Not only is Tim Tyler a comedian, singer, and ping pong artist, he’s a talented painter.
On Tuesday, November 17, he’ll be performing at the Circus Tent Art Event and also answering any questions about his paintings.
Not only is Tim Tyler a comedian, singer, and ping pong artist, he’s a talented painter.
On Tuesday, November 17, he’ll be performing at the Circus Tent Art Event and also answering any questions about his paintings.
To house Teatro ZinZanni, two beautiful antique theatres from Belgium were imported and erected them in downtown Seattle.
Opulent palaces of red velvet and gold brocade, stained glass and deep mahogany, the European cabaret tents, known as spiegeltents (mirror tents), were constructed in the 1910s by renowned craftsman Willem Klessens. These warm, intimate circular theatres hosted dances, wine tastings, cabarets and celebrations in Europe for almost a century.
Each tent consists of over 4000 pieces. Designed to be erected and broken down in a hurry, Klessens’ spiegeltents require no metal fasteners for construction and can be assembled by a team of three or four in a single day. There are currently about one hundred of these remarkable structures in existence, and these two tents, San Francisco’s Palais Nostalgique and Seattle’s Moulin Rouge, are among the oldest in the Belgian collection. The tents are still owned by the Klessens family and Willem’s grandson, Willy Klessens (and his son Johnny). Together, they have been lovingly restoring and touring the tents since 1987. Willy traveled to Seattle and San Francisco with his son Johnny and brother-in-law Tom to oversee the construction of these tents for Teatro ZinZanni.
The Klessens outside a Belgian spiegeltent
Each of these gorgeous pavilions has a unique history. The Moulin Rouge in Seattle was nearly destroyed by the Nazis as retribution for a resistance force that blew up a bridge in advance of the Nazi approach. The Nazis burned the wood from the tent in a huge bonfire at the foot of the demolished ridge and smashed all the mirrors. While very little of the Moulin Rouge is original, San Francisco’s Palais Nostalgique was buried deep underground during WWII and made it through the conflict unscathed. Both century-old tents are still in fine form. They stand twenty-nine feet tall, with a circumference of 211 feet. They can comfortably accommodate 300 audience members, along with the waiters, clowns, singers, jugglers, trapeze artists, contortionists, musicians and acrobats who serve them.
The Moulin Rouge tent in Seattle, WA
We are so lucky to have former prima-ballerina as part of the ZinZanni family! Earlier this month Ariana and KUOW host Marcie Sillman spent the afternoon talking about ballet, transformations, and the future.
See the full article here.
She may kill me for revealing her age, but what the heck?
Ariana Lallone is 47 years old, and she’s as striking and vibrant as she was the first time I saw her dance with Pacific Northwest Ballet 20 years ago.
If you’ve seen Ariana Lallone in performance, you know she’s unforgettable. She’s 5’11” in her stocking feet, 6’5” en pointe, with dark hair and a Roman nose. As Lady Capulet in Jean Christophe Maillot’s “Romeo et Juliette”, in Ulysses Dove’s “Red Angels”, or Nacho Duato’s “Jardi Tancat,” Lallone creates an unforgettable impression.
Lallone left PNB four years ago. She wasn’t necessarily ready to stop dancing;
“I felt like as long as I was learning, wanting to change, wanting to improve, that I still had a desire to keep going.”
But she and PNB Artistic Director Peter Boal didn’t see eye to eye on when Lallone should actually leave the company. She wanted to stay longer; he didn’t agree.
Lucky for her fans, Lallone had the world’s shortest jump from PNB to her next job at Seattle’s Teatro Zinzanni. Literally, she walked across the street and transformed herself from ballerina to cabaret performer.
Lallone didn’t even apply for the gig. She’d heard that Zinzanni’s Associate Artistic Director, Reenie Duff, wanted to talk to her about an upcoming show, “Bonsoir Lilliane,” choreographed by Broadway great Tommy Tune.
She remembers how that conversation was initiated. Lallone was double parking on Mercer, just outside PNB. Duff turned up at her car, and invited the ballerina to talk. Several hours of yakking later, Lallone’s second act was underway.
Teatro Zinzanni may be just across the street from McCaw Hall, where PNB performs, but the intimate velvet tent with its antique wooden floor and mirrored walls could be on another planet for all that these two performance venues resemble one another.
In McCaw Hall, PNB company members dance for up to 3,000 people. A large orchestra pit is located between the audience and the stage. If you have good seats down front, you can see the dancers’ faces. If not, well, opera glasses are always a good bet at McCaw.
In Zinzanni’s tent, Lallone finds herself on a 9 foot circular stage; she can look right into the eyes of the people who come to the dinner theater. And they can see her. She’s just inches away.
It was a challenge at first.
“I was a big mover,” she explains. “So you step out three feet from your center and it’s someone’s dinner table!”
But Lallone figured out how to use that proximity to good effect, how to make the eye contact and the intimate surroundings work for her.
And she learned that to use her ballet training in that small venue, she had to move her performance into another dimension: up into the air.
“I needed a new partner. And the new partner wouldn’t be a person, it would be a thing,” explains the dancer.
Specifically, a large metal hoop called a lyra. Lallone took aerial training lessons, and she performs regularly now up above the audience.
But Lallone isn’t part of the cast of this summer’s Zinzanni production, “The Return to Chaos.” The show actually marks her first solo foray into choreography. It’s an artistic path that surprised her.
“Choreography was always something (to which) I said No!” she laughs. “I had so many ‘nos’. No I don’t do this, no I can’t do this, in my brain. And all of those ‘nos’ have gone away.”
The last four years have been a whirlwind for Ariana Lallone. She’s learned new skills, but most of all, she says she’s learned to say yes.
“I had a single focus in my career, which was ballet.” Lallone pauses to think. “Walking across the street to Zinzanni, my world just opened up sideways.”
But even though you can take the dancer out of the ballet company, you can’t remove decades of ballet from the dancer.
“I’ll always be a ballerina,” says Lallone firmly. “I may branch out, but that will always be my ‘being.’
Fabulous entertainment from Teatro ZinZanni will make your fundraiser, company meeting or celebration the event of the year! ZinZanni is thrilled to launch our new offsite entertainment program! From top to bottom, beginning to end; we’ll help you create an event with performance elements customized for your corporate functions, holiday celebrations, fundraisers, and parties at the venue of your choosing! Any event of any size can be transformed with Teatro ZinZanni’s world-class circus performers, cabaret stars, gut-busting comedians, incredible musicians, dazzling costumes and more!
Our team will work closely with you to create the event of your dreams offering a wide range of options to fit your budget and your needs. Teatro ZinZanni has partnered with EnJoy Productions, a local leader in producing world-class events, to bring together unrivaled talent from around the world to you. Contact us now and let our imagination run wild for you!
Have Questions? Contact our Group Sales and Events Team at 206.802.0013
We’re hoping at this point you’ve seen our new TV spot and sizzle reel, the culmination of a 16 hour shoot and countless hours of pre -planning. We’re here to share some insight from our amazing video producers, VMG Studios 520, on the creation of this spectacular spot.
VMG Studios 520 and Teatro ZinZanni
Maybe you have seen this on air this month? It’s the Teatro ZinZanni commercial we produced with their amazingly talented performers. It has become one of our favorite videos in our ten-year history… Enjoy the spot and then read more of the details in the other stories.
Can you hear the wind?
Part of what makes the ZinZanni spot so creative is the use of audio. Our team spent a lot of effort coming up with just the right music, with a sense of mystery and a lot of space in it so that the voice over and sound effects could be blended in perfectly. Speaking of sound effects…do you hear the wind? How about the woodblock? And just how many times do you hear that wonderful laugh?? Play it a few times…watch it with your ears.
Glad you asked about how we shot the ZinZanni video. When you go about something this ambitious, your success depends upon planning (and then execution).
Read how we executed this shoot, here.
– “Lady Rizo is a hell of an addition to the Teatro Zinzanni lineup with her sex appeal, powerful voice and zany sense of humor.”
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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!
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”
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 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!
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.
If you had to splurge on some not-so-healthy food……fried chicken or pizza?!
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.
If 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.
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!
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!
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
And just as a teaser, here is one that is currently hanging in our lobby.
See you Wednesday, June 18!
For more event details, and to see the other venues involved in the walk, click here.
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”.
Rachel Flotard is another local artist who frequents Tractor Tavern.
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!
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.
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.
Alright, 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!
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 www.uber.com
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 http://www.soundtransit.org/ for more information!
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.
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.
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.
Amy Barrysmith plays the bass and keyboard in “Dream On”. She gave us 5 bands, because 5 songs were too limiting.
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.
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!
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
Verlaine 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?
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.
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 and provided an epic list:
Now you’ve got the mic. What is your top five?
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?
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.
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!
Let’s talk food for a minute or an hour (really we could go on for days about food).
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:
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
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:
Just in time for Super Bowl Sunday, Bar Manager Jamie-Paul Rizzo scores a touchdown with this FAN-tastic Seahawks themed cocktail. A Hawk-tail if you will. Tasting notes: Go Hawks!
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
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
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
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.
Make it at home or swing by the tent and order one from our mixologists.
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!”
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.