Prepare yourselves one and all, for the Teatro Zinzanni is gearing up for another round of their late night variety show, Mezzo Lunatico. Their Easter Eve Revival show last month was a smashing success, and I for one am excited for more.

For those of you unfamiliar with the venue, the Teatro Zinzanni is a classy dinner theater joint located in Seattle Center. The shows all take place inside a big-top style Spiegeltent called the Moulin Rouge. Like all Spiegeltents, the Rouge is handmade from over 4,000 pieces. The interior is practically made for cabaret, with fairytalesque lighting and a rising stage in the center.

This upcoming show marks a change for Mezzo Lunatico, as Mark Pickerel takes over curation and hosting duties from Paula the Swedish Housewife. While I’ll certainly miss the unforgettable glamor that Paula brought to the show, I’m just as interested to see the new talent at work. Mr. Pickerel has an extensive background in music, so there’s little doubt the show will be different on his watch. He’s performed all over Seattle – including appearances with the likes of Pearl Jam and Guns ‘n’ Roses – both solo and with his band, His Praying Hands.

Mr. Pickerel’s first line-up of performers is an interesting one. First there are the Heavenly Spies, a troupe of lovely burlesque dancers and winners of the coveted Miss Exotic World in 2007. The Spies incorporate a lot of traditional bump and grind into their acts, along with high kick dance moves and amazing hair. As is indicated by their name, many of the Spies’ signature routines are centered around themes of espionage and intrigue that remind one of the opening to a James Bond film. They are very talented and an absolute pleasure to watch.

Next up is world class dancer and choreographer Mark Mendonca. Mr. Mendonca has performed for Broadway, television, Presidents of the United States, and even been motion-captured for the animated film The Polar Express. His tap dancing skills are legendary, and have been mentioned in documentaries like Juba: The Masters of Tap and Percussive Dance and The Summit of the Americas. With such an impressive resume, I can’t wait to see what he can do in person.

Finally, there is KEXP radio personality Troy Nelson, and he stands out as unique from the other performers. Dancers and musicians are expected at a cabaret show, but this will be the first one I’ve attended with a radio host. Mr. Nelson’s short bio with Mezzo Lunatico gives very little indication of what he’s going to be doing at the show, which just makes me all the more curious.

The show is set for the night of May 28, 2011. Like all Mezzo Lunatico shows, it is a one night event. Doors open at 11:00pm and the show starts at 11:45pm. Tickets are available here. Unless you’re fortunate enough to get a reserved table, it’s wise to show up early for a good seat. If you see the performance and like it, Mark Pickerel will be hosting several other shows at the Teatro Zinzanni over the summer and they are all sure to be just as interesting.

  • Thanks for the great write-up Oren.  We have a couple of added acts for the night that didn’t make the press release.  Professional Zaniac, comedian/juggler Alex Zerbe, and Teatro ZinZanni veteran aerialist, Kari Podgorski, performing her mesmerizing cloudswing act. 

    We’re very excited to welcome Mark Pickerel to Mezzo Lunatico.  Hope all of your readers also get excited to see this Seattle legend at work. 

    Tim Gonzalez-Wiler
    Casting Manager, Teatro ZinZanni