Unique 'mirror tent' constructed for Teatro ZinZanni show this summer

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A unique new entertainment venue has been painstakingly constructed on the 14th floor of the historic building that houses the Cambria Hotel in Chicago's theater district.

A spiegeltent, a mirror tent, was imported from Belgium and will house Teatro ZinZanni - a show opening in July which combines cabaret, spectacle, circus, comedy, music and fine dining.

"We've been looking for almost 12 years in the city of Chicago everywhere...where we could put the tent inside and then bingo - who would have thought that there was this former Masonic auditorium on the 14th floor in the theatre district," said Norm Langill, founder of Teatro ZinZanni.

"A spiegeltent is something typically Flemish used to be in carnivals to dance and drink and have a party at the carnival," said Frankie Klessen, a Belgian tent builder.

Building the spiegeltent was quite difficult as they weren't used to building one inside a building, Klessen said. In fact, the builders never have.

Over 4,000 pieces had to be sent up elevators.

Spiegeltents stand almost thirty feet tall and are about 211 feet in diameter.

The Chicago tent's interior is a secret until the show's summer opening, but it will be full of opulent vintage touches some dating back a century.

"If you are going to do a performance you want the public to walk into a world. Nowadays it's even more important to have the feeling of coming together because it's live performance or flat screen TVs," Langill said.
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