The sparks still fly at Teatro ZinZanni

  • By Andrea Brown Herald Writer
  • Wednesday, July 2, 2014 1:28pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

You’ve toasted the sunset atop the Space Needle and slurped oysters at the pier watching the ferries float by.

Time to break out of your date night rut in Seattle.

Head to the century-old Belgian circus “spiegeltent” and bask in the light of a disco ball flanked by cabaret acrobats.

Where else do you get to see what Frankenstein looks like shirtless, swinging from a trapeze bar?

Spoiler alert: The dude is ripped.

The bold dinner show at Teatro ZinZanni will have you awe-struck, laughing and dancing in the aisles. It’s worth investing three hours of your life and at least $100. Plus, you get fed really well.

The flamboyant Seattle venue has been wooing audiences since 1998 under the ornate circus tent near Seattle Center.

The sexy, funny, quirky action unfolds above, around and alongside you as you dine on a five-course gourmet meal and sip pretty cocktails. The performers stay amped up the entire three hours. So, too, will you and your date, which can be your mom, daughter, brother, friends or party group.

The new show, “When Sparks Fly,” which runs through Sept. 21, has the familiar, fascinating face of “The Maestro” Voronin, a frequent performer under this big top.

The Ukrainian-born illusionist is wickedly captivating. There’s something about his eyes. It’s like he can undress you. Maybe he can.

In real life, the flying Frankenstein figure is part of the duet Duo Madrona. He and the beautiful gal were lab partners in college before choosing the show biz track some 1,200 performances ago.

Other “When Sparks Fly” characters include an opera diva, an airborne femme fatale and a Canadian comedian who resembles Danny DeVito.

During stage breaks, the stars wander the floor, mingling with the audience. Frankenstein extends one stiff hand to shake while the other clutches a bag of Chex Mix. The Maestro blows bubbles with children. It’s all good.

The song, dance and improv acts keep audience members roaring, even those who aren’t drinking. But the room hushes as a flame-haired gymnast ascends into the air, tangling herself in crimson-colored ropes.

Teatro ZinZanni is a refuge from the mundane throes of ordinary life. Escape the question of what is and isn’t real. Put away your phone. Replace the urge to text and tweet with living in the moment.

The servers don corsets and glowing smiles. You’ll be amazed by the artistry of how your dinner plate is delivered with a spin and dance. Try it at home to add spark to your meals, with or without the corset.

The feast begins with chilled avocado soup and ends with the best lime cheesecake ever. Entree choices are pork osso bucco, Alaskan halibut and vegetable napoleon. My halibut dish was tasty, but I found myself coveting the pork butt of the guy at the next table.

The gift shop sells top hats, feathery masks, boas and bling. No to-go sack needed. You wear the stuff. Proudly and shamelessly.

Not to worry. You won’t outdo the performers, no matter how much you try.

Dinner and a circus

“When Sparks Fly” continues through Sept. 21 at Teatro ZinZanni, 222 Mercer St., Seattle.

Shows are at 6:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 5:30 p.m. Sunday. There are also shows on select Wednesday nights and mid-day Sunday.

Tickets are $99 to $143.

For more information, call 206-802-0015 or go www.zinzanni.com.

Wake the kids

“Dream On: Lights, Sounds, Cirque” is a family event. Kids learn to mosh and roadies take flight. Part cirque, part concert. Doors open at 10 a.m. and show starts at 11 a.m. July 12 and 20. Tickets start at $19.

Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com

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