Hail Caesar! Forbidden Oasis
A couple of weeks ago I was invited to media night for the newest Teatro Zinzanni show, Hail Caesar! Forbidden Oasis. It’s been a few years since I’ve enjoyed one of their productions so I jumped at the chance to see what’s new.
If you haven’t heard much about Teatro Zinzanni they stage dinner shows, where the story, the actors, the meal and the audience integrate into one big extravaganza. The stories are loosely strung together comedy skits which allow the actors to showcase their talents. Depending on the show and the people involved, vocalists, jugglers, magicians, dancers, acrobats, aerial acts, musicians and more create the story - all the performers will amaze you with their skills. The closer you sit to the center of the big tent, the better your view and the more likely you will be drawn into an act.
The actors perform double-duty helping serve meals so the show pauses while they deliver each course. During this time you may also notice stagehands running around setting up for the next series of acts.
I think this was my fourth show and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. There were two things I noticed this time around, though. I don’t think they did as good a job of integrating the food service into the show. Does this affect anything? Not really. It’s just I’ve always been amazed how well they were able to combine the two, so noticed the change. The other thing, which was more disappointing, is the food was mostly under seasoned and a little blah. My very first Teatro Zinzanni show pleasantly surprised me with the quality of the meal for what amounts to a banquet dinner. Maybe it will improve as the run proceeds but this time it felt like banquet food.
Having said that, the shows are always clever and very entertaining. And I’d go back at least one more time.
The food issue should resolve, at least for one night, in the near future. On Thursday November 21 Teatro Zinzanni will be celebrating 15 years of “Love, Chaos and Dinner” (their tagline) with a lineup of wonderful Northwest chefs, including Tom Douglas, Holly Smith, Ethan Stowell, John Sundstrom, and Sabrina Tinsley. That show is called, “Big Night Northwest Style“. (Remember the movie?)
There are several other opportunities to experience the beautiful tent, too. Teatro Zinzanni hosts all kinds of events from weekend programs for kids; to a one night show with cabaret singer and drag artist, Joey Arias. See the full set of options on the site.