No sooner had the lights dimmed for the last time in the Belltown tent before Teatro ZinZanni was up again, this time for one night only in Tieton, Washington.
Last Saturday night, August 12, performers from Teatro ZinZanni were the headliners at Fortissmo!, a fundraiser for the Yakima Symphony Orchestra and the Yakima Valley Museum. The Mighty Tieton Warehouse was transformed for an elegant evening where a handful of artists performed an hour long slice of Teatro. A 16-piece big band, featuring a number of Yakima Symphony Orchestra musicians, performed with TZ’s musical director and resident piano player, Norm Durkee, and provided live music for the five acts under the baton of YSO’s music director Brooke Creswell.
Seattle’s own Chef-Comedienne Christine Deaver whose performance as Chef Penelope Wilde is truly mesmerizing, was joined by California-based Mat Plendl as Mr. Chou-Chou. Mr. Chou-Chou’s tour de force hula hoop performance as usual has everyone spinning with delight. Together they sang, laughed and cracked jokes
Gentleman juggler Sergiy Krutikov, an original cast member, performed his extraordinary juggling feats with the encouragement of the capacity crowd. He also serenaded the 200 guests during the cocktail hour with his accordion.
Vaudevillians Dick and Mitzi finally got a chance to play Yakima, as tap dancer Wayne Doba (Dick) and real-life wife acrobat and comedienne Andrea Conway (Mitzi) warmed the crowd with their silly chandelier antics and soft-shoe croon.
And as expected, Duo Artemiev, the romantic Russian acrobats, brought the crowd to their feet with their electric tango on the static trapeze.
For Teatro ZinZanni creative director’s Norm Langill, it was old home week as he was reunited with long-time colleague Trimpin at the dinner table. Trimpin is a sound-installation artist world reknown for his magical musical machines. People may remember Remy Demy which greeted patrons in the lobby of the first Teatro ZinZanni in 1998 and which now resides down on the Embarcadero at Teatro ZinZanni in San Francisco.
How did feel to perform without a tent? “Marvelous,” said TZ Managing Director Markus Kunz.