Review: Spellbound in the Spiegeltent: Love, Chaos & Dinner at Teatro Zinzanni

Love, Chaos, & Dinner at Teatro Zinzanni is an unforgettable experience in the heart of Chicago

By: Jun. 09, 2024
Review: Spellbound in the Spiegeltent: Love, Chaos & Dinner at Teatro Zinzanni
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Review: Spellbound in the Spiegeltent: Love, Chaos & Dinner at Teatro Zinzanni

Every so often there comes a show that is so entertaining that the best advice I can give going into it is this: Don’t blink.

From the moment you step inside the Cambria hotel, Teatro Zinanni’s home on the 14th floor, you know you’re in for a treat.  Arriving early is a must for this bewitching variety show because there is so much to take in before the proverbial curtain goes up.

You can’t help but become excited for the spectacle that awaits you once inside the dimly lit lobby while you observe the dazzling chandeliers, the glittering costumes of the waitstaff and the stained glass of the looming Spiegeltent taking up the majority of the ballroom.

Once preshow drinks and photos have been secured, you are guided into said magnificent Spiegeltent - a marvelous feat of Belgium craftsmanship from the early 20th century as one of the founders of Teatro Zinanni was kind enough to explain to us. After you are seated, you have time to take in the wonder of your surroundings. The first of your four-course meal of the evening is already waiting for you- and it’s even more delectable than it looks.

Finally- the official programming begins. A most phenomenal host, Cunio as Mister Zinzanni himself, rocks the audience with his Steven Tyler-esque pipes and the first of many fabulous outfits of the night. A live band enhances the atmosphere, immersing you in the magic taking place around you. It isn’t long before we are introduced to the incredible Liv Warfield- a brand new recipient of the coveted America’s Got Talent golden buzzer. I truly have not been so gripped by a vocal performer in years. Her stupendous belt, her electric stage presence, and her command of both rock anthems and soulful ballads was unparalleled.   

As if the experience of witnessing a budding celebrity in such an intimate setting wasn’t a privilege in and of itself, the combination of Warfield and Cunio was absolutely thrilling.  These two had the chemistry of old friends who have been performing together – for each other- for a lifetime.  They perfectly complemented one another, and even if there were no other performers during the show, this dynamic duo alone is worth the cost of admission.

Nevertheless- the other performers were plentiful! Taking center stage as a flight attendant-turned hula hoop start was the captivating Vita Radionova. Her expertise of balance and rhythm as glittering orbs encircled every part of her body at dizzying rates combined for a mesmerizing display of hoop mastery.

Review: Spellbound in the Spiegeltent: Love, Chaos & Dinner at Teatro Zinzanni The next special performer of the evening was the agile Raphael Nepomuceno as the evening’s aerialist. Nepomuceno made his rapid ascents and descents in the air supported by a mere two strips of fabric look utterly effortless. Though it was clear he was using every intricate muscle to pull off his prodigious stunts, he did not break a sweat once throughout the performance.

The intoxicating Elayne Kramer gave one of the most jaw-dropping shows of the evening as the Teatro’s contortionist. The dexterity of every fiber, limb and muscle was unbelievable to behold. Each new pose was increasingly complex and relied on decreasing surface area on which to balance. While Kramer was on the pedestal, the building could have been burning down and no one would have taken notice.

Review: Spellbound in the Spiegeltent: Love, Chaos & Dinner at Teatro Zinzanni Finally, Mickael Bajazet and Vlada Romanova as the astonishing duo delivered a sensual display of perfection in ballroom dancing and acrobatics– despite having only a raised dais 6 feet across to do it all on.  These two had perfect harmony, chemistry, and everything in between.

Although these world-class acts may get people in the door, it is surely the hilarious entertainers between performances that keep people coming back for more.  In particular, Kevin Kent as Doily/Amelia was an absolute riot.  He gave us a masterclass in improv and audience interaction.  Never missing a beat, he perfectly selected audience members with whom he would engage, pick on, play with, and tease to the utter delight of us lucky ones who he mercifully ignored.

As if the entertainment isn’t enough, the four-course meal provided is excellent.  Everything from fresh herb corn cake with garden mouse, delicious entrée option of chicken, salmon, steak and more, to scrumptious chocolate or lime-flavored dessert options was second to none. Brief dining breaks provided a terrific opportunity to chat with those seated nearby and share in the awe of what we collectively witnessed.  

In a world that is so saturated with digital entertainment, it is a breath of fresh air to experience the authenticity and wonder that live entertainers – of first-class talent no less- can give us. The ability to transport an audience of all ages and keep them enthralled continuously for three or more hours is an astounding feat. Love, Chaos, & Dinner at Teatro Zinzanni in Chicago is an unforgettable experience not to be missed!

Photo Credit: Elliot Fisher


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