Unpacking Frontmezzjunkies’s London Theatrical Journey 0f 2023

If you come to downtown Chicago, there are a couple of “should see” locations. There’s the Artwork Institute. There’s the mirrored Chicago Bean. And now, there’s Teatro ZinZanni. This enthralling, acrobatic, selection present, which originated over twenty years in the past in Seattle, is in its second incarnation right here in Chicago, post-pandemic, and flying excessive once more.

Aerialist Lea Hinz Picture Credit score Samuel Rose @duorosetrapzee

Their new present, Love, Chaos and Dinner, expertly combines  music, circus, arial acts, acrobatics, juggling, and magic. I made my first ever go to to Teatro ZinZanni Chicago this week, and was blown away by the expertise and professionalism of this group. It’s a dazzling curler coaster journey of continuous leisure, to not be missed. Hop on!

The group of the expertise itself is a marvel. Each member of the employees, from the greeter on the door to the servers who dance as they carry you your meals between circus acts, is as effectively rehearsed {and professional} because the acts themselves. The employees sweeps you thru the night with pleasant, well mannered effectivity. Kudos to the administration for assuring that there isn’t a single ingredient of the Teatro ZinZanni expertise which isn’t an entire pleasure.

Aerialist Danila Bim Picture Credit score Samuel Rose @duorosetrapzee

The present is introduced in a spherical construction resembling a circus tent, fitted contained in the 14th ground of the Cambria Lodge in downtown Chicago. Though it seems to be giant in some methods, it’s remarkably intimate on the similar time. The tables encircle the efficiency space, and the performances spill out into the gang. The clowns and comedians weave by way of the tables all evening because the acts change, ensuring there’s by no means a uninteresting second.

The person skills on this present are universally outstanding. Collectively they make an ideal ensemble.

Ulzii Mergen Picture Credit score Samuel Rose @duorosetrapzee

The Ringmaster, Michael Evolution, is a grasp spinner and juggler of basketballs. Ulzii Mergen is a mind-boggling contortionist who appears to be made solely of very lovely rubber. Danila Bim hangs from her hair and spins sooner than a dental drill. Lithe and beautiful Lea Hinz works a big hoop with fluid grace. Cassie Cutler and Oliver Parkinson, identified collectively as Duo 19, are a breathtakingly attractive arial duo. Ms. Cutler additionally does a beautiful job earlier within the present because the present’s featured clown, in a washer lady character resembling Sarah Silverman doing Carol Burnett.

TrapezeDuo 19 Picture Credit score Samuel Rose @duorosetrapzee

After I noticed the equally styled Cirque du Soleil, I used to be impressed by the bodily skills of their acrobats. However the work typically felt posed, and I used to be considerably distanced from the expertise by the vastness of the theater. The gifted artists of Teatro ZinZanni engaged me of their expertise way more. They spin, twist, leap, and contort at speeds and in ways in which practically appear not possible, all the time shocking, with unerring precision, and unforgettable magnificence. It additionally helps that the performers are so near you. The intimacy of the expertise will make your coronary heart race continuous with pleasure.

Lucy Darling

The “particular visitor” of the present is the delectable Lucy Darling, the theatrical alter ego of beautiful younger magician, Carissa Hendricks. She has carried out in Chicago a number of occasions earlier than, on the Rhapsody Theater and Chicago Magic Lounge, however I’ve all the time missed her. I turned a fan of hers on Idiot Us, and was excited to see her stay. Her character of Lucy Darling is a contemporary Mae West with a contact of Marilyn Monroe for good measure. Sly, attractive, seductive, and misleading, Lucy Darling retains us laughing and delightfully off stability as she slips into her magic, which is all constructed round cocktails and bar paraphernalia. You’re going to get drunk on her smile. A toast to her expertise!

My solely criticism of this present is that they don’t give Ms. Darling a magical sufficient entrance. In truth, it takes a bit too lengthy earlier than you even know she’s purported to be a magician. Later within the present, she magically seems from an empty chair in what’s in any other case a throwaway transitional second between acts. It will make much more sense in the event that they have been to include this magical look into her entrance.

Final however not least is the excellent music which envelops the night. The central character of Madam ZinZanni, usually performed at night performances by Sa’Rayah, was embodied on the efficiency I noticed by matinee performer Tina Jenkins Crawley. She is a powerhouse singer whose soulful performances have been all a delight to listen to.

One other musical deal with is the stay band, lead by the fast-fingered keyboard stylings and skilled musical path of native jazz legend, Theodis Rodgers, Jr. He’s matched and supported by high notch performances from Jose Martinez on drums, Jon Negus on woodwinds and keyboard, Phil Seed on guitar, and Chuck Webb on bass guitar. It will have been well worth the value of admission simply to listen to them play.

Lastly, this can be a dinner theater present. Remarkably, the meal additionally is kind of wonderful. It begins with a beneficiant assortment of crudités. The wait employees will recommend a yummy appetizer to maintain you going for an hour till the entrees are served. I had the salmon, and my buddy had pork, each of which have been effectively ready. However nothing ready me for the superb desert, which featured probably the most uncommon cheesecake and finest chocolate mouse I’ve ever had.

I’m somebody who likes worth for his cash, and Teatro ZinZanni offers you that throughout the board. In each side, Teatro ZinZanni delivers a tasty and tasteful expertise which you’ll bear in mind fortunately lengthy after you allow.

As quickly because the present was over, I used to be prepared to come back again and see it once more. I don’t say that fairly often!

The following time you’re in Chicago, make Teatro ZinZanni your first cease.

Teatro ZinZanni continues open ended Wednesdays by way of Sundays on the Cambia Lodge, 32 W. Randolph Avenue in Chicago.  (312) 488-0900.  Chcago-info@zinzanni.com