The Director’s Notes are one of those theatre traditions that can sometimes make the most sense after you’ve seen the show. In our case we purposefully crafted this to prepare our guests in advance of their visit to our tent and before they enter the wacky world of Teatro ZinZanni. You can also download and read a pdf of the whole program on our site.
Welcome to Teatro ZinZanni, the nightclub of your dreams! You have just stepped into the Moulin Rouge spiegeltent, a 100-year old velvet mirror tent, and our perfect palace of love, chaos and dinner!
Tonight’s cast features world-class practitioners of some of the oldest and most time-honored traditions in entertainment. You are about to meet an extraordinary ensemble of a caliber of talent unlikely to be seen anywhere else in the world.
“Hearts on Fire is about music and dance, youth and the sheer joy of being alive,” says director Elise “Mo” Durocher, nine-year creative team veteran. “It’s all about love.”
The world of ZinZanni is grounded (just barely) in the reality of a dinner theatre – yes, it’s true, you are about to enjoy a five-course gourmet feast designed by celebrated chef Tom Douglas, but that’s where this slender link to the waking world ends.
From the first chords struck by the Teatro ZinZanni’s Orchestra DeVille under the direction of Maestro Norman Durkee, you are never the same.
Our lighting, sound and costumes designers have all conspired to bewitch you with an adventurously elegant, sumptuous and sexy feast for the senses.
El Vez, the Mexican Elvis (Robert Lopez) bounds into the center ring and invites you to summon Madame ZinZanni (Thelma Houston), a voodoo queen who conjures the spirits of a bird (opera singer Rachel DeShon), a cat (aerialist Genevieve Landry) and a gazelle (acrobat Domitil Aillot). Her powerful mojo transforms the restaurant staff of love-struck waiters (contortionist Vita Radionova, aerialist Maxime Clabaut and acrobat Mickeal Bajazet) and the pompous maitre d’(acrobat Gregory Marquet).
But prepare your inner chakras! Madame Z doesn’t stop there – she summons her good friend Penelope Wilde (comedienne Christine Deaver), the psychic chef, who takes the audience for a spin around the universe, with a stop at Dick’s.
Tonight, each song ignites with a passion, each act is fueled by the legacy of hundreds of years of circus, comedy and cabaret traditions and the resulting combination sets our Hearts on Fire.
– Elise “Mo” Durocher, Director, Hearts on Fire