A night with Madame Zingara

I had such a great time last night at Madame Zingara at Montecasino. I’ve been a fan of them since they launched. If you don’t know about Madame Zingara yet or haven’t yet been to a show, you NEED to go. Basically it’s a dinner and show concept, but it also transports you into another world: one where everyone dresses outlandishly; you almost look strange if you don’t have a feather boa  or a funny hat on. I love an excuse to dress up and act crazy and the event is just such fun, especially if you’re in a group. You can just escape from all the stresses of day to day life for one night and pretend as though you’re someone else.

The opening act of the show

The outside area of Montecasino (where Taste of Joburg usually is), is used, and Madame Zingara’s movable tent takes centre stage. As you enter, you’ll find an area with a shop selling stuff you can use to accessorise your outfit, plus there’s a place where they do really cool face painting.

Your ticket includes a 4 course meal. The food is on the better side of average, but combined with the show, it’s good enough to make you feel that you got more than your money’s worth. The show starts at 8:15pm and you’ll get your meze platter soon before, which consists of a super yummy beetroot and phyllo tart, raw tomatoes (not great), olives, and pita bread with dips.

The show is made up of 3-4 shows- singing, acrobatics, comedians and even a little bit of magic. After Vegas and tons of Cirque du Soleil style entertainment on the cruise, I really didn’t think I’d be wow’d by more of the same, but I have to say the entertainment is spectacular. We were seated quite close to the stage so had a great view of the artists, but the theatre is quite small so I imagine that most seats would have this intimate feel.

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Artists are from all over the world and the show overall is quite varied and super fun. We really had a blast and even got onto the stage at one point to join the dancers! I love that the music has a South African flair, with some of my favourites like Pata Pata being performed.

The fab four- I think a lot of the energy of the show can be attributed to these sparkling ladies

After the first show, starters were served, a choice between a goat’s cheese salad and ravioli. For mains, there were 5 equally enticing options: the signature dish, chocolate chilli fillet which I’ve heard is excellent, Norwegian salmon, veg risotto, chicken tagine and lamb shank. We went for the salmon and the tagine. Dessert was a trio of sticky toffee pudding, ice cream and a red velvet/ cream combo. Overall, all the food was good-ish, not great.

Our waitress was awesome, and all the servers seemed equally vibey- some (guys) are topless, others (women) in hot pants- they’re almost as much of an attraction as the performers!

There were tons of people there celebrating birthdays, and I think if you are looking for a way to spend an evening with friends, you’ll struggle to find something that’s more fun than this. At the end of the show the stage turns into a dance floor 🙂

For a weekday, it does end quite late (11:30pm), so consider that if you need to get up early for work. Tip: ask for your bill straight after dessert (before the last show) so that you can settle it before the “rush”. I would recommend taking a taxi because you’ll probably want more than just a glass of wine. The show is really upbeat and fast paced so even if it is late you probably won’t feel that tired.

One of my favourite acts
One of my favourite acts

Madame Zingara is in Jozi until the end of the year so you have plenty of time. There’s also a special show on NYE which I’m sure will be loads of fun.

Tickets are priced between R440-R490 which includes the meal and show but not drinks and gratuity. Bookings just opened for August and they already look pretty much sold out so I wouldn’t waste time if you want to go soon. Book tickets at www.madamezingara.com