One small A-Board on a dark street marked the entrance of Teatro ZinZanni’s new home in Woodinville. The iconic Spiegeltent awaits behind an archway of twinkling lights and a gracefully curved red carpet entrance. Inside, we were greeted by a glowing red ambiance and a glass of champagne, free to wander throughout the lobby, check our coat and visit the fully stocked bar and the glittering White Branches Boutique. The mood inside the Spiegeltent is reminiscent of a 1920’s speakeasy and 1940’s glamour.
Teatro ZinZanni, for the first timer, is equal parts musical, comedy show, flying circus, theater, and dinner woven into a single, perhaps nonsensical three hour torrent of entertainment. With music and aerial acrobatics woven through theater, laced with audience participation and a 4-course meal that itself is part of the presentation, it was easy to become overwhelmed by the feast of sights, sounds, and smells.
Servers who would later become integral to the performance show you to your table where an appetizer of crudité and green root hummus awaits. Shared tables are the norm for all but the largest of groups, and our table-mates joined us from Seattle and Western Canada. It seems the move to Woodinville hasn’t impacted Teatro ZinZanni’s widespread appeal.
Drinks are crafted, wine is poured, and the small band sets the scene inside the Squak Saloon with twangy-music. The story begins with the search for the ever-elusive Sasquatch and is quickly joined by three boisterous ladies from the Jersey Shore who make a wrong turn on their way to Hollywood. They bring along their chef, who’s interactions with her always flying sous chef are some of the highlights of the evening. Before you know it, the audience is pulled in for a series of game-show like spectacles. The participants seamlessly and effortlessly join the cast and the best one-liners of the evening are delivered off the cuff.
Soup is served, followed by your choice of entrée, each time making its way first to the center of the tent to be twirled and esteemed with song before being placed on the tables. Chef Jason Wilson has done a tremendous job of offering exciting flavors and options which include vegan and vegetarian options. One of our Canadian table-mates had Celiac’s Disease and the wait staff took excellent care of her dietary needs! The service staff is so efficient that within minutes every guest has their dish in front of them, and the show seamlessly goes on.
The cast is widely talented, showcasing extraordinary strength and flexibility on a variety of aerial apparatus which includes hoops, trapeze, pole, and silks. Not everything happens above the crowd. Throughout the tent, interwoven through the guests, you’ll also be pleasantly occupied with ballet, ballroom dance, unicycles, hula hoops, and horses – not real live ones. The band provides most of the background music for the evening and accompanies this immensely talented cast in a number of original and pop musical pieces.
The evening closes with dessert and a musical score that includes the entire cast, with individual introductions. Teatro ZinZanni has a house photographer and photos are available for purchase after the show. A short stroll outside returns you to to the inky northwest night leaving you with fond memories of this one-of-a-kind experience.
Big things are on the horizon for Teatro ZinZanni. Their new Woodinville home is just the beginning and includes plans to reopen the former Red Hook Brewery in partnership with Fire & Vine Hospitality. They will continue to build on their 20 years of success and expose more fans to the Teatro ZinZanni brand.
Hollywood and Vine runs through April 28th, 2019. Tickets start at $99 and are available online (https://zinzanni.com/seattle/tickets/) and by phone.
Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received two comped tickets for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.