If the appellation banquet theatre brings to apperception an black area a date assembly takes abode afterwards people’s ambrosia plates are cleared, Bacio Rosso is about to about-face that angle on its head—literally.
A medal-winning handstand artisan who has travelled the apple with Cirque du Soleil joins a casting of aerobatics artists, contortionists, jugglers, magicians, comedians, musicians, and added in a assembly that’s declared as Moulin Rouge meets cabaret meets accomplished dining. Guests allow in a gourmet four-course banquet that’s served not afore the immersive three-hour acquaintance but rather during it, as acts disentangle in an affectionate ambience all about them, sometimes in hasty ways.
“What’s different is how the two worlds are brought together—the dining and the show,” says aesthetic administrator Scott Malcolm. “It’s not traditional; it’s not ‘Sit down, eat a meal, again accessible the blind and it’s showtime.’ It doesn’t feel anytime like ‘When’s the appearance activity to start?’ All of the elements are melded calm in a seamless way.
“There’s additionally this aspect of not alive who is who,” he adds. “Your aide ability aback ascend up on a trapeze.”
Malcolm, who lives in Vancouver with his babe and Belgian-born wife, has a continued affiliation with “gourmet cabaret cirque”.
After belief at the Marcel Marceau Paris International School of Mimodrama for three years with the adept himself, Malcolm, an amateur and above drummer, was assassin by Germany’s Pomp Duck and Circumstance to advice absolute its countdown North American run in New York in 1995. Aback then, he has captivated titles of director, aesthetic director, and managing administrator with added arch companies in the field, namely Palazzo Produktionen, which operates in Germany and Austria, and Teatro ZinZanni, which has been active in Seattle aback 1998.
The genre, which has existed in Europe for decades and has roots activity aback to turn-of-the-last-century travelling carnivals, is new to Canada. Bacio Rosso is Malcolm’s aboriginal absolute show, one that he’s aflame to accompany to the abode he calls home.
The assembly takes abode aloft Queen Elizabeth Park’s Little Mountain (near the accessible tennis courts) beneath a best made-in-Belgium spiegeltent, acceptation “mirror tent”. Red clover with gold trim, red carpet, decrepit glass, acceptable woodwork, and added than 2,000 bevelled mirrors beautify the interior. When the tents were aboriginal advised in the aboriginal 20th aeon as travelling ball halls, the mirrors accustomed bodies to accomplish alert eye acquaintance with one another.
Irina Pitsur performs while audiences banquet on a four-course gourmet meal.
“It feels like a carousel with the mirrors and arced assumption bars,” Malcolm says in an account at the tent. “It’s admirable to be able to accept the appearance at Little Mountain, a abode that’s so appropriate to Vancouver. Seeing these acts up aing is so magnificent.”
One of the performers is Lady Rizo, a New York City–based, Grammy-winning cabaret singer-songwriter who has collaborated with Moby and Yo-Yo Ma, amid others. Addition casting affiliate is Colin Heath, a Canadian concrete actor whose diffuse résumé includes cocreating and assuming in date hits The Number 14 and The Overcoat. A alive five-piece bandage provides the agreeable backdrop.
Just as acute to the show’s address and success as its casting is the food. Adam Pegg, chef-owner of La Quercia, is curating the four-course meal with wine pairings. The Vancouver built-in was the aboriginal in Canada to complete Slow Food’s Masters of Italian Cooking course. He formed in arctic Italy for several years thereafter, affair his approaching wife, Karin lazzaris, who’s additionally his business partner.
Malcolm and his wife appointment La Quercia often; as a fan of Pegg’s accurate Italian cuisine, Malcolm asked him if he’d like to “run off and accompany the circus”.
“We adulation Adam’s restaurant; it feels like our European home abroad from home,” he says. “He’s brought aggregate we adulation about Italy to this bend of Vancouver.
During an account at the West Side dining enactment (which is adjoining to its sister operation, L’Ufficio, a accidental Italian wine bar), Pegg credits a able aggregation able to bowl up 325 commons anniversary night during Bacio Rosso’s two-month run. Having formed at La Quercia on and off for eight years, chef Greg Dilabio knows the restaurant’s philosophy, approach, and techniques central out and will advance a baby agents appropriate on-site at Little Mountain in a kitchen complete out of two trailers.
The plating is about as amazing as the acrobatics during Bacio Rosso’s meal.
The meal begins with antipasti of pickled vegetables, pork crackling, grissini (bread sticks), and pork loin tonnato, a Piedmontese bowl commonly fabricated of dogie but actuality consisting of agilely broken pork with adolescent puréed with anchovies, capers, and lemon. The primi advance is eggplant parmigiana; it looks like archetypal lasagna but attenuate slices of aureate eggplant alter the noodles for a gluten-free “pasta”. It’s a accepted card account that Pegg spent months developing in acknowledgment to added and added diners’ requests for dishes fabricated with annihilation but white flour. He dredges the eggplant in chickpea abrade afore frying it in olive oil and again layering it with béchamel, basil, tomato, and Parmesan cheese.
“When I gave it to my wife to try, she couldn’t acquaint the difference,” he says. “I’m absolutely acquisitive to ambush a accomplished agglomeration of bodies who anticipate they don’t like eggplant.”
Guests accept a best for the secondi course: rosticciata di manzo (rustic slow-roasted beef shoulder), pollo in umido (tender craven able in a way that melds roasting, steaming, and confit), or a vegan polenta con funghi, the mushrooms sautéed in olive oil with garlic, parsley, and white wine.
To accomplishment is a dolci of aerial auto cream.
Pegg and lazzaris called the dinner’s wine pairings, which accommodate Washington state’s Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay, Italy’s Fontanafredda Briccotondo Barbera, B.C.’s Checkmate End Game Merlot, and New Zealand’s Villa Maria Private Bin Lightly Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc. (Other wines and beverages will be accessible for acquirement at the bar.)
“What makes Bacio Rosso different is that bodies advancing to the theatre will be accepting an amazing meal, and bodies who appear for the aliment get an amazing appearance attached,” Pegg says. “Everything is absolutely intertwined.”
Bacio Rosso runs at Queen Elizabeth Park Wednesdays through Sundays from November 1 to December 31. Tickets and advice are at the Bacio Rosso website.
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