This October, Teatro ZinZanni, the iconic cabaret performance group, is hosting a limited-engagement production of their signature show Love, Chaos, and Dinner at King County’s Marymoor Park. Ariana Savalas, who tours regularly with the YouTube sensation Postmodern Jukebox, is a guest performer with the show this fall and talked with Reflections about the very special gig.
Reflections magazine: What drew you to ZinZanni?
Ariana Savalas: What didn’t draw me to the show? I visited Seattle and did a solo show one Monday night, and I’d never seen anything like that in my life. I thought, Where has this been all my life? It was a magical experience, so when they asked me to come back and be their Madame, it didn’t take too much to convince me.
RM: How did you get into the performing arts?
AS: I guess I always had a tendency for dramatics. I grew up in a really artistic family—my father was an actor, my mom was an amazing painter and inventor, and my grandma went to Juilliard—so I got it from all ends. I think if I had said I wanted to be an accountant, they would have freaked out and said, “Go get a real job as an actor.” Plus I loved music and theater so much, especially shows like Cabaret and Chicago. I loved the fun, vaudeville-style shows, and it became my life. I found people who loved it as much as I do, and it’s amazing—this whole culture that loves the art form as much as I do.
RM: Speaking of your father, actor and singer Telly Savalas, does this type of work keep you connected to him?
AS: You took the words right out of my mouth. Absolutely. He died when I was seven, and that’s really what got me into jazz and cabaret in the first place. Greats like Sinatra—these were his friends that he loved. I grew up on the standards—Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee—and I fell in love with that kind of showmanship that is very rare these days. There were these incredible artists like Sinatra who not only had a voice from heaven, but he was also the funniest person in the room and could entertain a crowd like they were family members. They were old-school, timeless show people.
RM: What can people expect from your Love, Chaos, and Dinner show at ZinZanni?
AS: Quite frankly the title says it all. Just like all the shows at ZinZanni, there will be pure entertainment and absolute madness—everything you’d expect a circus in Seattle to be. Everything down to the last detail is unreal.
RM: As a performer, what do you want people to take away from the show?
AS: All I ever want is for people to leave my stage happier than when they came. The whole purpose is to make people laugh and allow them to escape the stuff of everyday life and see something extraordinary. There’s enough reality to keep us all bored; people need a place where they can experience more things that are magical.
October 19, 2017–April 29, 2018
Wednesday–Saturday at 7:00 p.m.
Sundays at 6:00 p.m.
Select Sunday matinees at 11:30 a.m.
For more information, please visit zinzanni.com/seattle/.