Delightful Diva Performs for Both Young and Young-at-Heart at TZ – Go See Both Shows!

Voices are amazing things … they can set the tone, alter a mood, evoke strong emotions. And music is something for all ages.

And, when it’s a voice like that of Jen Ayers, you really sit up and take notice.

Recently, your Hedonista saw this delightful diva perform in Teatro Zinzanni’s Be Italian! – a fun grown-up, East Coast Italian show (think Jersey) which runs February 4th until June 12th, 2016 – and then again for a fun family, kid-friendly show (again at Teatro Zinzanni/TZ) called Big Top Rock: Rock This Way, which runs April 9th until May 22nd, 2016.

In both productions, Jen Ayers rocks it – both figuratively and literally...more

If you didn’t know better, you might see South Seattle neighbor and entertainer Jen Ayers on-stage belting out 80’s rock hits, swinging on the trapeze and entertaining audiences with her killer comedic timing, and find it hard to imagine her doing down-in-the-trenches mom duty.

Well, try again. Because she’s much more than just a a rock diva with a throat of gold, big pink hair and fishnet stockings, she’s also a devoted mom to her nine-year old son.

Sure, she’s been singing, playing piano and writing music since age five, performing thousands of shows nationwide, fronting Seattle-based band Honey Tongue, sharing the stage with members of Heart, REM and Pearl Jam, and recently releasing her first solo CD, but when pressed, she’ll quickly tell you that her greatest achievement is “being Griffin’s Mom.”

And she’s got the mom chops to prove it...more here

Pure Delight! Teatro Zinzanni has once again created an evening of great food, great talent and a great night of performances. The interactive dining experience presents the current theme of 'Be Italian!' and does so with such flair that you'll be kissing your fingertips with a cry of 'Mamma Mia!'

...It is the singer Jen Ayers that absolutely rocks the house (or tent) down about us. Obviously the love child of Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde, Ms. Ayers takes hold of the '80s rock-n-roll and makes it her own.

“Be Italian” is one of the best Teatro ZinZanni shows I’ve ever seen. The music is always good, but some shows have featured opera or music that didn’t seem to relate well to the audience. This one had a great mix of using pop and rock music from the 1980s, with the very talented and lovely Jen Ayers.

Blend burlesque with a rock show and you get House of Thee Unholy, a lush, extravagant production oozing with sexuality and inhibitions foregone. This ultimate artistic remix, running through the weekend at the Triple Door, combines an all-star cast that steps away from cutesy, bubble gum burlesque shows to put forth something a little darker, a little more forbidden and a lot more adult.

Devised by creative director Paula Sjunneson of PaulaNowEvent (formerly The Swedish Housewife), House of Thee Unholy features a 21-person ensemble venturing through various elements of the '70s, from psychedelic defy-your-parents acid-dropping teens to the over-the-top, glitter and shine of the glam rock scene. Set to Led Zeppelin-heavy live music (with singers Sarah Rudinoff and Jen Ayers nailing Robert Plant’s nuances), the production is pumping with energy, and would be worth seeing just for the music alone.

Blend burlesque with a rock show and you get House of Thee Unholy, a lush, extravagant production oozing with sexuality and inhibitions foregone. This ultimate artistic remix, running through the weekend at the Triple Door, combines an all-star cast that steps away from cutesy, bubble gum burlesque shows to put forth something a little darker, a little more forbidden and a lot more adult.

Devised by creative director Paula Sjunneson of PaulaNowEvent (formerly The Swedish Housewife), House of Thee Unholy features a 21-person ensemble venturing through various elements of the '70s, from psychedelic defy-your-parents acid-dropping teens to the over-the-top, glitter and shine of the glam rock scene. Set to Led Zeppelin-heavy live music (with singers Sarah Rudinoff and Jen Ayers nailing Robert Plant’s nuances), the production is pumping with energy, and would be worth seeing just for the music alone.

- See more at: http://www.cityartsonline.com/articles/bringing-down-house-thee-unholy#sthash.ozbyjvjf.dpuf

Blend burlesque with a rock show and you get House of Thee Unholy, a lush, extravagant production oozing with sexuality and inhibitions foregone. This ultimate artistic remix, running through the weekend at the Triple Door, combines an all-star cast that steps away from cutesy, bubble gum burlesque shows to put forth something a little darker, a little more forbidden and a lot more adult.

Devised by creative director Paula Sjunneson of PaulaNowEvent (formerly The Swedish Housewife), House of Thee Unholy features a 21-person ensemble venturing through various elements of the '70s, from psychedelic defy-your-parents acid-dropping teens to the over-the-top, glitter and shine of the glam rock scene. Set to Led Zeppelin-heavy live music (with singers Sarah Rudinoff and Jen Ayers nailing Robert Plant’s nuances), the production is pumping with energy, and would be worth seeing just for the music alone.

But oh, the dancing. With choreography (and performance) by Douglass Ridings, Lily Verlaine, Waxie Moon and others, the dancing is at the highest level of professionalism, but refreshingly doesn’t take itself too seriously. Comic relief is sprinkled throughout, making moments that veer into the make-you-slightly-uncomfortable territory laugh-worthy. Waxie Moon reaching into his skin-tight skivvies to pantomime masturbation comes to a roaring end when he “finishes” with an explosion of pink glitter. One standout was Lily Verlaine’s sensual number set to Zeppelin’s oh-so-sexy Kashmir. Her control and balletic grace match the music and she becomes hypnotic as her Indian-inspired costume comes off to reveal little underneath.

- See more at: http://www.cityartsonline.com/articles/bringing-down-house-thee-unholy#sthash.ozbyjvjf.dpuf

Blend burlesque with a rock show and you get House of Thee Unholy, a lush, extravagant production oozing with sexuality and inhibitions foregone. This ultimate artistic remix, running through the weekend at the Triple Door, combines an all-star cast that steps away from cutesy, bubble gum burlesque shows to put forth something a little darker, a little more forbidden and a lot more adult.

Devised by creative director Paula Sjunneson of PaulaNowEvent (formerly The Swedish Housewife), House of Thee Unholy features a 21-person ensemble venturing through various elements of the '70s, from psychedelic defy-your-parents acid-dropping teens to the over-the-top, glitter and shine of the glam rock scene. Set to Led Zeppelin-heavy live music (with singers Sarah Rudinoff and Jen Ayers nailing Robert Plant’s nuances), the production is pumping with energy, and would be worth seeing just for the music alone.

But oh, the dancing. With choreography (and performance) by Douglass Ridings, Lily Verlaine, Waxie Moon and others, the dancing is at the highest level of professionalism, but refreshingly doesn’t take itself too seriously. Comic relief is sprinkled throughout, making moments that veer into the make-you-slightly-uncomfortable territory laugh-worthy. Waxie Moon reaching into his skin-tight skivvies to pantomime masturbation comes to a roaring end when he “finishes” with an explosion of pink glitter. One standout was Lily Verlaine’s sensual number set to Zeppelin’s oh-so-sexy Kashmir. Her control and balletic grace match the music and she becomes hypnotic as her Indian-inspired costume comes off to reveal little underneath.

Yes there are a lot of jeweled pasties and thong underwear—it wouldn’t be a burlesque show without them—but the costumes over them are fanciful and beautifully constructed as well. In the span of 90 minutes the audience gets everything from hooded Druids to attacking Vikings, and there is even a number with bumblebees, which might be a cultural reference I missed due to my age. There is the classic French maid who cleans up in between each scene, but she shows a healthy dose of attitude, an edge that elevates her into a three-dimensional character.

House of Thee Unholy is not your typical 1940s pinup girl show. It encapsulates the decadence and excess of the '70s, a decade where culture, music, art were transforming and issues such as gender identity and equality were coming to a head…much like they are today.

House of Thee Unholy runs through March 15 with two showings a night.

- See more at: http://www.cityartsonline.com/articles/bringing-down-house-thee-unholy#sthash.ozbyjvjf.dpuf

Blend burlesque with a rock show and you get House of Thee Unholy, a lush, extravagant production oozing with sexuality and inhibitions foregone. This ultimate artistic remix, running through the weekend at the Triple Door, combines an all-star cast that steps away from cutesy, bubble gum burlesque shows to put forth something a little darker, a little more forbidden and a lot more adult.

Devised by creative director Paula Sjunneson of PaulaNowEvent (formerly The Swedish Housewife), House of Thee Unholy features a 21-person ensemble venturing through various elements of the '70s, from psychedelic defy-your-parents acid-dropping teens to the over-the-top, glitter and shine of the glam rock scene. Set to Led Zeppelin-heavy live music (with singers Sarah Rudinoff and Jen Ayers nailing Robert Plant’s nuances), the production is pumping with energy, and would be worth seeing just for the music alone.

But oh, the dancing. With choreography (and performance) by Douglass Ridings, Lily Verlaine, Waxie Moon and others, the dancing is at the highest level of professionalism, but refreshingly doesn’t take itself too seriously. Comic relief is sprinkled throughout, making moments that veer into the make-you-slightly-uncomfortable territory laugh-worthy. Waxie Moon reaching into his skin-tight skivvies to pantomime masturbation comes to a roaring end when he “finishes” with an explosion of pink glitter. One standout was Lily Verlaine’s sensual number set to Zeppelin’s oh-so-sexy Kashmir. Her control and balletic grace match the music and she becomes hypnotic as her Indian-inspired costume comes off to reveal little underneath.

Yes there are a lot of jeweled pasties and thong underwear—it wouldn’t be a burlesque show without them—but the costumes over them are fanciful and beautifully constructed as well. In the span of 90 minutes the audience gets everything from hooded Druids to attacking Vikings, and there is even a number with bumblebees, which might be a cultural reference I missed due to my age. There is the classic French maid who cleans up in between each scene, but she shows a healthy dose of attitude, an edge that elevates her into a three-dimensional character.

House of Thee Unholy is not your typical 1940s pinup girl show. It encapsulates the decadence and excess of the '70s, a decade where culture, music, art were transforming and issues such as gender identity and equality were coming to a head…much like they are today.

House of Thee Unholy runs through March 15 with two showings a night.

- See more at: http://www.cityartsonline.com/articles/bringing-down-house-thee-unholy#sthash.ozbyjvjf.dpuf

Blend burlesque with a rock show and you get House of Thee Unholy, a lush, extravagant production oozing with sexuality and inhibitions foregone. This ultimate artistic remix, running through the weekend at the Triple Door, combines an all-star cast that steps away from cutesy, bubble gum burlesque shows to put forth something a little darker, a little more forbidden and a lot more adult.

Devised by creative director Paula Sjunneson of PaulaNowEvent (formerly The Swedish Housewife), House of Thee Unholy features a 21-person ensemble venturing through various elements of the '70s, from psychedelic defy-your-parents acid-dropping teens to the over-the-top, glitter and shine of the glam rock scene. Set to Led Zeppelin-heavy live music (with singers Sarah Rudinoff and Jen Ayers nailing Robert Plant’s nuances), the production is pumping with energy, and would be worth seeing just for the music alone.

But oh, the dancing. With choreography (and performance) by Douglass Ridings, Lily Verlaine, Waxie Moon and others, the dancing is at the highest level of professionalism, but refreshingly doesn’t take itself too seriously. Comic relief is sprinkled throughout, making moments that veer into the make-you-slightly-uncomfortable territory laugh-worthy. Waxie Moon reaching into his skin-tight skivvies to pantomime masturbation comes to a roaring end when he “finishes” with an explosion of pink glitter. One standout was Lily Verlaine’s sensual number set to Zeppelin’s oh-so-sexy Kashmir. Her control and balletic grace match the music and she becomes hypnotic as her Indian-inspired costume comes off to reveal little underneath.

Yes there are a lot of jeweled pasties and thong underwear—it wouldn’t be a burlesque show without them—but the costumes over them are fanciful and beautifully constructed as well. In the span of 90 minutes the audience gets everything from hooded Druids to attacking Vikings, and there is even a number with bumblebees, which might be a cultural reference I missed due to my age. There is the classic French maid who cleans up in between each scene, but she shows a healthy dose of attitude, an edge that elevates her into a three-dimensional character.

House of Thee Unholy is not your typical 1940s pinup girl show. It encapsulates the decadence and excess of the '70s, a decade where culture, music, art were transforming and issues such as gender identity and equality were coming to a head…much like they are today.

House of Thee Unholy runs through March 15 with two showings a night.

- See more at: http://www.cityartsonline.com/articles/bringing-down-house-thee-unholy#sthash.ozbyjvjf.dpuf

Blend burlesque with a rock show and you get House of Thee Unholy, a lush, extravagant production oozing with sexuality and inhibitions foregone. This ultimate artistic remix, running through the weekend at the Triple Door, combines an all-star cast that steps away from cutesy, bubble gum burlesque shows to put forth something a little darker, a little more forbidden and a lot more adult.

Devised by creative director Paula Sjunneson of PaulaNowEvent (formerly The Swedish Housewife), House of Thee Unholy features a 21-person ensemble venturing through various elements of the '70s, from psychedelic defy-your-parents acid-dropping teens to the over-the-top, glitter and shine of the glam rock scene. Set to Led Zeppelin-heavy live music (with singers Sarah Rudinoff and Jen Ayers nailing Robert Plant’s nuances), the production is pumping with energy, and would be worth seeing just for the music alone.

But oh, the dancing. With choreography (and performance) by Douglass Ridings, Lily Verlaine, Waxie Moon and others, the dancing is at the highest level of professionalism, but refreshingly doesn’t take itself too seriously. Comic relief is sprinkled throughout, making moments that veer into the make-you-slightly-uncomfortable territory laugh-worthy. Waxie Moon reaching into his skin-tight skivvies to pantomime masturbation comes to a roaring end when he “finishes” with an explosion of pink glitter. One standout was Lily Verlaine’s sensual number set to Zeppelin’s oh-so-sexy Kashmir. Her control and balletic grace match the music and she becomes hypnotic as her Indian-inspired costume comes off to reveal little underneath.

Yes there are a lot of jeweled pasties and thong underwear—it wouldn’t be a burlesque show without them—but the costumes over them are fanciful and beautifully constructed as well. In the span of 90 minutes the audience gets everything from hooded Druids to attacking Vikings, and there is even a number with bumblebees, which might be a cultural reference I missed due to my age. There is the classic French maid who cleans up in between each scene, but she shows a healthy dose of attitude, an edge that elevates her into a three-dimensional character.

House of Thee Unholy is not your typical 1940s pinup girl show. It encapsulates the decadence and excess of the '70s, a decade where culture, music, art were transforming and issues such as gender identity and equality were coming to a head…much like they are today.

House of Thee Unholy runs through March 15 with two showings a night.

- See more at: http://www.cityartsonline.com/articles/bringing-down-house-thee-unholy#sthash.ozbyjvjf.dpuf

Seattle’s Teatro ZinZanni — best known for its spendy dinner theater featuring comedy, cabaret and cirque artists — is making room this spring for a special, family-friendly rock show called Dream On. The matinee performances combine ZinZanni’s whimsical, feather-and-sequined flair with the hard edge of rock and roll, provided by local Aerosmith cover band Dream On. This is the second year of the popular collaboration.

“It was so successful we’re bringing it back,” said lead singer Jen Ayers, who can perfectly belt out a primal Steven Tyler-esque scream.

Dream On includes her husband Graham Ayers (rhythm guitar), Amy Tung (bass), Faith Stankevich (drums and vocals) and Laurie Miller (lead guitar).

In the ZinZanni show, Dream On’s members each take on beloved rock personas. Jen is transformed into a coquettish Blondie, while Graham embodies David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust, complete with spiked red hair. Two ZinZanni acrobats play the parts of Angus and Jethro, childlike characters who need to be schooled in the art of rock and roll.

For kids more accustomed to female rap star Iggy Azalea than Iggy Pop, the show is an introduction to some of the greatest rock songs of the ’70s and ’80s. Adults might find themselves reminiscing about mixtapes and big hair. Kids (and grown-up kids) are encouraged to join the mosh pit to dance. Jen said the show was designed to be appealing for all ages.

The Ayers’ 8-year-old son, Griffin, weighed in on the song selections for the show. As a singer with the Northwest Boychoir, Griffin is a budding star himself with “a voice like an angel,” his mom said.

Dream On originally was formed in 2005 under a different name. For Jen, it started as a side project of her band Honey Tongue, an alternative rock group that recorded and toured nationally.

“It’s a pretty cool mash-up of many areas of our lives,” Ayers said.

The show runs April 18 to May 30 at Teatro ZinZanni, 222 Mercer St. Tickets cost $19-$22 and are available online at zinzanni.com or at 206-802-0015.

TWIN PEAKS FEATURED ISSUE: Norma, I’ll See You in My Dreams: Frontwoman Extraordinaire Jen Ayers Takes on Pop Icons

Dream On: Teatro ZinZanni’s Newest Family Show Rocks

...This show is a crash course in all that is rock legend—classic hits from such rock gods as Joan Jett and David Bowie, performed by the awesome “all girl and a guy Seattle band” (and real Aerosmith cover band) Dream On. Their leader, the Debbie Harry-esque Jen Ayers, leads the totally cool quintet through decades of kid-friendly hits, while your kiddo learns to headbang, mosh, and foot stomp his way into rock history. Chart toppers like Blondie’s “Rapture” and (of course) Aerosmith’s “Dream On” will have your kids rocking out while you fondly sing along, reminiscing of high school dances and mix tapes made in your bedroom...

Big Top Rock is back! Teatro ZinZanni, masters of blending kids’ music and circus acts into one immensely entertaining performance, has a new show this spring. Dream On stars the band of the same name in a rock and roll circus spectacular that you can only find in Seattle.

Dream On isn’t your typical kids’ band. In fact, they’re not a kids’ band at all. Comprised of all girls and one guy, you won’t hear “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” in their set list. These rock stars specialize in Aerosmith and more classic rock that they powerfully bring to the big top in this one-of-a-kind family show.

As the sensational lead singer Jen Ayers belted out “We Got the Beat” to kick off the show, many of the tiny tots in the audience got their first taste of 80s rock – and parents (like myself) found themselves singing along to many of their favorite songs of years gone by...

Teatro ZinZanni's latest show "Return to Paradise" takes us back to the Seattle World fair of 1962 and signifies a departure from their norm, some fresh meat, a welcome return for a newer friend and some older friends at their very best yet…

Music plays a more prominent role than previous TZ shows.

I first saw Ms. Jen Ayers fronting a band at the Triple Door at a show called Led Zeppelin House of thee Unholy in September 2009. 

[In Return to Paradise] Jen demonstrates her full range of vocals and they filled the tent supremely. If a voice can boom daintily, then Ms Ayers' voice fills the tent with cocoa and caramel in equal measure.

Standing out were two numbers "Tell Him" an old Exciters Motown number and one of her own band's efforts, the ridiculously catchy "I Wanna Go."

After a series of Opera Divas and classical lounge singers, Jen is a refreshing change and an inspired selection…

HOUSE OF THEE UNHOLY: Combining 70s rock and burlesque is not exactly traditional, to the extent burlesque (or rock) can be considered "traditional." However, for four years this is exactly what producer Paula the Swedish Housewife has managed to pull off successfully. This year's production opened last night to a sold out house at The Triple Door, and did not disappoint.

The show is a collection of burlesque dance numbers, with a bit of cabaret style comedy thrown in, set to driving, rock music (primarily covers of Led Zeppelin tunes). The music is supplied by a live 8-piece rock band, featuring vocalists Sarah Rudinoff and Jen Ayers. These two ladies, particularly Ms. Ayers, deliver powerful, mind-blowing vocals. The band alone is worth the price of admission.

Seated behind the keyboard at Las Vegas' EAT'M Music Conference, Jen Ayers comes to sudden life in the way that a cougar comes to life when you startle it from sleep. She is an indoor maelstrom to match the sandstorm outside, a whirl of spinning hair, bright eyes, and infectious grin… 

Jen Ayers' full-throated, Annie Lennox-style delivery pushes the song "I Wanna Go" into the stratosphere

Honey Tongue's sound is driven by Ayers' velvety delivery…she has a throat that could go one-on-one with any rock diva…her songwriting skirts the shallow themes that usually come with pop, and settle upon introspective and intelligent lyrics

House Of Thee Unholy [at Seattle's Triple Door] is a collection of burlesque dance numbers, with a bit of cabaret style comedy thrown in, set to driving, rock music (covers of Led Zeppelin tunes). The music is supplied by a live 8-piece rock band, featuring vocalist Jen Ayers who delivers powerful, mind-blowing vocals. The band alone is worth the price of admission.

Seattle's Goodness set a high standard for straight-up rock & roll bands fronted by explosively smart 'n' sassy women--now the same burg has produced Honey Tongue, full of their own special goodness. With her starlet looks and paint-peeling pipes, singer Jen Ayers puts "women in rock" like Shakira and Avril to shame on HT's dead-solid debut, "Take Me Anywhere." 

Honey Tongue is fronted by powerhouse vocalist Jen Ayers (a two-time Lilith Fair Talent Search Finalist), whose pipes have also landed her gigs singing the National Anthem to sold-out crowds at NBA games …the whole package is impressive. A throaty front-woman with a voice of gold accompanied by a band of talented musicians with the right songwriting skills…using simple hooks & infectious leads that nudge the already well-crafted songs close to unforgettable.

Honey Tongue brought its tight, solid rock to New York City and showed that not only are people still playing real live rock, they’re playing it with all the passion and energy that defined the genre…Ayers delivers vocals with a passion and purpose…she has star quality written all over her…her voice is unparalleled on the music scene today when it comes to passion and intensity…

"Take Me Anywhere" showcases the band's tight musicianship and well-constructed songs, which have a pop hookiness while still retaining the power and energy of straight up Rock & Roll and a sweeping urgency and intimacy on ballads like "Runaway" and the lush "Like Diamonds." 

I've pined for years for the days when I'd find a band led by a woman, with literate lyrics, hard-charging punk guitars, and riffs to bring me back to Blondie or the Pretenders of a quarter century ago. Honey Tongue has made it worth the wait...

I enjoyed Honey Tongue's CD so much, I couldn't wait to see them live in Boston. Jen Ayers brings kick-ass vocals with a Fiona Apple fury -- mesmerizing and powerful all the same...

Jen Ayers performing  Jen Ayers performing

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