CHICAGO — TEATRO ZINZANNI is excited to announce the opening of their brand-new production January 27, at the Spiegeltent ZaZou, located on the 14th floor of the Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop (32 W. Randolph). The whirlwind of live comedy, music and cirque served with a multi-course gourmet feast is back! Randolph Entertainment LLC presents a new international cast of characters performing astounding acts and bringing audience members a unique, immersive dining and live entertainment experience. Tickets are on sale for shows through August 14, 2022, at ZinZanni.com/Chicago. For groups of 10+, call Broadway In Chicago Groups at 312-977-1710.
It has been a long couple of years of dreams delayed and hopes dashed, but it’s time to move from “What if?” to “Let’s find out!” The new story on stage at TEATRO ZINZANNI… at the finest fine diner in the Chicago Loop – the chef, Madame Z (Chicago’s own Bethany Thomas) and head waiter, Doily (Kevin Kent), have assembled a hardworking restaurant crew of unemployed circus artists from around the world. An old friend comes roaring up on his motorcycle – Phénix (Cunio) – ready to bring their dreams to life. What will they wish for?
Guests are invited to remember their own wishes and dreams in this latest TEATRO ZINZANNI CHICAGO production.
TEATRO ZINZANNI brings to Chicago an international cast of premier entertainers for this engagement. Founder Norm Langill is the artistic director of the production, and the menu is designed by Chicago’s own Debbie Sharpe – The Goddess of The Goddess and Grocer. The included multi-course gourmet feast features multiple entrée selections, including vegan options. A fabulous à la carte cocktail menu, wine & beer list and special occasion treats round out the dining experience.
CAST BIOGRAPHIES (in alphabetical order)
A descendant of one of Mexico’s first Circus families, Noel is the eighth generation of the Aguilar name. His passion for the art of juggling began at the tender age of 5, following his father Benito’s lead to continually perfect his craft. His consummate dedication and love for entertaining and performing has given him the opportunity to perform, compete, and win in some of the most prestigious festivals in the world. Let Noel’s staggering speed mesmerize you with his incredible charm and through the roof energy. Don’t blink–you might miss something!
Called the “spawn of Freddie Mercury & Janis Joplin,” Cunio is thrilled to be back in the tent! Local audiences may recognize him from the Lyric Opera’s 2018 production of Jesus Christ Superstar (Pilate) and the final year of Jersey Boys’ (Tommy DeVito) long run at the Bank of America Theatre. Cunio gained national attention as the “electrifying wailer” in retro-rock group Under the Streetlamp on PBS and for his “gloriously gritty” solo album Back Alley Soul, which debuted at #6 on iTunes R&B/Soul charts. As a vocalist/MC for Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, he’s toured the world, and his videos have amassed over 4 million views on YouTube. In New York, he appeared on Broadway in Hairspray (Corny Collins) and is a featured vocalist/MC for Company XIV & Duane Park. Regionally he has starred at American Repertory Theater, Arkansas Rep, North Shore Music Theatre and The Kennedy Center. @Cunio4
Michael van Beek, also known as Michael Evolution, is a world-class basketball freestyle juggler who has amazed millions of people in his career so far. With two decades of live stage experience, Michael has earned his marks in the performing arts industry! He became the first basketball freestyle juggler to bring excitement into the world of theatre, variety and circus with his artistic creativity and captivating skillset. His successful career has brought his performances to prominent entertainment companies such as Cirque du Soleil, GOP Variety, UniverSoul Circus, URBANATIX, Wintergarten Berlin, CIRCUS AFRIKA! AFRIKA!, Krystallpalast Variety, and many more! Michael also was the body double/ choreographer for the legendary NBA athlete Kobe Bryant in a commercial for Turkish Airlines, became a finalist at Beat The Best Dutch television show, delivered the perfect performance in words said by Dieter Bohlen on German television at Das Supertalent and won the ‘Varieté Et Cetera’ award at Krystallpalast’s Newcomershow Festival.
Crimean five-time national champion rhythmic gymnast Elena Gatilova began her career in dance and aerial performance in 2002 with an invitation from Cirque du Soleil to join the opening cast of their newest Las Vegas production, Zumanity, where she was featured as a principal character and performed over 2,500 shows. Since then, Elena has appeared in Playboy, Vanity Fair, the documentary film Cirque du Soleil: Lovesick, 43 episodes of the popular Italian TV show Chiambretti Night, London’s prestigious Royal Variety Performance, and alongside Ditta Von Tesse in Franco Dragone’s hit cabaret Tabboo. She has also appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Last Call with Carson Daly. Elena has worked with world-renowned artists including Cher, Thierry Mugler, David LaChapelle and choreographer Bill Goodson. Recently, Elena completed a world tour with Circus 1903, a new production from creators of the hit Broadway show, The Illusionists. This marks Elena’s ninth collaboration with TEATRO ZINZANNI since 2011 and she is thrilled to be back in the Windy City to entertain Chicago audiences.
Kevin has been on the TEATRO ZINZANNI stage since the very first performance in 1998. Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune, said of Kevin Kent’s performance in TEATRO, “But the real reason to go, or go back, to my mind, is to watch the superlative work of Kent,…” He is a physical and improvisational comedian known for his quirky portrayals of classic female characters. Kevin trained right here in Chicago with Del Close, Byrne Piven, amongst other improvisation and theater icons. He continued his training in London working with Outcast Theater, an LGBTQ Theater that grew in the heart of London from seeds planted at Cambridge. Kevin settled in Seattle for many years performing in theater, on the radio as Dan Savage’s Sidekick on the live broadcast of Savage Love Live, and in television as Aunt Jo in the much beloved queer soap, Love Laverne. He has developed and directed many original pieces. Kevin lives with the love of his life, Joe, in Northern New Mexico.
Marjorie Nantel is an acrobatic performer at the very pinnacle of world-class aerial and contortion artistry. She was born in Montreal where she trained as a dancer from the age of 6. She has performed with Cirque du Soleil in numerous shows and created the role of the Red Spider in the original cast of OVO. She was featured in the Berlin production of 7 Finger’s Loft at the Chameleon Theatre and was an audience favorite during five seasons at Palazzo in Germany and Holland. Just recently she was the acrobatic stunt double for Eva Green and played one of the clowns in the movie Dumbo directed by Tim Burton. Currently she is a resident artist at Le Monastère Cirque Cabaret in Montreal. Career highlights include performing in Royal Albert Hall and being invited to perform her bathtub contortion act for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Duo Rose (Sylvia Friedman and Samuel Sion)
A complex routine of balance, strength, discipline, and grace, Duo Rose brings a particular elegance to their presentation of the human body in all its beauty. Samuel and Sylvia have worked together since 2007 to combine their backgrounds in aerial arts, gymnastics, and contortion to create this dynamic trapeze act. Their act has toured internationally in some of the top circuses and variety houses in Europe including Tigerpalast Varieté, Circus Roncalli, and Knie’s Salto Natale. They have also won 11 awards from international circus festival competitions. In August 2010, they made history by becoming the first American circus artists to perform in Havana, Cuba since 1959. Officially sanctioned by the United States Government to travel to Cuba, they competed in the 9th International Circus Festival, CIRCUBA in Havana, where they earned the Bronze medal.
Bethany Thomas is a Chicago-based singer, actor, and writer. Theater credits include work with Goodman Theater (A Christmas Carol), Northlight Theatre (Songs For Nobodies), Writers Theater (Into The Woods, A Moon For The Misbegotten), Milwaukee Rep (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, The Color Purple, Ragtime, Songs For Nobodies- US premiere), Chicago Shakespeare (The Tempest), Porchlight Music Theater (Marry Me A Little), and Court Theater (Porgy and Bess). She’s also frequently entangled with the following Chicago institutions: The Neo-Futurists, Steppenwolf, Second City, Backroom Shakespeare Project, The Fly Honeys, The Paper Machete, and The Hideout. Bethany is a proud recipient of a Joseph Jefferson Award, a Black Theater Alliance Award, and a 2019 3Arts Award in music. As a singer/songwriter, BT tours and records with Welsh country-punk musician Jon Langford, and recently released two critically acclaimed original rock albums- Material Flats (with Tawny Newsome) and the solo BT/She/Her. Find Bethany’s music on iTunes, Bandcamp, Spotify and everywhere else. @bethanyt80
Individual tickets, which include a multi-course meal, are on sale now and range in price from $109 – $264. Front Row VIP tickets are available at a premium price. Limited à la carte “show-only” tickets will also be available for $69. Individual tickets will be available by visiting zinzanni.com/Chicago or by calling (312) 488-0900. Tickets are available now for groups of 10 or more by calling Broadway In Chicago Group Sales at (312) 977-1710 or emailing [email protected].
TEATRO ZINZANNI has worked hard to ensure that its patrons have a safe and magical experience. They have enhanced air handling and filtration and incorporated new sanitization technologies. A strong health protocol is in place mandating vaccination for all staff and performers.
In order to continue providing a safe and magical experience, TEATRO ZINZANNI CHICAGO requires visitors to show proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. All guests 5 years or older will need to show proof in the form of the CDC card, a clear photocopy of this card, or a clear mobile phone photo, and guests 16 years or older must show a matching government-issued ID. Visitors who are exempt for medical or religious reasons may provide proof of the medical or religious exemption and a professionally administered COVID-19 test (PCR within 72 hours of attendance or Rapid (antigen) Test within 6 hours of attendance). Self-administered tests are not accepted. In compliance with the City of Chicago indoor mask mandate, all patrons must wear a proper face covering except when eating at their table. Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to welcoming you to Spiegeltent ZaZou. For further information, visit ZinZanni.com/chicago/safety or contact our Customer Service at [email protected].
ABOUT TEATRO ZINZANNI
Teatro ZinZanni was founded in 1998 when a team of creative artists and festival professionals led by Founder Norm Langill and inspired by the great cabarets of Europe, launched a wholly original form of entertainment combining the arts of cirque, comedy, cabaret, spectacle, and live music while serving up a multi-course feast. Since its inception,
TEATRO ZINZANNI has filled its spiegeltents with artists at the highest level of their craft and eager to perform in an intimate space. Performers over the years have included internationally recognized names like Joan Baez and Ann Wilson. The Chicago engagement is presented in the Spiegeltent ZaZou on the 14th floor in the Cambria Hotel Chicago Loop located in the Theatre District. The previously forgotten space was discovered in 2017 during the renovation of the Hotel when dropped ceilings were removed revealing the original grand space within the 1926 historic building. For
more information, visit www.ZinZanni.com.
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