sparkling through the shows, that experience will continue in many ZinZanni’s yet to come.

Every member of the extended ZinZanni family around the world knows how Durkee recognized and celebrated real talent and beauty, honored the best of the past, and challenged us to grow and change in our pursuit of high art, low humor, love and chaos. For an acrobat or singer, it was “That was amazing, but you can be better. How about trying this?” For me, it was often “Well that really sucked, Langill.” And what followed was always better.

So Mr. Durkee leaves behind a group of veterans who are better for having worked with him, a new generation of musical artists whom he nurtured and prodded and inspired to do great things, and a lot of broken hearts. We hoped we had him for a few more songs, a few more ideas, a few more laughs.

Durkee once observed that we are sad when a loved one dies because that person’s knowledge of us dies with him, and a part of us is lost. Yup. That really sucks, Durkee.

- Norman Langill

 

Drink Like a Bartender: Thin Mint Mocha

Need a delicious holiday cocktail? Our Bar Manager Jamie-Paul Rizzo (pictured above) has crafted a concoction to please even the most persnickety pundit of libations.  It’s the perfect balance of the rich, sweetness you expect from white chocolate, kept in check by the drink’s bold bouncer – Cafe Umbria coffee- with a finale of wintery peppermint.

ENCORE!

Monsieur Rizzo agreed to share the recipe for this palate pleaser (and many more to come) in this month’s Drink Like a Bartender.

Thin Mint Mocha

1 oz. Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
1 oz. peppermint schnapps
.5 oz. white creme de cocoa
Topped with Caffe Umbria Arco Etrusco blend, whipped cream, and sprinkled with grated dark chocolate

Make it at home or swing by the tent and order one from our mixologists.

Hail Caesar! Forbidden Oasis Packs Heat

Photo Credit: Alan Alabastro

The press is head-over-heels for Hail Caesar! Forbidden Oasis. This Saharan-style adventure’s reviews are no mirage! The performance packs heat to keep all of us warm over the long, grey winter. Get your swim trunks on and let’s see what the press have to say:

“A gleefully gaudy banquet of aerial acts and acrobatics, tap dancing and clowning…The talent sizzles” -The Seattle Times

“You’re not just buying dinner and a show, but a lavish evening-length party.” -Seattle Weekly

“Burlesque- era comedy, lots of audience participation, brassy vocals, and circus-style spectacle” -Talkin’ Broadway

“Frank Ferrante  our hilarious host, is such a doll. He is the kind of relative you wish you had at holiday gatherings because he makes every scene a riot.” Examiner.com

“Weber’s ease and obvious joy in the air is moving, glorious and inspiring.” -Edge Seattle

“Wayne Doba and Andrea Conway-Doba bring humor and old vaudeville charm with their dancing, singing and skits. ”  -Bellevue Reporter

“A delicious dinner that is as unique and pretty as the show.” -Christian Pop Culture at Examiner.com

Here’s what our Facebook fans are saying:

“this is a show EVERYONE MUST SEE! Great value, dinner, Vegas quality or Cirque du Soleil quality talent. So special. My mouth is sore from smiling, laughing and in ‘Awww’ from tonight with the talent, strength, muscle…what else do I say of this show? Spectacular…go see when in Seattle.”

“Best night ever, thank you so much for and awesome show!”

“We had such a great time… glad we were able to get some love spice!”

See what all the buzz is about, get your tickets now!

 

Circus Chef Mentors

Executive Chef Erik Carlson sat us down to answer a few questions about his new protege he has been mentoring:  Samantha Hoehne, Senior at Monroe High School and a culinary student at Sno-Isle Tech. Here’s the scoop (or spatula):

1) What do you enjoy most about being an executive chef?

I love the food service industry. I love the duality, that it can be a mainstream art form AND our jobs to feed others. I love the intimacy of feeding people (which is such a personal thing). That being said, my all-time favorite reason  for being a chef is creating new and exciting menu items with such great local resources. We (chefs) are the new rock stars!!

2) What are some key steps to make a menu?

The first step is to know your guests. Second, here at ZinZanni, I do a lot of research. I investigate the era or the main characteristics of the upcoming show and develop the menu to run parallel. Next I  brainstorm, writing what sounds great with no rules. Then I develop the recipes for my menu. This leads up to the big one: tastings and re-writes. Finally, complete the recipes, price them out, and train the staff.

3) What were the steps you had to take to become an executive chef?

In the beginning it was just lots of hard work. After that I chose to go to culinary school. Right out of school I found a chef I really wanted to apprentice with and bugged him until he took me. After five years of working under him and learning tons, I went out and started working with other chefs and developed my style through observation.

4) What do you feel is the most important part of your job?

Each job is so different for each chef. Here at ZinZanni I believe the most important role I play is to design and deliver a menu worthy of a world-class theatre/circus show. On a personal note, I aim to create a unique kitchen experience that is very positive and fosters a high level of creativity and energy for all my team members.

5) What kind of education did you go through?

A lot of my training was from my grandmother actually. She taught me what it meant to really love feeding people. After that I worked through all the positions I could then went to culinary school. Upon graduation I apprenticed under Chef Brian Poor for five years. However, I firmly believe that in our industry a chef’s real education comes from trial and error.

6) What is some advice you would give to younger people who want to become an executive chef?

Understand the service industry first. We work when others play. Being a chef requires a lot of sacrifice and a mountain of hard work. Don’t be afraid of hard work. Pay attention to everyone cooking around as almost every one of them will have some knowledge you do not. Embrace your failures and learn from them. Develop a ‘taste library’. This is the area in a chef’s brain where through time spent they can ‘taste’ a menu by just reading it

7) What do you feel are some of your greatest accomplishments in the culinary world?

Well, I am very proud of what we put out nightly. I think we truly have forged new ground in ‘dinner theatre’. I am extremely proud of my FareStart Dinner, it was a culinary dream of mine to do an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ dinner, and it was amazing! I have had several recipes published that I am proud of too.

8) How does Teatro ZinZanni differ from other restaurants you have worked in?

Well, it is actually closer to a banquet kitchen than a restaurant. Our shows and menus are themed  and have unique design challenges:  a 12-foot slide we send our desserts down or we have to make sure is or plates are ‘danceable’ (each course has a choreographed dance routine with full plates in the server’s hands). We have a 4-month menu rotation that requires a complete re-write with supportive recipe pieces each time.

9) What is the most difficult part of your job?

I am lucky in that I really love what I do. So, I guess the difficult parts are the same as always, lots of personal time sacrificed. I work some very long weeks when the shows ‘changeover’.

10) How do you feel becoming a mentor?

At first, I was very nervous, as this was my real teaching chance. I have always been nervous about being a mentor.  I’ve always felt like the guy who’s cooking. What do I have to impart on others? Upon reflection I realize the 25+ years of experiences have given me some insights, things that are second nature to me, things I thought everyone knew. After meeting Sam,  I felt more at ease. Her disposition seemed great for my first shot at mentoring and I get to help her design menu items, my real joy. Now, I can’t wait to get started because  this will be fun and beneficial to us both.

Tap-Tastic Time at New Day Northwest

We took our delightful, tap-dancing duo Wayne Doba and Andrea Conway Doba to New Day Northwest where they performed a snippet of their routine from our current production, Hail Caesar! Forbidden Oasis. Check out some of the behind the scenes photos!

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See the full video of  Wayne and Andrea Doba on New Day Northwest

A Feast Fit for Cleo

The Hail Caesar! Forbidden Oasis menu is  FINALLY here!

Appetizer:

Photo Credit: Matthew Worden

Caramelized sweet onions, spinach, feta cheese and roasted peppers wrapped in a flaky dough pyramid with a 3 olive tapenade and served with a rich basil cream

Soup:

 

Photo Credit: Matthew Worden

Egyptian yellow lentil soup with caraway cream and pita strips

Salad:

Arugula and fresh green leaf lettuce with English cucumber, Roma tomato, shaved sweet onion, Kalamata olives, brioche croutons and lemon-tarragon vinaigrette

Entrees:


Kurobuta Pork Chop with our own ‘Love Spice’ topped with baked apple-mint sauce and served with roasted garlic –Parmesan mash and local seasonal mini vegetables


Halibut with basil and fresh fig chutney, fin herbe couscous and local seasonal mini vegetables


Photo Credit: Matthew Worden

Roasted tomato and fennel quinoa stuffed pepper with a fresh cucumber raita, basil-fig tartlet and citrus dressed kale & pepper salad

Dessert:

Peach, ricotta and pecan Baklava

Who’s hungry?

Naughty and Nice

Naughty and NiceSugar and spice, all things naughty and nice!  Captain Smartypants returns to the spiegeltent with some of Santa’s sauciest helpers,  Sensible Shoes and  Drag Chanteuse Arnaldo! for one night only, December 21!

We could tell you all about how wonderful this evening is going to be. We could tell you how the performers are fabulous and that this will be a holiday concert extravaganza unlike any other. We could tell you all of this, but we would rather explain all of this, THROUGH THE MAGIC OF VIDEO!

Prepare for holiday delights:

Obviously this show is for grownups. Bring your ID, we’ll serve the holiday cheer.

Get More Details and Tickets!

*Remember this show is completely different from our dinner show.

Perfection Trifecta

bignight-web-header

Sometimes the stars align and shine their radiant light down on the world for all to bask in their celestial light.
Friends, one of these glorious moments is in fact upon us. For one delightfully elegant evening we will have six of the most celebrated chefs in the Pacific Northwest under one tent. Culinary icons Tom Douglas, Holly Smith, Ethan Stowell, John Sundstrom, and Sabrina Tinsley join our very own circus chef, Erik Carlson to present a sumptuous fall menu. Each of these masterfully crafted courses are to be expertly paired with delicious wine selections.

And it doesn’t stop there!

Special performances are to be peppered throughout the evening from:
Ann Wilson
Ariana Lallone
Frank Ferrante
Les Petits Freres
Martha Davis
Norman Durkee
Rachel DeShon
and the Circus Stars of Tomorrow (now featured in our family production Tambourine Submarine)
All emceed by Kevin Joyce!

Get Your Tickets Now!

Hail Caesar! Forbidden Oasis Packs Heat

Photo Credit: Alan Alabastro

Photo Credit: Alan Alabastro

The press is head-over-heels for Hail Caesar! Forbidden Oasis. This Saharan-style adventure’s reviews are no mirage! The performance packs heat to keep all of us warm over the long, grey winter. Get your swim trunks on and let’s see what the press have to say:

“A gleefully gaudy banquet of aerial acts and acrobatics, tap dancing and clowning…The talent sizzles” -The Seattle Times

“You’re not just buying dinner and a show, but a lavish evening-length party.” -Seattle Weekly

“Burlesque- era comedy, lots of audience participation, brassy vocals, and circus-style spectacle” -Talkin’ Broadway

“Frank Ferrante  our hilarious host, is such a doll. He is the kind of relative you wish you had at holiday gatherings because he makes every scene a riot.” Examiner.com

“Weber’s ease and obvious joy in the air is moving, glorious and inspiring.” -Edge Seattle

“Wayne Doba and Andrea Conway-Doba bring humor and old vaudeville charm with their dancing, singing and skits. ”  -Bellevue Reporter

“A delicious dinner that is as unique and pretty as the show.” -Christian Pop Culture at Examiner.com

Here’s what our Facebook fans are saying:

“this is a show EVERYONE MUST SEE! Great value, dinner, Vegas quality or Cirque du Soleil quality talent. So special. My mouth is sore from smiling, laughing and in ‘Awww’ from tonight with the talent, strength, muscle…what else do I say of this show? Spectacular…go see when in Seattle.”

“Best night ever, thank you so much for and awesome show!”

“We had such a great time… glad we were able to get some love spice!”

See what all the buzz is about, get your tickets now!

Tambourine Submarine Makes A Splash

 

Image

Photo Credit: Bob Suh

“If your kids enjoy bouts of dancing to zippy music mixed with awesome theatrics and acrobatics, then this show is sure to please.” -ParentMap

“Tambourine Submarine takes the entire family on an uproarious ocean adventure.” -Seattle’s Child

“Your whole family is going to love this newest show!” -Macaroni Kid

“We had the best time. No really, it was the best time, and I bought both of the Recess Monkey albums for sale after the show so we could keep jamming on the ride home.” -Trekaroo

“All the kids were fantastically cute, particularly the little hula performers. The music was fun and lively… Duo Madrona’s acrobatic talent will leave you positively stunned!” -Reviewinit

See what all the motion in the ocean (WAVES) is about!