Thunderous Applause for The Hot Spot

It’s a fact – The Hot Spot is a hit!

From the fine dining to the exciting acts and hilarious banter, the cast of The Hot Spot shines and the critics rave. You can catch the show at Teatro ZinZanni until June 7.

- “Lady Rizo is a hell of an addition to the Teatro Zinzanni lineup with her sex appeal, powerful voice and zany sense of humor.” 

The Hot Spot
“The food is worth a special mention as well…The menu for this show, from a split pea soup with lime crème, to roasted pumpkin mascarpone ravioli, to passion fruit cheesecake, was both unusual and delicious.”- Edge Media Network

– “Teatro ZinZanni [is] a unique treasure that seems like a Disneyland for adults,” on the Huffington Post

– “The brilliant, wisecracking Frank Ferrante holds the show together as emcee extraordinaire…..with all the reasons to see this ZinZanni production, watching Ferrante in action is right at the top,” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
The Hot Spot
- “People walked out of the main tent and into the lobby after the show with smiles on their faces and a real sense of having experienced something unique and wonderful,”The Examiner
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- “The cast and crew of ‘The Hot Spot’ create a warm and welcoming experience for the attendees, providing excellent service and entertainment that is sure to please,” UW Daily

Caesar had the chance to recreate Cocktail Time with Caesar live on air with KOMO Anchor Mary Nam and TZ Bar Czar Jamie Rizzo (plus a surprise appearance from Steve Poole!)

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We also had the pleasure of having Lady Rizo and the Teatro ZinZanni band on Art Zone with Nancy Guppy. The piece was filmed at the wonderful Gage Academy of Art. You can see Lady Rizo perform at the 17:00 minute mark and the closing credits.


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Caesar’s Caesar-isms!

If you’re a fan of the Caesar, then you know he’s got a plethora of catch phrases at his disposal. With so many to choose from….which one is your favorite?

You can catch Frank Ferrante as Caesar now through June 7th in The Hot Spot. 

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Caesar 11 man Caesar fudge Caesar work
Teatro ZinZanni - Love, Chaos & Couture


Saying Adios to Hacienda Holiday

Dingle dingle!

Beaumount and Caswell have drank all the mezcal, and Don Diego’s hacienda has closed up shop. We asked the cast to share some of their favorite memories during their time in Hacienda Holiday.

Hacienda Cast Photo
Ariana Lallone:
“I would say one of my favorite moments in the show was …waiting to see what “Buck” drew in the Cash and Lupita bit…as well as the improv response that followed. I also loved every night….standing at front of house with the entire cast bidding the audience “Buenos Noches”. This show has been so fun and I’m so grateful to have been a part of it.”
Christine Deaver:
“One of my favorite moments from Hacienda Holiday was a buyout from Snoqualmie Casino.  Our audience participant “Buck” was this great funny guy who had a very unique walk and arm gesture that resembled Popeye.  So Kevin and I took advantage of this and copied his walk over and over again to the point to where we were laughing so hard I had to bend over and cross my legs.  By the end of the night, everyone was walking like this guy and he left the tent a rockstar!”
Family Photo Hacienda Holiday

But there’s never a dull moment around here. We’re putting down the tequila, and picking up the martinis! Tonight we open The Hot Spot, featuring the return of Chef Caesar and ZinZanni debut of Lady Rizo!





Food from Hacienda Holiday!

The talk of the town right now is all about the food in our current show Hacienda Holiday. Chef Erik has created an amazing menu with a south of the border zest, plus our bar manger Jamie has concocted perfectly paired Spanish wines and Mezcal flights for your tasting delights!

“And the meal? Best I’ve ever had at a ZinZanni show, from appetizer through dessert”

Talkin’ Broadway

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Here’s a little teaser of what’s in store for you at a night at Teatro ZinZanni (and you can see the full menu with add-ons here!)


Savory charred sweet pepper salad with Serrano ham, Asadero cheese, and Kalamata olives


Corn chowder with toasted pepitas


Tender butter lettuce, red oak leaf, and green leaf lettuce, dried cherries, and mandarin orange tossed with an aged 12-year balsamic vinegar



All natural Kobe sirloin with chipotle cream served with smoked cheddar potatoes au gratin, sautéed sweet chilies and squash with lime chile butter


Wild King salmon with Guajillo butter, lemon-chile cream, served with wild rice parmesan balls and zesty sautéed vegetables


Smoked farro stuffed Pasilla chilies topped with lime créme and green apple served with a hominy-edamame succotash


Spicy Mexican chocolate cheesecake ‘pop’ and rich ginger molasses bite


Duo Rose in the Hot Seat

Duo Rose Trapeze made their Teatro ZinZanni premiere this fall in “Hacienda Holiday” and have been a delight to have in the tent. In order to get to know them a bit better, ZinZanni staff had the opportunity to do a Q&A with Duo Rose. From salmon fishing to baking delicious treats, we learned they are certainly making the most out of their time in Seattle!

Duo Rose
What has been your favorite experience at ZinZanni?
Getting to know the cast and crew has been one of the best parts of working here. Getting to be a part of this family has been an absolute joy. 

We had a great time in rehearsal with the cast. The process of building the show was a lot of fun stepping out of our comfort zone to sing and dance as well as speak on stage for the first time. (Not to mention that these were the first rehearsals in our entire career that have ever run on time…)

We have also enjoyed the response to our compulsive baking. According to the lovely Kevin Kent, I am the “Devil” for compromising his waistline.

Another, very special experience was going out fishing with Joe “The Godfather” Toro. We were lucky and caught the last two Salmon of the season.

How do you decide what music to use for your act?

We have used the same song for our entire career. We were listening to this artist for a while and when we heard that song we fell in love with it. From there we decided to build our routine around it. It’s Matthew Schoening’s “Emotional Clockwork”.

Where did you meet? How did your collaboration begin?

Samuel – We met seven years ago in Chicago. We had performed in the same Gala fundraiser for a local youth circus program. She was doing a group unicycle act and I was performing a Russian barre act at the event. I had seen her around the venue and was quite smitten with her but she didn’t even notice my existence.

We didn’t see each other again for about a year after the event until we met again by accident. At the time I was living at her contortion coaches house. Her coach, the world famous Oyunchimeg “Oyuna” Yadamjav, taught her Mongolian contortion classes from her living room in Skokie, IL. Oyuna called me one afternoon to ask if I could fill in for one of her classes and stretch the next person who walked through the door.

After an awkward and uncomfortable stretching session I mustered up the courage to invite her to a circus open gym. After several weeks of training we became a couple and worked to develop our current act.

What is the coolest venue you’ve performed in and why?

One of the most special venues we have had the chance to perform in was the Karl Marx theater in Havana, Cuba. We have the honor of being the first American Circus act to perform in Cuba since 1959. We were officially sanctioned by the US and Cuban governments to perform in the 9th International Circus festival CIRCUBA.

It was incredible to perform for the opening of the festival to a sold out house of more than 5,500 people packed well past capacity. The crowd was incredibly excited to see American artists, and was so enthusiastic that we couldn’t even hear our music the whole routine.

What is the most dangerous aerial trick you’ve attempted? Have you perfected it? 

We have been playing with a “Skin the cat to feet”. It is a dangerous open rotation. We have not yet caught it and the bail is Sylvia landing on her head. Luckily we train through trial and error over a foam pit.

Here is the video of one of our bails:

If you had to splurge on some not-so-healthy food……fried chicken or pizza?! 

Samuel – Why not both? Sylvia is incredibly lucky and can eat whatever she pleases. I on the other hand keep to high waisted pants for my costume and pull up sessions after every show with our stage manager Stormy Edwards.
Sylvia- I usually choose sweets though. I can eat an obscene amount of chocolate.


“Best dinner show in town!” -Seattle PI

14424249936_b347fce587_zWhen Sparks Fly has been open for over a month now and both press and fans alike are raving! Let’s see what they have to say…

Here are some highlights from the press:

“An absolute delight from beginning to end and, unless you have an aversion to smiling, a killer evening out” -Broadway World

“ZinZanni shows are the kind of over-the-top and jaw-dropping performances that make for an unforgettable experience” – Parent Map

“A refuge from the mundane throes of ordinary life.  Escape the question of what is and isn’t real. Put away your phone. Replace the urge to text and tweet with living in the moment.” -Herald Net

“Teatro ZinZanni is Seattle’s best kept secret.” -Seattle PI

“Having tickets to Teatro ZinZanni is a bit like Christmas come-early” -Issaquah/Bellevue Reporter

Our facebook/yelp fans say:

“This place is amazing!” -Yelp Review

“It’s not just a show, it’s an experience!” -Different Yelp Review

“Cannot recommend this venue enough!” -Facebook Fan

“I’ve been here on vacation for a week and this is the COOLEST thing I’ve done my whole trip! You all were absolutely amazing!” -Another Facebook Fan

Ah. We are feeling the love.  Come on out to the tent to give us your own 2 cents on the show.

To wrap up this post we think ParentMap put it best when they asked “Where else do you get to see what Frankenstein looks like shirtless, swinging from a trapeze bar?”

Nowhere ParentMap. Nowhere.

Buy your tickets here.

The Magic of the Maestro

473867152_1fa5e0cc96_oIf you have seen our newest show When Sparks Fly, you will know that the character of Maestro Voronin does not say a single word the entire evening.  If you have not seen our newest show yet…oops.  Okay, um spoiler alert above!

Though we never see him speak while in character, Voronin has to talk sometimes, and to help him when he is in America is journalist and translator Julia Ochs.  Below Julia has answered some questions about here experience with both Teatro ZinZanni and what it feels like to watch Voronin perform.  For those of you who have seen the show, she is spot on.  If you still haven’t seen it WHY ARE YOU STILL READING THIS POST???

When and how did you first meet Norm Langill and Teatro ZinZanni?

My first visit to Teatro ZinZanni was a fortuitous event; I worked at the Russian World newspaper at that time and we had three comps for the Press night on May 27, 2010. The three people that were supposed to go were: the editor-in-chief Alex, his wife Anna, and a reporter Olga. That afternoon Anna was not feeling well and she offered me her ticket. So, I ended up at the show. Maestro’s Menagerie was my first dinner show ever. I had never seen that style of entertaining before. And even though I go to ballet, theater, opera, musicals and other shows pretty often, Teatro ZinZanni offered an experience so different and so unique, that all those other forms of entertainment immediately paled in comparison!

How would you describe the Maestro Voronin experience?

Watching Maestro Voronin perform is – quite literally – a magical experience. And it’s not just about his genius as a magician. His character charms, mesmerizes and hypnotizes you from the first moment you see him. There is something so familiar about him, as if some persona from the distant past is calling out to you; but at the same time he is so unique and peculiar, one could not find a single character to compare him to. One could describe Maestro Voronin as the essence of count Dracula, Casanova, and count Cagliostro; but in order to complete that image, one would also have to add Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton into the mix. Voronin’s combination of comedy and magic instantly wins over even the biggest skeptics. And the best part is – Maestro says it all without uttering a single word throughout the show. The fact that his character is a mute makes him transcend the limitations of languages, locations, and cultures. He’s got that universal appeal, which makes his audience fall in love with his art no matter in which part of the world he performs. Skillfully maintaining a very delicate balance on the edge of humor and seduction, funny and wise, inspiring thought and provoking laughter, he plays with your senses, and takes you outside of reality. He makes you wonder. He makes you believe. He makes you feel.The spiegeltent is like his very own lab, where he studies his guests and experiments to produce a formula of what makes us come alive.


There you have it!

Get your tickets here.

A Typical Wake The Night Experience…As told in GIFs

Many people have asked us what to expect when they come to our late night show “Wake the Night”.  Our team has decided that the best way we can explain to you the awesomeness that is this show is through the power of GIFS!

You and your friends make the decision to buy tickets to Wake the Night…


…And find out that it is only a $12 cover charge!


Getting ready for a normal Saturday night your preparation may look like this…


…but getting ready for a Teatro ZinZanni night out will look more like this!


AND this!


You’ll feel many feels walking through the doors of Teatro…


…and then you’re given your first drink! LOOK OUT WORLD!


When the show starts you’re all like…


…and you may start dancing like you would a regular night out…


…but soon the power will overtake you and you will find yourself dancing like this!


Overall the dance floor feels like this!


Then 12 pack shows off his own 12 PACK!


You may even get chosen as a V.I.P.


Then the Muse of Midnight performs…


But all too soon, the night is over.


We will be honest, the next morning may look something like this…


But when asked if you will be there again next Saturday you will be like…


This show will not go on forever! Get your tickets now!

Teatro ZinZanni joins the Uptown Art Walk

This month we are trying something new!  For the first time ever our beloved lobby where you have donned feather boas and sparkly glasses will be involved in the Uptown Art Walk featuring the works of artist Javier S. Ortega.

Javier was born in Seville, Spain, where he attended “Escuela de Artes Aplicadas” and worked on the restoration of “Plaza España de Sevilla” giving him the opportunity to travel to Florence to continue his education in sculpture under the Leonardo Da Vinci Scholarship.  Upon completion, his time was divided between the cities of Seville, Valencia, and the island of Menorca as he began having his first shows.  After this, he moved to the city of Seattle where he continues his career exhibiting his work is some of the cafes and galleries scattered around the city Below are some examples of Javier’s work

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And just as a teaser, here is one that is currently hanging in our lobby.

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See you Wednesday, June 18!

For more event details, and to see the other venues involved in the walk, click here.

Continuing our “Rockucation”

Well, we are going into our fifth week of our kid/family show Big Top Rock: Dream On and it is funky as ever!  In an earlier post, we asked the members of the featured band “Dream On” for the top 5 songs they would suggest to any kid wanting to build their rock knowledge base, and we got some great answers

In keeping with our “learning about rock” theme, we asked our friends over at Tractor Tavern to put us in touch with some of their guest artists for more quintessential rock songs.

Our first answer comes from Ben Strehle, who is a guitar player/singer in the local group “Brent Amaker and the Rodeo”.

Ben’s List

  1. Music Box Dancer, Frank Mills
  2. Footloose, Kenny Loggins
  3. People are Strange, The Doors
  4. Black Dog, Led Zeppelin
  5. Imagine, John Lennon

Rachel Flotard is another local artist who frequents Tractor Tavern.

Rachel’s List

  1. Fox on the Run, Sweet
  2. Don’t Stop Believin, Journey
  3. Birthday, Beatles
  4. Me and My Arrow, Nilsson
  5. Thriller, Michael Jackson

There you have it. So parents, expose your kids to these lists BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!  Start by bringing them out to the show!

Making Magic with ‘When Sparks Fly’

Alright folks, it’s almost here!  The day you have been anxiously awaiting.  In a little under two weeks we will be opening our newest show WHEN SPARKS FLY.

Our all-new, hair-raising production guaranteed to intrigue and delight!

About the show:
Enter Maestro Voronin’s tent-topped laboratory to witness his final, most ingenious creation.  Watch as a wicked cast of his other minions including an airborne femme fatale, a pliant puppet, and some wisecracking pranksters attempt to thwart Voronin’s latest and greatest masterpiece.  WHEN SPARKS FLY is scientifically proven to produce monstrous entertainment!

The Bewitchingly Talented cast…

Dreya Weber does it all.  An acclaimed actress, musician, aerialist, choreographer, lyricist, and director, Dreya has previously headlined in Teatro ZinZanni’s Hail Caesar! and Gangsters of Love.

Duo Madrona made up of Ben Wendel and Rachel Nehmer come as a pair in their outstanding trapeze act.  This will be their seventh production with Teatro ZinZanni.

Elena Galitova is a several-time national champion rhythmic gymnast.  She has been featured as a principal acrobatic character and lead dancer in the Las Vegas show Zumanity. This will be Elena’s second show in the Seattle tent.

Joe De Paul is a canadian born actor, writer, teacher, director, and clown.  He has worked with Cirque du Soleil numerous times and his unique physical comedy has brought him through various cabarets and circuses in Europe.

Kristin Clayton is an American lyric soprano and also an original cast member of the San Francisco Teatro ZinZanni.  Her beautiful voice has given her the opportunity to play some of the greatest leading ladies in the operatic repertoire.

Svetlana is an original Teatro ZinZanni cast member.  She was born in Russia and blends modern dance, pantomime skills, magic, and contortion in the creation of her sensational puppet act.

Voronin is known in many places throughout the world simply as “The Maestro”.  He is a Ukrainian born illusionist and has been a cast member from the first Teatro ZinZanni tour in 1998.  This will be his 23rd performance with Teatro ZinZanni.

Avoid Parking Hassle!

Office SpaceAlright, there is no point beating around the bush.  What with the construction on Mercer St. and Northwest Folklife Festival going on, this is going to be a rough week parking wise.  However, your trusty friends at Teatro have conjured up some creative ways to get here while avoiding that mess!

1. Uber

If you have not yet heard of it, Uber is a private car service that costs less than a taxi, and is a much more enjoyable experience.  This option is nice because it makes a designated driver unnecessary, and you can download the app right to your smartphone!  For more information, check out their website at

2. Buses

Nothing like public transportation.  Because we are so close to the Space Needle, a lot of buses stop within a half-mile of the tent.  Check out for more information!

3. Taxi

Annoyed by the youths and their “smartphone’s”?  Keep it real by a good old-fashioned taxi.  Seattle has many great cab services that are just a quick phone call away.

4. Mix and Match

Catch a bus to the tent, and then uber home! The world is your oyster at Teatro ZinZanni…and to and from Teatro ZinZanni.

Playlist: “Dream On” Band Members

Our latest kid/family show here at the tent has been a HIT so far!

Big Top Rock: Dream On is a show featuring a playlist of your favorite rock songs in a format that kids can’t get enough of!  We asked members of the featured band “Dream On” to give us the top 5 rock songs that are essential to a good music education for kids.  To accompany their choices, we also requested from them a picture of themselves as kids… Magic ensued

Lead singer of “Dream On“, Jen Ayers told us that coming up with her list was fun but difficult, and she could not resist giving us 6 songs instead of 5.

Jen’s List                                     

  1. Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin
  2. Baba o’Riley, The Who
  3. Back in Black, AC/DC
  4. While My Guitar Gently Weeps, The Beatles
  5. Another Brick Wall Part 2, Pink Floyd
  6. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana

The rockin’ drummer, Faith Stankevich, had none of the same songs, but all of the same difficulty and more picking just 5.  Eventually Faith just closed her eyes and pressed send because she was so broken up about all the songs she was leaving out.

Faith’s List

  1. You Can’t Always Get What You Want, Rolling Stones
  2. Time, Pink Floyd
  3. Take Another Little Piece of My Heart, Janis Joplin
  4. Should I Stay or Should I Go, The Clash
  5. When the Levee Breaks, Led Zeppelin

Amy Barrysmith plays the bass and keyboard in “Dream On”.  She gave us 5 bands, because 5 songs were too limiting.

Amy’s List

  1. ZZ Top
  2. Van Halen
  3. Black Sabbath
  4. AC/DC
  5. Led Zeppelin

Graham Ayers is the lead guitarist  (and married to Jen).  While everyone else verbally lamented their difficulty choosing a song, Graham just sneaked in an extra one without comment.

Graham’s List

  1. Baba O’Riley, The Who
  2. Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin
  3. Satisfaction, Rolling Stones
  4. While My Guitar Gently Weeps, The Beatles
  5. Layla, Eric Clapton
  6. Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd

Though everyone’s lists were different, no member could pick just 5 songs with ease, proving not only the quantity but also the quality of rock. Come on out to the tent to hear some of the songs mentioned above and many more, and introduce your kids to the magic that is rock!

Blast from the Past Pictures!

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Wake The Night’s Tory Peil Q&A

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When did you start dancing? How did you know you were going to be a dancer?

I asked my parents when I was four years old to sign me up for ballet classes because I
was “going to be a ballerina.” They said “sure” and have been dealing with the consequences
ever since. I’ve always loved moving and being really physical so dance was just always a good

You have recently become quite involved in the local burlesque scene, despite a more
technical dance background. What drew you to burlesque?

I’m a classically trained ballerina so the world of contemporary dance and burlesque seemed
entirely out of the realm of possibility just five years ago. I previously danced with Spectrum
Dance Theater
and now am a full time company member of Whim W’him, Olivier Wever’s

I was lucky to be taken under the wing of some of the great performers in this town like Lily
and Jonny Boy of the Can Can. It was them who saw my love of acting and vamping,
and encouraged me to mix it with my heavily technical background. The mix has been an
incredible joy — dancing in a not so serious way while making an audience laugh is really

I’m drawn to the incredible amount of creativity the Burlesque and nightclub scene bring to the
stage. There are no rules in that world, which is really exhilarating. I’m really inspired by being
pushed physically and creatively.

How would you describe the dance elements in Wake The Night?

You’ll find us throwing down on Go Go platforms, giving you some Bollywood parades and even
having a Bull Fight Pas de deux. It’s a crazy mix of anything and everything throughout the

What is your favorite dance form?

I love watching contemporary ballet. Anything (William) Forsythe to Alonzo King.

In your own words, what can people expect to see and experience at Wake The Night? Why should they come?

Wake the Night is the perfect meld of Seattle’s incredible theatre scene and a night at a dance
club. Being surrounded by performers who are just enjoying the music along side you and ready
to throw down a surprise at any moment is something Seattle doesn’t offer anywhere else. It’s a sexy, exciting night for someone of any adult age.


Playlist: Duo Madrona

The Beatles!TZ Dream On



The Velvet Underground!


Joan Jett!

All rock royalty and all have been played or air guitar-ed here within the last two days. These bands aren’t what most people associate with us. In fact, most equate Teatro ZinZanni musical fare to the swanky, jazzy, cabaret variety (did we just invent a fun new genre? You are welcome.).

However, guitar riffs and drum solos have been permeating the tent as rehearsals for our upcoming family show Big Top Rock: Dream On heat up. This has lead to some passionate debates about fundamental rock anthems and what music makes up a true rock education or rockucation if you will. Almost all debates end in YouTube videos. And air guitar-ing.

We’ve asked the cast of Dream On to generate a top five list of  all-time greatest rock songs. Quintessential rock songs that are the cornerstone to a musical education. 

Ben Wendel and Rachel Nehmer of Duo Madrona stepped up to the DJ booth first andDuo Madrona  provided an epic list:

Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana
While My Guitar Gently Weeps, The Beatles
Highway to Hell, ACDC
Whipping Post, The Allman Brothers Band
Piece of My Heart, Janis Joplin

Twist and Shout, The Beatles
Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen
Born the USA, Bruce Springsteen
Your Momma Don’t Dance, Poison (cover)
Blister in the Sun, Violent Femmes


Now you’ve got the mic. What is your top five?

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


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

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.”

Here’s the menu rundown:


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


Carrot and ginger bisque garnished with candied rosemary


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


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.


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.”

“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

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!


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



Photo Credit: Matthew Worden

Egyptian yellow lentil soup with caraway cream and pita strips


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


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


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


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.”

“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

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!