Arts & Events

Eye from the Aisle: Teatro Zinzanni--Save up your singles for a special occasion!

By John A. McMullen II
Wednesday January 19, 2011 - 09:10:00 AM

I never went to TEATRO ZINZANNI before because it seemed so expensive. But I now recommend starting to squirrel away a dollar a day in your special occasion piggy bank, because THIS IS THE PLACE TO GO. 

Under a lush, plush Sheik-of-Araby tent, showgirls cinched tightly into their bustiers show you to the table. The entertainment is all Vaudeville, all done table-side in the round. Word has it that this one—LICENSE TO KISS II: A SWEET CONSPIRACY is the best of the last several that periodically refresh so you can come enjoy it anew. 

Crazy, crazy fun acts and characters abound: A Nordic, vampiric MC, a manager ala Riff Raff out Rocky Horror, a squeaky voiced Magenta in love with DICK, a pastry chef with Peter Lorre’s persona, a stunning hot girl on the flying trapeze, an enormous Teddy Bear walking the tightrope, a Bette Midler-esque soprano émigré from the Merola program, tap-dancing that makes your forget Savion Glover, touching duets. There so much shtick in tandem that if you don’t like one, wait a minute and you’ll love the next one. Acts flow seamlessly and seemingly as endlessly like a family of clowns exiting a VW.  

The band keeps your juices flowing with sounds redolent of a jumping Brian Setzer orchestra.  

The highlight of the evening is Kevin Kent who regales you with the best improv since Robin Williams quit cocaine. In Marie Antoinette drag, Kent drags a willing victim from the audience and runs the best gay repartee this side of old Finocchio’s…and it goes on and on till you belly hurts. 

The food is excellent, and the service even better. You have a cheese plate, soup, then salad served in courses, but the main course does not come till 9 pm (it’s a 4 hour show, my lovelies!). I would recommend the shrimp cocktail as appetizer to tide you over that comes with an extraordinarily tasty house-made tomatoey cocktail sauce. The maple-glazed chicken was moist and tasty and the sweetness just right. Go for the ala carte wild mushrooms. 

The service commences with the servers tangoing with plates in hand to serve you. It is amazing that they can get hot, delectable food to so many people so quickly without a hesitation. The wait staff is witty, genial—oh, and did I mention lovely young things of both genders—and dedicated to your comfort and desires—er, that is, as far as comestibles go. 

It is a definite bacchanalian atmosphere that will make a special occasion as special as it can get and be a lasting memory. It plays at Pier 38 and there is $10 parking in the back. 

Even the box office staff was superb, making changes to accommodate my partner’s allergies, and Morgan, our waiter, had that info when took our order—impressive! 

They present a particularly good website with videos, excellent descriptions and menus. 

Contact them at for tickets and info at: or 415-438-2668.