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Her bags stuffed with sequins and feathers, acrobats and jugglers, the grand dame of the circus is en route to the City of Gold where she will make it glitter just that much more than usual. Madame Zingara and her exotic troupe of artistes will soon be pitching their gorgeous mirrored, velvet-draped tent at Montecasino for an all-new season of spectacular entertainment.

Not only will the Madame bring a fresh new show to Egoli, but for the first time she will be undergoing a bit of a face lift. Hey, everyone needs a little nip and tuck sooner or later. It’s not purely cosmetic, however. These changes have a practical purpose too, to combat the cold Highveld winter nights.

The foyer area will be blocked off and extended sideways, creating a large, comfortable enclosed lounge area. And with the main arena of the tent thus concealed until the giant wooden doors are flung open, the first glimpse is guaranteed to draw gasps of awe and amazement.

In addition, the stage will be extended to join the raised VIP section at the back of the tent to accommodate the cast of el Milagro – Spanish for “the miracle”. The story behind this is that “the land of Zingara has frozen up and we have brought in new acts to heat things up,” says Craig Leo, who conceptualised the show. “It will be the duty of MC The Hot Mr C to bring back the heat,” explains Craig. “He’s essentially the thread and he will be taking the audience on a mystical journey from an icy cold to fire.”

El Milagro will incorporate famous fairy tale characters and bring them to life in true, quirky, offbeat Madame Zingara style, like you’ve never seen them before. “The show has a more theatrical feel to it, with lots of drama, suspense, and mystery,” adds Craig. Performers include the dazzling aerialists Christine du Plooy and Sam Kotze, homegrown rope skippers from Khayalitsha in Cape Town, Ziggy the contortionist, a three-man strength act from Eastern Europe, foot jugglers from Russia, and solo vocalist Carmen Maarmen.

A highlight of the show will be the statuesque Cathy Specific, who wowed Cape Town audiences with her legs that go all the way up to heaven, and delicious wit. She will be joined by her first class cabin crew of Trolley Dollies. “Expect a lot of sass and sauciness,” says Cathy. “I am eager to sprinkle the magic once again and this time I am bringing along a few friends…it’s triple the trouble.”

For the uninitiated, a night with Madame Zingara includes all manner of fantasy and delight, from welcome drinks, and a glam boutique full of fun sparkly accessories, to comedy, music, and thrills, and a delicious four-course meal featuring the legendary signature dish, chocolate chilli fillet.

“Everyone is looking forward to coming back to Jozi, where we have always been welcomed with open and enthusiastic arms,” says Richard Griffin, Madame’s right-hand-man. “We can’t wait to share the new-look tent and the stunning new show, with performers from all over the globe, with our friends in Gauteng.”

The show opens in March 1, and runs nightly from Tuesdays to Saturdays. Tickets range from R410 – R495. For more information contact 0861 623 263 or visit www.madamezingara.com