Gangsters of Love is the new show at Teatro ZinZanni. It’s a prohibition era show with gangsters, flappers, juggling, an air show, comedy, food, and songs. Gangsters is running through September 30th, with tickets available here. They aren’t cheap, the tickets. When it’s all said and done, with drinks and tip you’ll be spending a couple hundred per person for the night, but what a night! Make it a special occasion.
As ever with ZinZanni, the delicious food is upstaged by the show. The theme for this show is Italian. This means lots of cream. It’s filling, and rich, the food. The Waldorf Salad was just the thing to offset the vichyssoise with lobster roe that popped in your mouth like little fishy surprises. The steak didn’t disappoint, and the cheesecake at the end was a nice bow on the gift that was the meal. A little more adventurous than the fare at the previous ZinZanni show, but every bit as appealing to a wide audience. That’s the food– now on to the show!
Whereas the last ZinZanni show was a veritable barrage of acts, in essence a variety show with only the flimsiest of plots holding the show together, Gangsters has much more of a through story. Caesar (Frank Ferrante) is the owner of the place. He loses everything in a card game and the mob moves in, with Sam Kincaid (also Ferrante) as the boss, with his two hired goons (who promptly fall in love with the dancing girls).
Ferrante is quick on his feet doing crowd work with the audience, and a little bit of the Bogie impression that he’s so well known for comes through at times. It’s great to watch. He’s effeminate when it’s funny, masculine when it’s funnier, and always super, super huge.
The show itself is pretty bawdy without being at all family-unfriendly. There’s a certain coquettishness going on that’s fun without running the risk of embarrassing anyone. It’s kind of in the same ballpark as a Cole Porter musical. Lots of double entendres.
The acrobatics are something to behold. Watching people swing from the trapeze inside the century old Spiegeltent really puts you in another world. Everything is done in such a way that you kind of feel like you are in another world. I guess that’s the magic of performance. Without giving anything away, I’ll say that the King Kong act brought this particular house down. It was the perfect combination of great comedy and thrills.
Go to Gangsters to celebrate something great, with something great. Have the flight of wine if you’d like to fly, and don’t forget to tip. (Fedoras and glittery dresses always welcome.) Go for the banana dance, stay for the tap dancing.