Teatro ZinZanni’s latest creation, Welcome to Wonderland, is superbly scrumptious – offering an unprecedented evening of roaring laughter, music and aerials under the Moulin Rouge spiegeltent just outside of Seattle Center (222 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109).
The Welcome to Wonderland cast is one of the best in Teatro ZinZanni recent memory. Lady Rizo, Joel Salom, Kevin Kent, Lea Hinz, Alevtyna Titarenko, Gael Ouisse, and Duo Madrona stars Rachel Nehmer and Ben Wendel are simply phenomenal from start to finish. When combined in one scene, the execution is dynamite.
New York native Lady Rizo (real name Amelia Zirin-Brown) embodies the iridescent Queen of Hearts with impeccable comedic timing and a voice that spans the senses – sitting squarely in line with the chops of Lady Gaga, Queen and Janis Joplin. She even takes on Beyonce’ during a make-or-break moment in the show.
“Lady Gaga does a fine impersonation of me,” she told The Seattle Lesbian following her Thursday night performance.
Speaking of Queens, the gay jokes are abundantly represented in Welcome to Wonderland, so if you’re “a little light in your loafers” and can’t take a joke, here, have one of these little blue pills. It’ll either make you big or very, very small. Either way, Welcome to Wonderland is fun for all!
The Queen’s guards have muscles for days. Alevtyna (Alya) Titarenko grew up practicing Acrobatic Gymnastics, twice winning the World Championships before transitioning into new artistic ventures, including becoming a two-time World Champion in Fitness. Titarenko’s life and acrobatic partner, Gael Ouisse, trained and competed in gymnastics for more than 20 years prior to joining the circus. Their connection on the ropes is undeniable.
Flying high above the circus sky is Lea Hinz, a multidisciplinary artist based in Berlin who specializes in aerial hoop and contortion. Her temptress ways have the crowd cheering from the moment they step onto the scene. Hinz plays the psychedelic caterpillar in this rendition so watch your water – and inhale if you dare.
Welcome to Wonderland would not have been nearly as thrilling without the comedic talent of physical and improvisational humorist, Kevin Kent. Starring as the Queen’s chef and closest confidant, Kent rules the roost – and is also the person responsible for cuing the wait staff to bring out your meals (and the Queen’s) throughout the performance. When not performing, Kent and his partner Joe live in the mountains of Northern New Mexico.
Speaking of food, the cuisine offered for this show includes:
- Goat cheese puff pastry
- Chipotle pumpkin black bean soup
- Mixed green salad with caramel vinaigrette
- Crab-stuffed chicken breast (entrée choice)
- Steak with green pepper corn sauce (entrée choice)
- Sautéed spinach-stuffed pasta shells (entrée choice)
- Blackberry pannacotta cobbler
The wine flight comes highly recommended and includes the Sommelier’s selection of 2.5 ounce tasting portions for $38 (not included in ticket price). The following pairings are currently offered:
Vilarnau Brut Reserve Cava
Macabeo, Parellada, Xarel-lo, Penedes, Spain NV
Dr. Loosen ‘Dr. L’ Riesling
Riesling, Mosel, Germany 2014
Garganega, Veneto, Italy 2014
Corliss Estate ‘Secret Squirrel’
Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley, WA 2014
‘G’ de Chateau Guirand
Sauvignon Blanc-Semillon, Sauternes-Barsac, France 2014
Garofoli ‘Piancarda’ Rosso Conero
Montepulciano, Marche, Italy 2013
Rocha Late Bottle Vintage Port
Touriga National, Roriz, Finca, Porto, Portugal
Hurry on down the rabbit hole to experience the one-of-a-kind sensation that is Welcome to Wonderland, running September 29, 2016 through February 26, 2017. The three-hour show includes a five-course meal with pricing starting at $99 per person. Tickets are available by calling (206) 802-0015 or by purchasing online via Teatro ZinZanni. Group packages are available.