Hearts on Fire

Teatro ZinZanni productions are so polished that it’s easy to forget how difficult it actually is to pull off a three-and-a-half-hour spectacle of cirque, comedy, and cabaret. Even reprising a popular show--Hearts on Fire originally played in 2007--presents its challenges. During a recent performance, a cast member mis-aimed a hula-hoop toss and caused red wine to spill all over a party’s table. A man plucked from the audience for an improv skit was so terrified he spent most of it mouthing “Help!” to his wife, while another was so sauced he refused to shut up. Savvy comedians Christine Deaver and El Vez were never at a loss for words--“You look like you’re going to piss your pants!”--and took the unexpected chaos in stride. As for the other talent, Parisian acrobat trio Les Petits Frères impressed with their charming and mischievious antics, and Seattle’s own opera singer Rachel DeShon shocked with a powerful voice that, coming from a pint-sized body, seemed humanly impossible. The mishaps were few and far between, and if anything made the audience (sans the woman who ended up with a wine-stained dress) appreciate what little margin of error is allowed in these outrageous shows. ERIKA HOBART

Wednesdays-Saturdays, 6:30 p.m.; Sundays, 5:30 p.m. Starts: May 6. Continues through Jan. 23, 2010

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