Folk and pop singer Joan Baez made a major career departure by taking on the character Contessa ZinZanni in the dinner-as-theatre Teatro ZinZanni back in October, 2001. Her first theatrical venture went so well, Baez will return to San Francisco's Pier 27/29 on the Embarcadero for a new run in ZinZanni April 24-July 17.
Baez is best known for her politically active, singer-songwriter career in the 1960's when she recorded such hits as "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "Love Song to a Stranger," "Fountain of Sorrow," "Diamonds and Rust" and "Children and All That Jazz." She has been nominated for six Grammy Awards including Best Female Vocalist and has had eight Gold albums.
ZinZanni's evening of "Love, Chaos & Dinner" features Zoot, the shy bellboy and juggler (Patrick Leonard), American clown Andrea Conway, fresh from eight years with Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco, Canadian clown Andrea Conway as Rosette, Canadian trapeze artists duo Mouvance, New York tap dance master Joe Orrach and Les Castors, three French brothers and the fifth Castor generation to join the circus.
Combining comedy, food service and the circus arts in an art nouveau "spiegeltent" imported from Belgium, ZinZanni's evening of "Love, Chaos & Dinner" is also staffed with the world's most dominating Maitre d'Hotel, an emotional Chef de cuisine (Kevin Kent), a tap-dancing waiter (Orrach) and the puckish dishwasher Juliette.
Teatro ZinZanni, using many of the same players assembled for Seattle, ran 14 months in Seattle after opening October, 1998 near the Seattle Center. Among the gourmet offerings on the menu are antipasto, roasted fennel parsnip soup, salad with a champagne vinaigrette, Cabernet Chicken Chasseur with Lyonnaise potatoes and asparagus and lemon-strawberry trifle for dessert. A vegetable entree is available on request.
Teatro Zinzanni began performances March 15, 2000. Tickets are $125. For reservations, call (415) 438-2668. Teatro Zinzanni is on the web at http://www.teatrozinzanni.org.
? By Christine Ehren