Mezzo Lunatico

What did trapeze artists, fan dancers, fire spinners, and Eastern European folk musicians do, say, 15 years ago, before Seattle’s burlesque/cabaret boom made these all reasonably remunerative, if maybe not quite full-time, career paths? Colonizing the neglected outlying territories of its neighbors (pop music, “legit” theater, and circus), the variety scene gathered showbiz miscellaneacs under a big striped tent and seemingly willed a local circuit of clubs and theaters out of nothing to launch an aesthetic of genial loucheness, reaching back into entertainment history to spice it with influences from Weimar to the Wild West. It’s the avant-garde at its most alluring, an artistic social contract at its least complicated: Watch me and I’ll show you something worth watching. For its seasonal midnight show, Mezzo Lunatico, TZZ has brought together some of the city’s best of the best, including El Vez, quite likely the world’s only Latino Elvis impersonator; Nick Garrison, whose legendary performances in Hedwig and the Angry Inch are only a fraction of his extensive stage résumé; and Orkestar Zirconium, a brass band so irresistibly rousing that you’ll begin to suspect that you must be at least a bit Balkan. (Show starts at 11:45 p.m.) GAVIN BORCHERT

Sat., Dec. 18, 2010

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