Sunday, January 13, 2019

ZinZanni is Homed Again!

Christine Deaver as a cowboy (Michael Doucett)
Hollywood & Vine
Teatro ZinZanni
Through April 28, 2019

Our unique dinner spectacle and cabaret has found a new home that is damn near permanent! Teatro ZinZanni had hoped to stay in the “theater district” of the Seattle Center until their plot of land was sold for construction. That challenged them to comb the entire area for a suitable option and they landed in Marymoor Park for a little while.

Then, the land that used to house Redhook Brewery became available in Woodinville and now, they’re back up and running, still a bit temporary, but with a 20-year lease in hand, they’re definitely there to stay! It certainly doesn’t feel temporary – it feels very much like it has for all the years the spiegeltent has been present in Seattle. What is still temporary is really not what an audience will see – they will need to build the permanent “pad” that the tent will sit on and create more durable surrounding buildings. But that’s all to come.

In the meantime, their dining partnership with James Beard Award-winning chef Jason Wilson is showing up with a solid dinner presentation that includes just a bit of challenge to the less adventuresome diner, with a lot of choices that hew close to what most would accept as mainstream fare. 

There is a beautifully cooked cut of beef for your meat-and-potato person, and a plate of prawns for the seafood lover, and a hefty serving of goat cheese and pumpkin ravioli for the vegetarian, though you can certainly try any of them you’d like once you get there and peruse the menu. The antipasto beginning has a large plate of pickled vegetables, which mirrors the growing interest in fermented foods that are supposed to be of great help to our digestion, and that might be a bit challenging to some.

The “Winter Soup” course of butternut squash with potato gnocchi is served piping hot (I love that!) and is a smooth and easy to like combination that most everyone will enjoy. And of course, dessert is a lovely little tartlet of mascarpone chocolate mousse.

If you choose their wine flight, which should pair with your dishes, you’ll get four small tastes of mostly local wines mixed with choices from Italy. The “Emma” appetizer is a bubbly delight. The somewhat sour choice with the soup has a lot of spice and more spice to it, and might not be everyone’s favorite.

Then there is the world-class cabaret with some familiar faces and a few new folks added to keep it all interesting. The new show dispenses with the “Madame Zinzanni” role, even as it invites back favorite performer Christine Deaver. The theme here is that Deaver, Ariana Lallone, and Jen Ayers, as New Jersey-ans with Italian backgrounds, arrive on a train thinking they’ve made it to Hollywood California --- but oh, no! they ended up in the Hollywood neighborhood of Woodinville, instead! But, they’re hungry and there are some hot looking woodsmen around, so maybe they’ll stay overnight and see how the situation plays out.

Deaver shows that her big voice and brash personality are exactly as you remember, as she gazes around the dining room looking for her next “mark” to pull out of the audience and order him around to the delight of everyone else. Lallone sashays around as her sister side-kick until it’s her time to perform a beautiful blend of en-pointe ballet with smooth aerial moves. Ayers also has a big voice that reaches every ear in the tent from her petite, pert form and manages most of the “popular” music choices of the evening.

There is a lot of muscular aerial work from Timber Brown and Mick Holsbeke and Ben Wendel, some hula hooping from Alesya Gulevich, and outstanding pole work from Domitil Aillot. The script is more spare and tighter and therefore a bit less exhausting. It’s a long, languid evening, but everything moves right along and no particular bit stretches too long for its welcome.

It’s still a special evening for a special celebration, and well worth the price to feel pampered and entertained. Now that they’ve landed and claimed their land-stake, you’re encouraged to find your way along I-522 to participate in their Wild West show!

For more information, go to or call 206-802-0015.

No comments:

Post a Comment

This is a moderated comment section. Any comment can be deleted if the moderator feels that basic civility standards are not being met. Disagreements, however, if respectfully stated, are certainly welcome. Just keep the discussion intelligent and relatively kind.