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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 30, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 44
Hollywood Nights at Teatro ZinZanni
Arts & Entertainment
ALL STORIES
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Hollywood Nights at Teatro ZinZanni

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

TEATRO ZINZANNI
HOLLYWOOD NIGHTS
Through January 31


Have you ever wanted to run away and join the circus? Just give up on life and escape into a world of fantasy and adventure? Thankfully, an abandonment of life is not needed to enjoy such a wish. Seattle's own Teatro ZinZanni creates the perfect escape with the right amount of circus thrown in for good measure. The latest incarnation is called Hollywood Nights, and it's definitely a fun-filled evening.

The show's storyline is simple and incidental; it's a vehicle to weave together the magical acts of the night. A famous movie director (Cecil B. DeGrille) makes dinner reservations and the entire 'staff' ends up being part of the film. Ron Campbell, who acts as a sort of Master of Ceremonies by involving everyone else in his movie, plays the director. The tap-dancing duo of Andrea Conway Doba and (real life husband) Wayne Doba play 'Mitzie' and 'Dick,' part of the comic relief. Not only do they tap dance with complete synchronization, they also do aerial ballet using the chandelier for a creative prop. Two others that use a trapeze for their 'high-balancing act' are Terry Crane and Teatro veteran, Ben Wendel. Wendel plays the leading man while Crane is his (notably shorter and lighter complexion) stunt double. Hanging above the floor from a simple bar, these two men balance off each other, conducting gorgeous acts defying gravity, in what can only be describe as a beautiful act of trust and equilibrium.

Another return to the Teatro tent is the unique comic Tim Tyler. Tall and gaunt, with a resemblance to Lemony Snickett, Tyler incorporates a unicycle and ukulele into his act. The main fascination with this character is his ability to toss/catch and juggle up to four Ping-Pong balls with his mouth. No way as easy as it looks, Mr. Tyler makes it seem that it is. A more traditional juggler comes in the form of another veteran, Gamal David Garcia. His lightning fast spinning of lit-up juggling pins astounds anyone seeing his work. It is probably Domitil Aillot that offers the biggest surprise of the evening. Frequent Teatro attendees will easily recognize him and wonder why he isn't performing more frequently. It is towards the end of the evening that Mr. Aillot is released. To Michael Bubl├ęs haunting rendition of 'Feeling Good,' Aillot scales up a pole and shows us what a true artist can do. In a solo dance, he climbs up and slides down the pole while hanging off it in incredible artistic, beautiful and gravity defying positions.

It is not the men that have the monopoly on good performances at Teatro ZinZanni. Juliana Rambaldi, playing an overly-excited restaurant hostess, sings with a strong soprano voice. Elena Gatilova plays the leading lady of DeGrille's movie. Gatilova performs above the stage hanging off a hoop as a 'rhythmic gymnast.' Francine Reed plays the restaurant owner and becomes a singer in the movie being filmed at her establishment. She has a soulful blues sound that easily croons through the Spiegeltent.

Of course, Teatro is an all-inclusive evening and that means the meal. Appetizers were a puffed pastry filled with goat cheese, two-olive tapenade and caramelized onion that easily teased the pallet for what was to come. Other options are available, for an additional cost, such as the antipasto or baked Camembert with Granny Smith apples. The main course consists of Sirloin Steak, Salmon or a Vegetarian meal consisting of Portobello mushrooms, yellow squash and zucchini. Other additional options are the Lobster Tail or the Surf and Turf consisting of both Lobster Tail and a Double R Ranch Filet Mignon. Dessert is a star-shaped, chocolate-champagne mousse cake with raspberry.

No matter how you look at it, Teatro ZinZanni delivers a night full of entertainment. The show changes every three-to-four months working in a close relationship with their sister-performance-city of San Francisco. Teatro ZinZanni is a three-hour plus evening, so those bringing younger audience members may want to consider that fact. As the brochure suggests, 'Come early and play.'

Tickets for this 5-course meal, three hour show range in price from $99-$174 and are available online, by phone 206-802-0015, or at the Teatro ZinZanni Box Office, 222 Mercer St. at 3rd Ave. N. across from Seattle Center (Tuesday-Sunday). For more information, visit http://zinzanni.com/seattle/.

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Water by the Spoonful a very satisfying evening of theater
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SGN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:

LaChanze: The phoenix of the theatre

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