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Santa Cruz, California
January 27, 2009
July 25, 2005
But as a tourist, I suddenly had time to take in the show. I took my kids on a whim. We did not have dinner plans, and as we walked by, I went up to the ticket window and got three tickets. I would not try this, as very often they are sold out, we were just very lucky. The show was starting in one hour and we had to rush back to our hotel to change, as they do have a dress code.
I had expected more of Circus Soliel experience, but it was not that at all. It was more a combination of cabaret, circus and vaudeville. It's billed as "Love, Chaos and Dinner" and that pretty much describes it.
You are seated in the large circus tent and the ticket price includes a lavish 5 course dinner.
The show plays out around you. Some of the wait staff my find themselves suspended on a highwire or singing a song. You never know what will happen next and often neither does the wait staff and performers and a lot is impromptu.
Joan Baez stars in the show as the Gypsy Contessa and keeps things moving. Her voice is still great, and she has a real stage presence. She alone was worth the price of the ticket! Much of the show was fun and full of humor, but there was also a lot of serious singing and songs.
It was fun, and the kids loved it. The show does run three hours, so it's not good for very young kids. The one warning I would give, is that if you are not the type of person who loves attention, this may not be the show for you, or at least don't sit in the first ring. A lot of dinner guests are pulled from the audience. I was sweating all night that somebody would be pulling me up on the stage and I was dreading it. Thankfully I was spared! The show last three hours, and there is plenty to see. The food was good, but honestly I was so into the show I paid very little attention to what was on my fork. I had the paella entree and I know I liked it, but I can barely remember it.
I highly recommend for a night out on the town in San Francisco you take in Teatro Zinanni. It indeed is a night of love, chaos, and dinner and even a little bit more.
From journal Weekend on the Wharf
by Linda Kaye
San Antonio, Texas
April 1, 2002
The entire production, bar area and all other facilities is housed in a splendid antique spiegletent, a handcrafted traveling tent, named Le Palais Nostalgique, built in the early 1920s in Europe. Owned by a Belgian family, Le Palais Nostalgique came to the United States for the first time in October 1998 for Teatro ZinZanni.
Beginning at 6:30, guests are seated at tables for six to eight and the fun immediately begins. The cast of about 13 performers is intermingled with the servers, moving from table to table, performing magic and small acts of zany comedy. By the time most guests have a drink and nibbling on the plate of appetizers while laughing wildly - the "real" show begins. The entire show is designed to center around the serving of each course of the meal and "Senor Platos" the Chef is hysterical. The action was non-stop from 6:30 until almost 10:15.
The cast of characters in the non-stop show was unique. It was disappointing that no photos were allowed. Many of the performers are from Eastern Europe and the U.S., and I am sure that the Maitre 'd was from Transylvania. Dressed in an old tux with long tails, hair slicked back, he never changed the expression on his face, never broke a smile or came out of character.
Maria Muldar, known best for her Oscar nominated "Midnight at the Oasis", was a show-stopper with her very special voice; the beautiful contortionist made us all say "how did she do that" and the aerial team performed a sensual and seductive "dance" from a trapeze high above the audience. Be prepared to join in the craziness as audience participation is a must- at one point the cast has the entire audience dancing in the isles. If you have ever experienced the aura of Mardi Gras, you might have a sense of what this is like.
The Dinner: Fantastic-delicious- memorable.
First Course: Antipasto Platter with Spring Scallion Dip, Chickpea Puree with Indian Spices, marinated olives, Pate au Porto and Focaccia with Finoccioni
Second Course: Carrot Parsnip Soup with Pear Cream
Third Course: Hearts of Romaine with Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing, Tangle of carrots & beets and Buttered Pecans (the pecans were out of this world)
Fourth Course: Your choice of Golden crusted Halibut with roasted garlic mashed potatoes and Blue Lake Beans OR Spring Vegetable Torta with Tomato Ragout, Herb Salad and Blue Lake Beans
Fifth Course: Double Lemon Tart with Cornmeal Shortbread crust, Fresh Strawberry sauce and crème Fraiche, served with coffee.
There was an extensive wine list and full bar with specialty cocktails ranging in price from $5.50 to $10.00.
From journal ONE INCREDIBLE IGOUGO WEEKEND