Teatro Zinzanni

By Kathryn Robinson January 4, 2009 Published in the April 2008 issue of Seattle Met

THE SHOW MAY HAVE MOVED uptown—but the antique spiegeltent still shimmers like a jewel box, the divas still bring the house down, and the sold-out crowd still leaps to its feet with delirious approval at the final bow. It can only be Teatro Zinzanni, One Reel artistic director Norm Langill’s gift to the world, and this city’s most exhilarating theatrical original. It’s dinner theater, yes—five courses masterminded by His Omnipresence Tom Douglas—and the set menu is laudable: particularly a starter with olive-fig tapenade lavished on a slab of bufala mozzarella; then a mesclun salad anchored with a roasted Honeycrisp apple encrusted with porcini mushrooms. (Main dishes, baked true cod or flatiron steak, were a little more pedestrian.) But who’s kidding who: You’re not here for the food any more than Playboy subscribers are reading the articles. You’re here for the enchanting alchemy of two Russian aerialists, a mysterious magician, one distressingly pliable Parisian contortionist, and a waiter who will dance out your food in a brisk two-step with a rose between her teeth.

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