If you’re looking for some serious theater, seriously good gourmet food, or serious opera, then Teatro Zinzanni isn’t for you…oops-I just remembered, they actually do include a little opera, as well as most everything else in the entertainment field. Teatro ZinZanni is a CRAZY evening of FOOD, FUN and FESTIVITIES, a three-hour extravaganza of international circus performers, comedy, dance, and cabaret performances, all served up with a five-course dinner designed by celebrated Northwest chef Tom Douglas, all bunched together under an antique big-top tent.

Created in Seattle in 1998, Teatro ZinZanni, this popular show for the masses, completely changes a few times a year, so repeat visits are highly encouraged. I saw the last performance of A Suitcase Named Desire, but here’s a synopsis on whats coming up:

An all-new show directed by Norman Langill, Quest for a Queendom plays June 26 through October 19, 2008. Queen Wilma of the lost continent of ZinZannia (British comedienne Krissie Illing) embarks on a daunting quest: colonize or perish, while her trusty, lusty manservant (Seattle’s own Kevin Kent) launches a conquest of his own. Featuring songbird Francine Reed, Quest for a Queendom is a regal romp in the Spiegeltent with performances by TZ veteran artists Parisian acrobats Les Castors, German aerial beauty Crystalle, American clown Peter Pitofsky and comic acrobatic duo Die Maiers. Making their ZinZanni debut are Chinese strap aerialists Ming and Rui.

A few points to keep in mind:

1. At first glance the tickets aren’t cheap..but when you add of the price of a typical dinner plus a theater or cabaret ticket, it’s a steal. ( Note: drinks are not included in the price.)
2. This is not a good choice if you want a romantic dinner for two. You are seated with others at group tables and packed in like sardines.
3. For me, the “comedy” was only mildly amusing, and much more slapstick than I’m used to, however, there is definitely something for everyone and I was wowed by the aerialists, contortionists, and other acrobatic acts. We lost one of our group during a shopping spree in the Teatro Boutique, where she later immerged hidden under a rhinestone and feather mask.
4. The food is uneven—some good , some not so, but you definitely won’t leave hungry.
5. All in all, this was a high-energy, up-lifting, madcap evening that everyone should experience at least once. A perfect place to celebrate granny’s birthday, for out-of-town guests, or to simply get yourself out of the doldrums.

Check out the site for info on both their Seattle and San Francisco shows.