Teatro ZinZanni: On the Air and So Much More!

Teatro ZinZanni: On the Air and So Much More!

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It’s always a treat and a treasure to dine, dance and (ahem) delight during a Teatro ZinZanni performance. Whether it includes the acrobatics of Pink’s aerial coach Dreya Weber, or the crazy Collins Brothers, something magical is always brewing when you shimmy your shiny stuff into Moulin Rouge.

Dinner was a vegetarian’s delight and a carnivore’s pleasure as every dish had a little something for everyone. The appetizer began modestly with two endive cups filled with either meat or not. Meat eaters enjoyed one cup featuring cherry molasses pulled pork, the other a tomato-fennel quinoa – with grissini breadsticks and an aged balsamic reduction. The wine selection to accompany the appetizer was a Villa Wolf Pinot Noir Rose from Pfalz Germany (2012).

Photo: Ken Howard
Photo: Ken Howard

A carrot and ginger bisque garnished with candied rosemary was served up next to everyone’s delight.  Along with it: Domaine de Gournier Viognier from Langueoc-Roussillon France (2012). Then, a fresh mix of arugula and frisee joined, topped with pickled radish, roasted kohlrabi, bleu cheese crumble, and toasted hazelnuts. The light cumin and lemon vinaigrette topped off the treat exquisitely and paired nicely with the Olivier Morin ‘Tentation’ Blanc de Blanc from Burgundy, France (2012).

Entrée choices were as eclectic as the show itself.  The RR Ranch 8oz. top sirloin was served with a cabernet reduction, caramelized onion and arugula bamboo rice, with garlic squash pasta and was accompanied by a glass of fine DeLille Cellars ‘D2’ Red Blend from Columbia Valley, Washington (2011). The Crab Stuffed Sea Scallops were stuffed with a Dungeness crab filling served with polenta, oven roasted asparagus, and a rich Tobiko beurre blanc. The wine pairing was Domaine de la Mueliere Les Fourneaux Premier Cru Chablis from Burgandy, France (2009).

For non- pescetarian vegetarians, the Vegetable Napoleon consisted of layers of phyllo pastry, roasted sweet corn-edamame relish, with a root vegetable mash on a sun dried tomato cream puree. A luscious Chateau LaMothe de Haux Bordeaux Blanc White Blend from Bordeaux, France (2012) was offered for this course.

Dessert was a golden lemon-basil pound cake with a spiced apple-rhubarb compote center topped with a vanilla-pink salt whipped cream. The refreshing pour from Milbrandt Vineyards ‘The Estates’ Ice Wine Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington (2010) was an even bigger treat.

Here are a few of our nostalgic notes from the epic event: On the Air, now playing at Teatro ZinZanni through June 1, 2014.

Photo: Keith Brofsky
Photo: Keith Brofsky

Australian juggler Joel Salom grew on the audience like a vine ripened tomato. Yes, we said tomato. Sweet, savory, balanced, and coy, Joel pulled tricks out of his hat (not literally) unparalleled. In real life, he juggles his two kids, a wife, an international stage career, and his new worldwide business, Chuka Chuks. His career has sent him touring extensively as a comedy juggler throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. A relative newbie to the Teatro ZinZanni family, the crowd welcomed him right in.

From the onset, The Collins Brothers do not appear to be particularly flexible, but their acrobatic surprises in On the Air were outstanding and relatively entertaining. The Collins Brothers consist of Matthias Fischer and Collin Eschenburg, and guess what? They are actually not even blood brothers. One looks like a matinee idol and the other looks like a cross between Forrest Gump and Mr. Bean, but together as The Collins Brothers they continue to defy audiences’ expectations with their combined acrobatics and slapstick humor. Trained at the Artists School of Berlin, they have performed at the Wintergarten in Berlin, with the Big Apple Circus in New York, at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, at the Palazzo shows in Vienna in 2004 and in Munich in 2005. They made their debut with Teatro ZinZanni in The Royale Invitation in 2006 and have been pulling out all the stops in shows ever since.

Swedish actress Anki Albertsson stars as Chanteuse, a sassy songstress looking for love. Since the early 1990s, Anki Albertsson has established herself as one of Sweden’s foremost actresses in musical theatre. Her repertoire ranges from folk, pop, and jazz to big production-numbers. Anki has appeared on television and entertained many with concerts and shows. You may have also heard her voiceover in Puss in Boots and Wreck-it Ralph. During 2012, Anki performed in the French play Tartuffe, in her own show, Berlin-Paris-Hollywood, with music from Kurt Weill, and more recently in a dinner show featuring music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.  Anki made her debut with Teatro ZinZanni in the 2013 production of Dinner at Wotan’s.

Soprano Juliana Rambaldi played the part of Opera Diva/Madame in On the Air. She is no stranger to Teatro ZinZanni, having performed with the company since 2004. A few of her most memorable non-Teatro ZinZanni performances include – Lyric Opera of Chicago: Faust, Don Giovanni, La Bohème, A View From the Bridge; Houston Grand Opera: Les Contes d’HoffmannLa Traviata; New York City Opera: Le Nozze di Figaro; Glimmerglass Opera: La Finta Giardiniera; Seattle Opera: Xerxes; Michigan Opera Theater: La Traviata; Opera Pacific: Don Giovanni; Minnesota Opera: Transatlantic; Portland Opera: Giulio CesareLa Bohème; Opera Theatre St. Louis: Così fan Tutte; New Jersey Opera: FalstaffDon Giovanni; Hawaii Opera Theater: La Bohème; Toulouse: Don Giovanni; Vilnius: Così fan Tutte.

Comedian Kevin Kent has grown with Teatro ZinZanni since its opening show in 1998 and San Francisco’s debut show in 2000. To continue his streak of ZinZanni firsts, last year he was part of the first Teatro ZinZanni touring production in Southern California. Kevin has created some of the tent’s most memorable characters including Cookie, Mabel and now, Dr. Danny Delight, perhaps the highlight of the entire On the Air evening.  Kevin combines his writing, odd notions, and his improvisational skills to transport the audience to exciting and wonderful places.

Les Petits Frères make up the trio Jacques, Lulu and Coco in On the Air. Played by Domitil Aillot, Gregory Marquet and Mickael Bajazet, Les Petits Frères formed in 1993 at the internationally acclaimed Annie Fratellini Circus School in Paris. The European press calls them the “Floating Act” because of their unique ability to defy gravity, and the audience stood on their feet during their performance in On the Air when they witnessed it themselves. The wit and charm of their unforgettable act has been captivating audiences around the world for many years. In 2003 they made their debut with Teatro ZinZanni and since then they have participated in numerous creations with Teatro ZinZanni in Seattle, San Francisco and Costa Mesa.

Arguably the only performer able to give Dr. Danny Delight (Kevin Kent) a run for his money in On the Air is contortionist Vita Radionova, who plays the darling space alien protagonist. A featured performer in the 2003 Tiger Lilies circus tour of Finland, France, England, Germany, and Greece, the sensational Ukrainian contortionist and hula-hoop artist made her North American debut at Teatro ZinZanni in 2004. She graduated from the legendary Circus School of Kiev in 1999, and since then has performed her elegant and sensual act at some of the finest venues in Europe, including the Apollo Varieté in Dusseldorf, Palazzo in Munich and Frankfurt, and with Circus Salto Natale in Zurich. Enchanting, mesmerizing and sensuous, Vita defies the laws of physics with her performances. Trust us, you will leave the theatre breathless.

It wouldn’t be On the Air without a galley of radio hosts, right? Click here to see if your favorite on-air celebrities are a part of the Teatro ZinZanni action!

Photo: Korum Bischoff
Photo: Korum Bischoff

Reserve your place at the table for On the Air running now through June 1, 2014 at Teatro ZinZanni by visiting the box office near Seattle Center (222 Mercer Street at 3rd Avenue North), calling the box office directly (206-802-0015), or purchasing your tickets online (http://tzseattle-tickets.zinzanni.com).

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