Michelle Loewenstein
1 minute read
5 Mar 2014
7:00 am

Step into Madame Zingara’s parlour

Michelle Loewenstein

It's always interesting to watch something creative evolve over time. I first saw Madame Zingara when the Theatre Of Dreams visited Melrose Arch in 2010. The show received rave reviews, and I still maintain that it was one of my top evenings out ever.

Madame Zingara décor in the tent of mirrors currently on at Monte Casino, 21 February 2014. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

My expectations of the dinner cirque’s latest incarnation, the After Forever Tour, were incredibly high, and director Richard Griffin and his team have managed to take the experience to a whole new level.

While the contortionists, aerial acts and singers were obviously crowd pleasers, it was the subtleties of the evening that made it such a success. Small touches like the quirky waiters and waitresses dancing as they moved deftly between tables made everyone believe, for two hours at least, that they had escaped the traffic and irritation of a regular Johannesburg day. Our waiter also insisted on us touching his derriere before serving us our drinks – how could we possibly say no?

The food served at Madame Zingara has become a trademark, and it didn’t disappoint. The fact that Kosher, Halaal and vegetarian packages can be ordered is a huge bonus, as it’s often difficult for people with specific dietary requirements to enjoy events like this one.

Standout performances included the Russian Bar Act, featuring performers who seemed to defy gravity with their tricks, and a diminutive diva that made pole dancing look like an athletic art rather than a strip club standard. The closing act also deserves a mention as the performers had the audience on the edge of their seats.