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Center hosts lush entertainment under the tent

Teatro ZinZanni will be held in its cozy atmosphere through the holiday season.

October 18, 2012|By Candice Baker
  • A scene from a previous Teatro ZinZanni event.
A scene from a previous Teatro ZinZanni event. (Michael Craft,…)

Teatro ZinZanni, a tented dinner event that is equal parts Moulin Rouge, Cirque du Soleil and epicurean adventure, is making Costa Mesa its home for the holidays.

"It's an evening of cabaret, circus and dinner, all orchestrated together and full of comedy and spectacle and acrobatics and delicious sights and sounds and a wonderful meal and beverages," tour producer Reenie Duff said. "Everything has a lushness about it — from the venue to the food to the performances. It's really a workout for the senses."

"It's a little unusual in that it's not really the standard production that does the same show every night," Segerstrom Center Executive Vice President Judy Morr said. "It's a variety of cabaret and Cirque-style performances in this incredibly intimate and beautiful Spiegeltent. It's incredibly preserved, and it's almost like being in a fairytale tent from Germany. It's so small — everybody will almost be able to reach out and touch the performers. I'm so used to 2,000 seats at Segerstrom Hall that this is like being in a living room."

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ZinZanni host Joel Salom also spoke highly of the effect the venue has on the audience.

"From my experience, it's such a glamorous, refined environment that is a perfect juxtaposition with the absurdity, and there's such a broad palette of skills, or of genres, that somehow meld together in a beautiful way," he said. "It's cabaret, and beautiful music, and opera, and a powerhouse rock blues singer, and French acrobats who are frightening with their skills … Another key ingredient is that it's so intimate and interactive. I'm so grateful to be a part of it.

"I've traveled and worked in lots of different countries, and I haven't come across anything that does it so well, with the quality of food and service and then the interaction between the servers and the show. It's such a submersive kind of experience. It feels like stepping back into another period of time. There's such a commitment to details and costume. You kind of step into it, and it's a whirlwind."

A gourmet five-course dinner with choice of entrée by Patina Catering is included in the admission price.

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