Exactly halfway into September last month, Chantelle and I found ourselves scurrying to get the kids to Bellville on time so that Rob and Tarryn could babysit for us whilst we, accompanied by both sets of mom and dad, headed for the Grand Parade in Cape Town.
Madame Zingara’s Theatre of Dreams!
Obviously, Chantelle was more than super excited (in fact, she was the whole reason that we were going in the first place), and given the fact that we’d previously been to the show a good seven years ago (wow, time flies!), she had managed to pretty much whip up a little of that excitement in all of us joining her for the night!
This time around organiser Richard Griffin’s dinner theatre spectacle carried the title of ‘The Celebration’, celebrating the 15 years that Madame Zingara has been operating in some form or another.
As expected, the show was staged in the magnificent Queen of Flanders, a three-storey high, 650-seater mirrored palace-like tent with ridiculously opulent interiors. (It’s one of the biggest of its kind in the world and has as part of the structure 6 tons of aluminium, 30 tons of galvanised steel, 70 000 floor screws and 5.2km of steel rods. There’s also 3200 mirrors, 1800m of velvet and 1200m of gold tassles as part of the interior!)
Madame Zingara is a kind of “anything goes” event which translates into lots of crazy costumes, props and characters, and there is pretty much never a moment where your eyes don’t have something new/interesting to take in.
The expensive tickets bought us an evening of entertainment, welcome drinks (if you kept your eyes open), canapes (if you were quick enough), and of course a four course gourmet meal – though Chantelle would argue that in fact it was more of a three course meal because two buns shared between four people does not count as a course!
That said, starters, mains, and dessert were absolutely divine – lamb shank being the main that pretty much the whole table went for this time around! (And of course, this being Madame Zingara after all, our food was delivered by waiters in costume, from penguins, to explorers, to soldiers, to just plain silly!)
The star of the show was of course the evening’s entertainment itself, and the hilariously funny (and wonderfully crude), cross-dressing, wardrobe-changing Cathy Specific kept everyone in stitches as we bounced through the various circus and singing acts.
As for the quality of all the international circus acts, well here’s the Spanish pole artist Saulo Sarmiento that they kick the real show off with (and got all the ladies drooling in the process) in action at a different event:
You get the picture.
In summary, the Madame Zingara experience is an absolute assault on the visual senses and offers and evening of pure, unadulterated fun which one is quite literally unable to not enjoy. Highly, highly recommended as something to do that is quite different from the usual run of the mill stuff for all us normal folk out there.
Cape Town is almost done (if not already), so if you haven’t yet, go now – whilst the rest of you lot in Johannesburg will just patiently have to wait your turn in November!