Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Teatro Zinzanni: "On the Air" more chaotic in a Good way

Anki Albertsson and Juliana Rambaldi (photo by Keith Brofsky)

On the Air
Teatro Zinzanni
Through June 6

Teatro Zinzanni’s “tag line” is Love, Chaos, Dinner for every show, even as the shows change and get retitled. The current show is named “On the Air” and uses the fictional radio station Radio TZ to broadcast its shenanigans. Refreshingly, this particular iteration is more chaotic in a funny and endearing way, because it shakes up the standard format just a bit, in that it does not specifically have an MC or Maitre d’ character. 

Even a small change is welcome. The standard format has gotten kind of tired and really has needed a rethink. This isn’t to say they have completely abandoned their formula. Indeed, it’s not that much different, but perhaps just enough so that the ensuing chaos feels a little more fun, a little less by-the-book.

It’s a terrific and wonderful place to go for your first time, for anyone who has never gone! And completely makes a special evening, no matter who is performing, since everyone is always a top notch performer. It’s a given, but bears repeating.

There is the audience kibbitzer extraordinaire, Kevin Kent, back to be silly and pull unsuspecting dinner guests from their seats and have them do or say funny things. There are two wonderful singers, Anki Albertsson – a real celebrity from her native Sweden, and an experienced musical theater performer, and Juliana Rambaldi, who scampers ditzily around and teases diners, and helps end the evening with a glorious operatic aria.

The trapeze act is two males, this time, Collin Eschenburg and Matthias Fischer, and a stuffed cat. Les Petits Freres, Domitil Aillot, Gregory Marquet , and Michael Bajazet, are back, though they aren’t actually brothers. Vita Radionova performs her fantastic hula hoop juggling and does her otherworldly contortions, and in this show gets to be an alien from outer space, too. New to the mayhem is Joel Salom, an Aussie juggler who occasionally helps to bring order to the chaos.

For the dinner part of the evening, the new menu includes a very good steak, a crab and sea scallops seafood entrĂ©e, and a rich vegetable mash with filo and sweet corn option. The carrot bisque was very silky and very, very hot! (That’s hard to do with so many to feed at once.) The dessert was a lovely tart of apple-rhubarb compote and a whipped topping.

The flight of wine that goes with the meal includes wine from Germany, France, and a couple of wines from Columbia Valley. The dessert wine, Ice Wine from Columbia Valley, was incredibly sweet and fruity and was a lovely accompaniment to the tart.

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