Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka Step into the 1920’s in the middle of Seattle Center at the famous Teatro ZinZanni spiegeltent (“mirror tent”). Here, the circular tent houses the captivating and darkly whimsical world of divas, jugglers, aerobatics and mobsters. Currently on showcase is Gangsters of Love, a play directed by Norman Langill about a gamble gone wrong and a surprising love story. It is an eventful night in which the taste, sound and visual are treated generously to an upbeat three-course meal with an interactive performance coupled with a live orchestra.

Photo Credit: Mark KitaokaStep into the 1920’s in the middle of Seattle Center at the famous Teatro ZinZanni spiegeltent (“mirror tent”). Here, the circular tent houses the captivating and darkly whimsical world of divas, jugglers, aerobatics and mobsters. Currently on showcase is Gangsters of Love, a play directed by Norman Langill about a gamble gone wrong and a surprising love story. It is an eventful night in which the taste, sound and visual are treated generously to an upbeat three-course meal with an interactive performance coupled with a live orchestra.

In the dimly lit circular space, table booths and mirrors line the perimeter of the spiegeltent, while flapper dresses, felt fedoras and feathered boas adorn both guests and staff bustling throughout. The mystique of this sudden shift from millennium age to prohibition era kicks in as each guest is greeted and shown to their table. Table seating is intimate and typically accompanied with strangers just as eager and unknowing of what’s in store for the next three hours.

The lights dim and the show begins with the bluesy soul of Madame Francine (Francine Reed), with bright feathers spilling out of her headdress, she makes way for Mitzy (Andrea Conway Doba), the young talented orphan, Rachel (Rachel of the Duo Madrona) and Bernard (Bernard Hazen) to enter the scene. These are the three main entertainers for the Speakeasy ZinZanni, the tent that The Caesar has just gambled away to mob boss, Big Sam Kincaid (both played by Frank Ferrante) and now has to leave town before Kincaid’s men create trouble.

Photo Credit: Tracy Martin As the three performers must now ready their talents to impress the new mob owner, the unraveling of amazing balancing and acrobatics begin. By the conclusion of appetizers and onto the main course, Bernard has climbed a set of tumblers, balancing on top of them as he juggles numerous of pins; Mitzy has dangled from a chandelier and Rachel has completed a series of dance numbers.

It is an intense spectacle of dance, song, music and plenty of performer-to-audience interaction. Unsuspecting guests are chosen on the spot and encouraged to be part of the plot, hilarity naturally ensues but all in good nature.

To tie everything together, even the night’s menu is incorporated into the actual scenes. Performers themselves disperse throughout the set, personally approaching tables to greet the audience and share a few laughs.

By the end of the entrée, the story has unfolded to reveal a tense love story filled between the sensual Myrna Malloy (Dreya Weber) and Kincaid. However, Myrna’s gymnastic feat on the trapeze easily undermines the need for a plotline. The renowned trapeze couple, Ben and Rachel, whose physical interaction then follows her jaw-dropping act as they loop, flip and hang from each other while 40 feet in the air, is just as breathtaking.

The show is extremely busy from the get-go, and it can become a balancing act for the guest themselves to enjoy the dinner while following the play. Nonetheless the high level of interaction between performers and audience nicely recaptures the distracted mind. After all, with a strong cast made up of former Cirque du Soleil, Broadway, internationally renowned aerialists, and critically acclaimed performers, what’s not to notice?

A suggestion: because of the circular space, most necks will crane throughout the night and not all seating may ensure the best view, therefore make sure to inquire within when purchasing tickets.

Now through Sept. 30. For more information, visit dreams.zinzanni.org/index.htm

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