Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Vaudevi…wait a minute!

I was chatting to my friend today and he asked me what I thought about this new supper theatre thing that has opened up in Cape Town called Vaudeville, and my response was so clear that my brain said, remember everything and blog about it. So here I am.

I first became aware of it last week when I got back from my trip and I saw that a few of my friends had joined the Vaudeville facebook page, so I went to have a virtual look see.

And is it just me who thinks that the fabulous Richard’s Madame Zingara’s Theatre of Dreams has been ripped off and copied, even down to the emcee being the same Irit Noble?

I need to say at the outset that I am not a great fan of supper theatre. I hate having to perform while people eat, and I struggle to eat while people perform, but I loved Madame Zingara’s. I loved the spiegeltent, the costumes and even the circus acts, which had nothing to do with theatre and everything to to with theatricality. I loved the dressed up table staff, I loved the ‘other world’ that was created and I loved the detail of everything, including the menu.

I dunno. Seems like Vaudeville is pretty much a direct rip-off, with circus acts, a three course meal, and the same over the top styling, only in a building and not in a tent. Has anyone spent the R350 for a normal ticket (the VIP ones cost R395) and gone to check it out? I’d love to hear about it.

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9 Comments

  1. lisa

    I was wondering when some would mention the naked Emperor!! With so much of the Madame Zingara staff, the costume designer, bookings manager, chocolate chilli on the menu (ok, in the dessert section) the website’s long lost cousin resemblance and so the list goes on, you’d think someone would have mentioned it by now.

    It’s quite shocking that they’ve copied so much and still tried to pass it off as their own concept without so much as a mention of the beloved Madame Zingara.

    Judging from the opinions of those who have been, it just goes to show, you can have all the ingredients, but it’s the chef that creates the masterpiece.

  2. I took my parents for Christmas. I wasn’t expecting much, but was looking forward to Albert. As always, he didn’t disappoint.

    I enjoyed the visual weirdness of the setting and cool attention to detail much more than the performances, though some of them were excellent (others not so much!). The food was good, though portions were, of course, small.

    I never went to the M.Z. tent, so can’t give direct comparisons, but I can tell you that my folks loved it. I mean LOVED it. Seing as my father hates everything, particularly theatre. I find this a happy recommendation. I liked it, it was a cool experience, but I’m glad I got a friendly discount.

    I’d do it again though, simply for the pleasure of having a dinner with my parents where I don’t have to make small talk.

  3. megan

    Thanks for the feedback!

  4. megan

    And Albert??? What about Albert??

  5. He’s the ringmaster, baby, complete with fat suit, massive black pompadour hair and a very charming fake French accent.

    http://www.timeslive.co.za/lifestyle/article226905.ece

    LOVE Albert. Will miss him in 2010. Bah.

  6. Chad

    Major deja vu … from concept to creation … The MC’s costume reminded me of something – it’s a dead ringer for Cirque du Soleil’s Nouvelle Experience’s ‘Madame Corporation’ character …

    http://www.azlance.com/~richasi/Cirque/Nouvelle/index.html
    (pic at bottom of page)

    Great minds think alike?

  7. megan

    I have to say, nothing irritates me more than copying Cirque du Soleil. I think what gets me most is that people think, ag, Seffeffricans will never have seen it! Sies.

  8. Anon

    I think people are very aware of the similarities between MZ and Vaudeville, just to polite to say anything. I think when VV had their press night – there were a few rumblings saying how similar it was. And when you start looking at the key staff of VV and the positions they held at MZ… it all becomes very clear.

    I saw this the other day about VV

    http://www.whalecottage.com/blog/cape-town/vaudeville-second-time-visit-more-dreadville-than-wonderville/

    One thing Richard from MZ believed in was excellent service and his floor fairys (waiting staff) were trained to a very high standard. They knew there stuff, the menu was memorised… absolute attention to detail.

    So it will be interesting to see if they have staying power, involve, and become something unique – even though they did ‘borrow’ MZ concept right down to the colour scheme.

  9. Anon


    I’m sure that Vaudeville will not be happy about me drawing comparisons between it and the Madame Zingara Tent of Dreams, but I have to …

    http://www.relax-with-dax.co.za/?p=1930#more-1930

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