Walking west along Randolph Street, in between State and Dearborn, there’s no sign of the magic that will soon be taking place 14 stories up in a few short months, but some of it’s already under way.
Right above passersby’s heads, on the 14th floor of the Cambria Hotel, a grand “palace” is being built that will house Teatro ZinZanni’s dinner-theater production of “Love, Chaos and Dinner” beginning July 18. Filled with red velvet curtains, wooden floors, stained glass and flutters of gold touches, the Spiegeltent ZaZou tent is the first of its kind to be built indoors.
We got a sneak peek at the tent’s construction, which has been under way for several months.
“This is the eighth location we’ve tried to develop,” the show’s producer Stan Feig said. “This was the location when everything came together.”
The massive performance space was “forgotten” for years and it wasn’t until renovations were being made in 2017 to the hotel at 32 W. Randolph (adjacent to the former Oriental and newly named Nederlander Theatre) that it was rediscovered. Dropped ceilings revealed a grand room in the 1926 historic building perfect for housing this grand production.
“Not a single nail” is used in assembling the tent, “as historically they were designed to go up in day, down in a day,” Feig told the Sun-Times in a 2018 interview when plans for the show were announced.
Performances begin July 18, which will welcome 330 guests seated at VIP booths and tables for a three-hour, in-the-round, immersive theatrical/cabaret-style production complete with four-course meal. A full-service bar will also be open for pre-show cocktails.
Tickets are available for purchase here.
Contributing: Miriam Di Nunzio