Teatro ZinZanni's Quest for Queendom
Reviewed by Asli
Posted July 5,
British Comedienne Krissie Illing as Queen Wilma
Photo: William Anthony
ZinZanni’s new cabaret comedy show, Quest for Queendom,
opened this week under the crushed velvet Belgian spiegletent
the venue is known for.
began unexpectedly upon arrival. Odd ball characters Les
Castors, the band of cabaret brothers, the shy German duo, Die
Maiers, who are secretly crushing on each other and the
cartoonish chef paraded around the dining hall, checking silver
ware and cracking jokes.
was presented from a skit, complete with dancing and singing
servers. The lighting was intimate, almost spooky and very art
deco with glimmers of 1920s gangster, top hats, flapper girls,
peep show like appeal and outright glamour. Guests were also
encouraged to come in feather boas, bangles or other festive
dining room acted as the main stage for physical comedy, trapeze
artists, acrobats, British humor, jazzy classics and the
sparkling sass of a drag queen host, Manchester, played by
Seattle native and original ZinZanni cast member Kevin Kent.
Manchester is desperate to steal the crown from Queen Wilma of
the magical land of ZinZannia. Kent used a lot of improvisation
and was bent on embarrassing as many male guests as he could, by
dressing them up in his cupcake colored bustier and red lipstick
or picking them out of the crowd as possible boyfriend material
for the queen. British comedienne, Krissie Illing, played the
geeky queen. The Orchestra De Ville got the audience dancing
with the kinds of songs everyone knows by heart.
Reed, the jazz singer with a delicious and robust sound, stole
the show to riotous applause. Reed is often remembered for her
back-up vocals with blues country musician Lyle Lovett.
acrobats, Ling Rui and Fang Ming and German wire artist,
Crystalle, wowed the audience with their graceful and fluid
movement. Hypnotic melodies and colored lights shimmered against
their body hugging costumes.
5-course-dinner was mediocre and disappointing considering the
$105-155 price tag per person guests have to cough up. I even
ended up with food poisoning at the end of the night. The
service of the meal was choppy, leaving some guests plate-less
watching as others began the second or third course. The
alcoholic beverage list was extensive. Our server was painfully
nice. The ambience was reminiscent of Disney World or Cirque Du
Soleil on a cruise ship. Although quirky and silly, the
presentation was not worth the price.
is one of the many shows that
change by season. Quest for Queendom closes its curtains
on October 19. Teatro ZinZanni is an independent and non-profit
organization developed by One Reel. The ZinZanni Institute for
Circus Arts is providing a summer camp starting July 21 where
children ages 11 to 15 are invited to learn the tricks of the
trade in Teatro ZinZanni’s spiegeltent. For more
information, please visit
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