CLIENTE at ZINZANNI is Zany, Raunchy and Eye-Popping

CALIENTE at Theatro ZinZanni. Spiegeltent at Pier 29 on the Embarcadero, San FranciscoWednesday through Saturday starting at 6 pm and Sundays at 5 pm. (415) 438-2668 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (415) 438-2668 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or Through June 19, 2011

CLIENTE at ZINZANNI is Zany, Raunchy and Eye-Popping

It seems impossible that the Theatre ZinZanni Spiegeltent, known as the Palais Nostalgique, has been gracing the San Francisco Embarcadero for 10 years thrilling audiences with elaborately staged shows with fantastic talent providing a Las Vegas style atmosphere of escapist fare. The in-the-round construction affects a circus atmosphere that is intimate with great sight lines allowing the audience to participate in the action.

Audience participation is an integral part of the evening when one or two of the lucky (??) ones are plucked from their tables, dressed in outrageous drag and gladly (well mostly gladly) are part of the show. On the evening we attended, those selected were great sports and the generated appreciative laughter and an extended round of applause giving the feel of this being a family show.

Family show, be damned. Double entendres flowed like vintage wine mingling with sexual innuendos and cross-dressing. The costumes are a marvel. Full-bodied Christine Deaver overflows from the unbelievable dresses she is poured into. Her impression of Little Red Riding Hood . . . sorry Caperucita Roja. . . this is distinctly a Latino story line with circus acts and acrobatics liberally dovetailed into the mix.

Directed by Ricardo Salinas, founder of the acclaimed Latino entertainment comedy sketch group Culture Clash, is a master at satiric buffoonery. A couple of the times during the show the leaders of “Latino Kitchen Revolt” Robert Lopez (El Vez) and Deaver stated we need a Latino Donny and Marie show, and what a show. In these hard times with disposable money diminishing, the owners of the Night Club are forced to close. Not so fast says the staff of kitchen help, waiters and janitor (more about them later). We can put on a show just as good as Donny and Marie and they do.

With Lopez and Deaver leading the way, the rag-tag employees become superb, actors, singers and acrobats. Rebekah Del Rio who starts out as the ogre announcing the closure of the club sheds here severe business suit becoming a marvelous chanteuse torch singer. A the trio of the janitor, a maitre d’ and a waiter are in fact Les Petits Freres (Gregory Marquet, Mickael Bajazet, Domitil Aillot) internationally known acrobats nicknamed the Floating Act” with their ability to defy gravity with graceful aerial acrobatics and split second timing of their physical humor. One of them also performs a spectacular routine on the pole.

Rounding out the cast is Ann Bernard booked as a dancer, choreographer and percussionists captivates the audience with the “art of the Argentina malambo.” Don’t ask, it is difficult to define as it is difficult to perform but it involves hard balls on the end of lariats that she swings with precision while tapping in rhythm. To add to this she throws in a fun show with the Les Petits Freres throwing a multitude of hoops in her direction that she fields like a pro- shortstop. There always has to be a contortionist and that role is elegantly handled by Ukrainian Vita Radionova who “defies the laws of physics” while exuding sexuality.

Finally, don’t forget the three hour show includes a tasty 5 course meal.

Kedar K. Adour, MD

Courtesy of

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