Woodinville is ZinZanni’s home

  • Written by David B. Clark

If you roll back behind the trees, around the wineries, wrap around where Woodinville whiskey is made, you can spot the century-old woodwork covered in canvas that is the Spiegeltent. This tent, adorned with stained glass, mirrors that bounce back thrills demanding awes, is Teatro ZinZanni’s heartbeat. The body surrounding the steady beat are the appendages that allow costumes to be sewn, performers their training ground of trampolines and vaulted ceilings, kitchens and dining rooms that provide exquisite dining. This is the Teatro ZinZanni world headquarters nestled into the tranquility in a uniquely Woodinville way.

151 1Photo by Michel Doucett of performer Giulia Piolanti

Teatro ZinZanni first made the move to Woodinville when it filled the old Red Hook space back near the end of 2018. Teatro ZinZanni—which can be naively described as dinner-and-a-show—is really a trip on a rocket ship wrapping around the bizarre existences of carnival charm mixed with elegant feats of athleticism. The performers are aerialist, acrobats, and spitfire comedians. They’ve been in Cirque du Soleil. Some have Guinness Book of World Records tied to their names. The food comes from the hands and mind of a James Beard award winner. They are the absolute best at what they do. Now they’re in Woodinville.

With the pool of talent that is required to pull off a world-class show five-nights-a-week, the performers are faced now with a different backdrop than their typical metropolis spins of Las Vegas, Paris, or LA. Now midway through their remarkable first show “Hollywood and Vine” many of the stars were gracious enough to reflect on how the change of pace and lifestyle has affected them; how Woodinville feels as a home and as a workplace.

“There is a real sense of community in Woodinville. It’s very easy to become friendly with Taylor and Isaac, two lovely check-out clerks at Haggen. As well Bassat, who works in the seafood/meat section and offers to package up specialty items even after the counter just closed. I have these kinds of friendly visits with many members of the Woodinville community. They developed long before the show opened so it’s been nice to see these people afterward, tell them where I do what I love and invite them to “Hollywood and Vine,” said Timber Brown.

Brown, an acrobat, aerialist, and pole artist, quite literally ran away and joined the circus. After gaining some notoriety through his videos online, an entertainment company approached him when he was training at a police academy. Ever since, he’s been a fixture in the circus world. Brown, who dawns a big cowboy hat and a bigger grin during shows, said, “Hands down my ultimate favorite aspect of performing is making people smile.” He never went back to the police academy.

Giulia Piolanti, who gets recognized as “The Chef” when she’s about town in Woodinville (partly due to her vibrant purple hair and delightful accent), absolutely loves the city and though a brilliant performer, the recognition in town sends her cheeks crimson. Piolanti has been a rhythm gymnast since she was five-years-old. Now, she’s added aerial hoop, pole dance, and tissue to her repertoire and has brought her skills to several continents. “I feel so alive on stage. I feel it is exactly where I should be. But what I really love about performing is making people happy, dream, and smile,” said Piolanti. She finished, “And this is exactly my mission: give the audience an unforgettable moment of pure happiness.”

Alesya Gulevich, who specializes in hula hoops and is a three-time Guinness World Record holder for which, comes from a family of Belorussia performers. She has performed all across the globe. “I’ve been in many places in my life and different countries and continents, but I find Woodinville a very cute and charming little city with a big heart. The fun part is that it is quiet and peaceful here, but at the same time there is so much going on. The wine and whiskey tasting for example! And my three-year-old daughter loves the indoor playground at the Advantage Gymnastics Academy,” said Gulevich.

Every performer that is part of Hollywood and Vine takes center stage with enough zeal to clearly be the evening’s showrunner yet Christine Deaver’s unprecedented knack for audience engagement seems to set itself in most memories’ most poignant place. She’s a Seattle native that has now lived in Los Angeles for years. A previous Teatro ZinZanni director had recommended the style of show to Deaver 15 years ago and she’s been a go-to for Teatro ZinZanni ever since. Deaver talks about some of her favorite aspects of performing in simile, “…putting it all together, it becomes a delicious artistic stew.” She loves the audience.  “It’s like going on a date with a new person every night. You never know what that audience is gonna bring to the table that night. The energy of live performance is 50% performers, 50% audience.  How we meet together on any given night creates a unique energy that is like a thumb print. One of a kind,” she concluded.

Teatro ZinZanni hosts a piece of unique performance culture that exists in your very city. You have every opportunity to participate in a history full of dance, movement, song, and athletic achievement. Go now, and then again and again.

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