Teatro ZinZanni’s Magical <em>Love, Chaos, and Dinner</em> Lands At Marymoor Park

You don’t have to worry about a travel ban when you check into Teatro ZinZanni. They bring the countries to you in Love, Chaos, and Dinner featuring a diverse group of performers from around the world.

The famous spiegeltent has moved to King County’s Marymoor Park to run October 19 to April 29, 2018. Described as “the Kit Kat Klub on acid,” Teatro ZinZanni takes you on a three-hour whirlwind of international cirque, comedy, and cabaret, while serving up a multi-course feast.

The action unfolds under the 29-foot high, mirrored ceiling of the Moulin Rouge Spiegeltent, imported from Belgium. Originally built in 1910, it is one of the oldest in the world. Though nearly destroyed by the Nazis during World War II, it was rebuilt after the war and includes a few of the original parts.

Every ZinZanni production follows a storyline—and imagination reigns. “Love, Chaos, and Dinner,” celebrates the opening night of the new Teatro ZinZanni, and the staff is anxiously awaiting the arrival of a world-renowned restaurant critic. The Maître d’ has staffed his restaurant with mechanical waitresses, chefs that defy gravity, and an amorous busboy who has finally met his match. Aiming to impress, the crew literally bends over backwards to give the restaurant critic the experience of a lifetime. And the chaos begins.

Teatro ZinZanni's Ariana Savalas

Teatro ZinZanni’s Ariana Savalas

There’s a brand new Madame ZinZanni–Ariana Savalas. She played a one-night stand at Teatro ZinZanni in 2017, but “Love, Chaos, and Dinner.” marks her official bow.

The daughter of film and TV actor Telly–“Who Loves You, Baby?–Savalas, she’s known for her risqué on-stage music and comedy. Described as both the Bette Midler of her time and the modern Mae West, Savalas fuses her original songs with traditional vaudeville and burlesque. Singer, dancer, songwriter, comedienne and professional pussycat—Meowwwww! She’s a showgirl who will seduce, surprise, and touch you–sometimes literally. No worries–she doesn’t scratch.

America’s Savalas is joined by a roster of international talent—from Seattle to the Ukraine.

Austria: Most people wouldn’t associate yodeling with a dominatrix. But Manuela Horn isn’t most people. You won’t find her in Lederhosen or cowboy boots. She’s a 6’2” Amazon, decked out in leather, with whip in hand. And she does all this in seven-inch stilettos. This is her 16th year with ZinZanni. You may know her from “America’s Got Talent.” In 2009, she made it to the semi-finals, when David Hasselhoff drooled over her antics. No cheeseburger needed. Just a “Yodel-ay-hee-huu.”

Ukraine: Maestro Voronin, the Ukrainian-born illusionist, is not only a world-class magician, but he is also an original Teatro ZinZanni cast member. A graduate of the renowned Kiev Academy of Circus and Variety Arts and Russian University of Theater Arts, the mute artist has been described as the essence of Buster Keaton and Jacques Tati. Swirling his cape, the sly magician, Voronin, decked out in vampire couture, shares his mesmerizing now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t magic with a comedic flair. He even gets a bit kinky.

Teatro ZinZanni Duo Madrona

Teatro ZinZanni’s Duo Madrona

Ukraine: Elena Gatilova spent fifteen years mastering her skills as a rhythmic gymnast. A several-time national champion, she’s performed all over the world, including with Cirque du Soleil in their Vegas production. “Zumanity,” You might have seen her on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Last Call with Carson Daly,” or in the film, “Lovesick.” This marks her sixth appearance with ZinZanni.

France: Domitil Aillot as one of three from the beloved acrobatic trio, Les Petits Frères, was featured at ZinZanni for over a decade. Now he performs as a solo artist working on the Chinese Pole, vertical poles on which circus performers climb, slide down and hold poses. The most famous trick is “the flag” where the artist hangs straight out from the pole with his hands. This requires an incredibly strong upper body.

Seattle: Two of the entertainers let it all hang out—in the air some 20 feet above the diners: Trapeze favorites Duo Madrona—aka Ben Wendel and Rachel Nehmer—are back. Based in Seattle, they met as biology students at Haverford College. After a stint as lab partners, the couple decided to test out their chemistry on a trapeze. And since discovering they weren’t afraid of heights, the duo has performed all of the US and Europe.

Russia: Performance artist Svetlana blends contortion, modern dance, pantomime skills, and magic. A master of mime, she performs a robotic marionette contortionist act, like a puppet without strings that mysteriously moves in fits and jerks in hilarious hijinks. Her expressionless face, her doll-like eyes and cupid’s bow lips combine with boneless gymnastic perfection, undulating, shifting, transforming right before your eyes, Trained in the ancient art of contortion from the age of nine, Svetlana studied at the Kiev Municipal Academy of Circus and Variety Arts. She too is an original ZinZanni cast member.

Canada: Joe De Paul directs “Love, Chaos, and Dinner.” ZinZanni fans have seen his work for “Be  Italian!,” “Hollywood Nights,” and “Welcome to Wonderland.” Canadian actor, writer, teacher, director, and clown, De Paul is known for his physical comedy and his Sinatra vocal style. A veteran of numerous Cirque du Soleil productions, his credits include film and television as well

All this happens as you dine on a luscious five-course dinner. There’s a choice of entrees and an optional “Wine Flight,” a tasting, hand-picked to complement each course.

Teatro ZinZanni has partnered with local restaurateur and James Beard Award-winning Chef Jason Wilson. He adds the final essential ingredient–his award-winning regional American cuisine. The menu, exclusively created and prepared for Teatro ZinZanni, will be designed with the multi-course service style in mind.

Teatro ZinZanni's Chef Jason Wilson

Chef Jason Wilson

Chef Jason has been making headlines of late for the opening of two new establishments in Bellevue–The Lakehouse, a chef’s take on a Northwest Farmhouse offering vibrant, farm-inspired craft cooking, and Civility and Unrest, a throwback speakeasy-inspired whiskey bar and cocktail lounge.

He promises the ZinZanni menu will complement the playfulness of the show–but there may be a few surprises. At the moment, the main course is a choice of Braised Short Ribs with Cabernet Demi-Glace, Salmon Filet with Fennel-Citrus Salsa, or Harvest Tagine.

Be warned: Temptation begins as you enter the antique tent.  The on-site boutique overflows with sparkling, must-have costume jewelry, masks and feathers. And as you advance into the lobby, ZinZanni regulars will recognize set pieces taken from “Rose Red,” the TV mini-series by Stephen King.

Teatro ZinZanni’s Love, Chaos, and Dinner runs October 19, 2017-April 29, 2018 at King County’s Marymoor Park; Wed-Sun; Tickets start at $99; Box Office: (206) 802-0015 or ZinZanni.com/Seattle;  Group Sales (12 or more): (206) 802-0013.




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Starla Smith

Starla Smith

Starla Smith is a career journalist, writing features for such publications as The New Yorker, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Daily News, The Des Moines Register, Vibe and a prize-winning Gannett Newspaper. She helped launch Theater Week Magazine and eventually became its publisher. As a regular contributor to Playbill, her interviews and photos were featured in Playbill and Playbill-on-line. Smith was featured in the New York Times "Style" section for her "Word Portraits," specialized tributes, speeches, and presentation profiles. And she covered theater and features for City Search, Digital City, and the Tena Duberry WOW! Radio show. She previously served as astrology guru for Out Magazine, and she hastens to assure her readers that "Starla" is indeed her real name.

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