Teatro ZinZanni holds audiences captive with brilliance and sparkle inside a unique venue. Whether in Seattle, San Francisco or Chicago, each of Teatro Zinzanni's shows has played in antique Belgian spiegeltents (mirror tents) seldom seen in America. These opulent palaces of gold brocade and red velvet, deep mahogany, and stained glass hosted European cabarets in their day. For nearly a century, the tents, each with a unique name and history, housed dances, cabarets, wine tastings and celebrations in Europe.
Chicago's own Spiegeltent Zazou consists of over 4000 pieces, but not a single nail was used to erect it. The tents were explicitly designed to be dismantled and rebuilt by teams of only three or four people in a single day. Only about 100 of these stunning structures still exist. Finding the tent was not as tricky as finding a place to erect it in the Windy City. As residents of Chicago know, the weather would never permit performances year-round in just a tent, so Teatro ZinZanni got creative with their third venue.
After a 10-year search, a long-forgotten location was revealed when renovations were made to 32 W. Randolph. A former Masonic auditorium designed by famous theatrical architects Rapp & Rapp was hidden behind dropped ceilings and offices, a space large enough to encompass the three-story spiegeltent and its riggings. The bar outside the tent is equally Instagram-worthy.
The gorgeous Spielgeltent Zazou sits on the 14th floor inside a space most Chicagoans don't remember. Leave it to the creative team at ZinZanni to ignore that and create this splendid new venue attendees won't soon forget.