On the Air (Teatro ZinZanni’s)

Posted on February 19, 2014


Full Cast of 'On the Air' at Teatro ZinZanni's. Photo credit: Keith Brofsky

Full Cast of ‘On the Air’ at Teatro ZinZanni’s.
Photo credit: Keith Brofsky

Teatro ZinZanni’s is calling you back to the spiegeltent as it kicks off its new show “On the Air”. Directed by Norm Langill, “On the Air” transports the audience back to the Golden Age of Radio, skillfully bringing together an entertaining series of vignettes, including acrobatics, juggling, espionage, music, zany comedy and the hallmark of any Teatro ZinZanni show, masterful improvisation.

The show starts off a bit like an awkward blind first date; unfamiliar characters, lots of noise, chaos and running around, leaving me a bit disoriented and unsure what was going on. I encourage you to hang with it, as like a relationship the show grows stronger and stronger over time. The whacky characters become familiar and lovable, the dashing Host/Juggler (Joel Salom) endearing, the mysterious and limber alien (Vita Radionova) awe-inspiring and the singers (Anki Albertsson and Juliana Rambaldi) transcendent.

Joel Salom in 'On the Air' at Teatro ZinZanni's.  Photo credit: Keith Brofsky

Joel Salom in ‘On the Air’ at Teatro ZinZanni’s.
Photo credit: Keith Brofsky

Then there is Kevin Kent, the “improvisational humorist” of the show. What can you say about Kevin Kent? His Dr. Danny Delight character, affectionally called “Double D” and later you find out why, is an intriguing concoction comprised of one part Southern Preacher, one part Robin Williams and one part Liberace. Those components add up to one hysterical, over-the-top, surprisingly funny and quick witted shot of energy. Kent awakens the audience and draws them in every time he steps into the spotlight. He adeptly engages the audience with whichever character he is portraying and manages to draw forth laughter with his clever retorts, awkward scenarios and he never fails to capture the full attention of the audience. His final bit as the queen in drag was inspired, sinfully delicious, wrong and left the participating audience member wondering how he let that moment get away from him.

Les Petits Frères (Domitil Aillot, Gregory Marquet, and Mickael Bajazet) Teatro favorites, continue to delight audience with their vaudevillian style of slapstick humor, dance, acrobatics and their uncanny ability to tell a story without any words. The lowly bucket and mop man who just wanted to play his oboe for the crowd, captured the hearts of the audience and then blew everyone away at the end with his feats of strength and dexterity on the pole. Together their fast paced comedic routines, tumbling and balancing acts were sharp and executed to perfection.

l-r Joel Salom, Vita Radionova, Juliana Rambaldi & Anki Albertsson.  Photo credit: Keith Brofsky

(l-r) Joel Salom, Vita Radionova, Juliana Rambaldi & Anki Albertsson.
Photo credit: Keith Brofsky

Similarly, the captivating Vita Radionova playing the naïve alien contortionist silenced all side conversations with her entrancing hula-hoop performance; then thrilled us with her sensual contortions and demonstrations of strength and balance. Radionova a Ukrainian graduate from the legendary Circus School of Kiev, stunned the crowd with her series of amazing one-handed balancing act. The Collins Brothers (Matthias Fischer and Collin Eschenburg) clowned their way throughout the show, akin to something out of a Jerry Lewis, Harold Lloyd or 3 Stooges performance but then caught everyone off-guard with their slick, humorous and talented trapeze work. No one saw that coming and the image of Matthias Fischer hanging from the trapeze in his Superman undies, after Collin Eschenburg pulled the ladder out from under him was priceless.

Kevin Kent in 'On the Air' at Teatro ZinZanni's. Photo credit: Keith Brofsky

Kevin Kent in ‘On the Air’ at Teatro ZinZanni’s.
Photo credit: Keith Brofsky

The host for the evening, Joel Salom was the gifted glue which linked all the acts together. His natural charisma, extraordinary juggling skills and friendly banter quickly endeared himself to the audience. His juggling performances began with the routine, but quickly charted new ground including a unique juggling music mixing act where each time he touched one of the balls to electronic contacts on his arms, a different audio clip from the production would get triggered. The classic, take of your jacket while continuing to juggle was another audience favorite, where he even engaged a member of the audience to unbutton his jacket, while continuing to juggle pins. The songstresses of the evening, Anki Albertsson and Juliana Rambaldi each enchanted with their individual style of singing and supplemented Joel in carrying the production from vignette to vignette. Albertson got the audience singing along with old favorites like Abba’s S.O.S., while opera diva Rambaldi soared, showing off her operatic prowess.

On the Air” is a tight, well produced new three hour show at Teatro ZinZanni’s with enough assortment and variety of entertainment, guaranteed to have something for everybody. The show runs from January 31-June 1, 2014. Teatro ZinZanni’s offers evening and matinee performances which include a unique multi-course meal tailored to the performance. For more information about ticketing, check out: http://tzseattle-tickets.zinzanni.com/default.asp