Peoria Native Headlines New Teatro Zinzanni Cast

Lisa Fielding
January 24, 2020 - 1:58 pm
Liv Warfield

Sandy Morris

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Liv Warfield was an athlete growing up in central Illinois. Music really wasn't on her radar until much later.

"I was a runner and a gymnast. I went to college on a track and field scholarship. I didn't sing in church. I kinda kept it a secret. Nobody knew I could sing," she laughed.

"I actually thought I'd be in the Olympics one day." 

In 2006, a certain artist happened to see her singing in a YouTube video.

"When I moved to Portland, I started singing at a bar. I started a band. Then one day, I got a call from Prince. I was actually sitting in a salon chair getting a full weave done when he called," she laughed. "He said, 'I love your voice, you want to come to LA, do you want to come sing with the band?' I was like, 'uh yeah!'"

Soon enough she was recording at Paisley Park and singing with Prince's group New Power Generation.

Liv Warfield
WBBM Newsradio/Lisa Fielding

"Everything about Prince was warm. He lived and breathed music. He sat at the piano and I got to sing with his background singers. From then on, I am so extremely grateful for the lessons and the tools he gave me as an independent artist," Warfield said.

She toured with Prince for about eight years.

"It's an experience I will never forget. He changed my life. He was also pushing us to be our best. He was a selfless person. He told us not to be afraid to create, to be our authentic self," she said.

Liv Warfield
Sandy Morris

Now she's in Chicago, as part of the new cast of Teatro Zinzanni.

"I initially saw the show in Seattle and I was blown away," she recalled. "I saw all these performers, I was moved by the performances, the music. I was in right away."

She plays Madame Zinzanni as part of the new cast that debuted this year.

"I can bring a combination of characters to the role. I thought to myself, who do I want to bring? In my mind I was thinking Jackée from 227, Bette Milder, my mother, " she laughed.

Elena Gatilova
Michael Brosilow

The cast features singers, acrobats, contortionists, a yodeler, an illusionist, jugglers, and many other talents.

"Some of these people are circus performers. Some of them come from generations of circus performers. They are insanely talented. I've never done anything like this before," Warfield said.

Teatro ZinZanni was created by Norman Langill and was once described as "the Moulin Rouge meets Cirque du Soleil." The show is a blend of European cabaret, circus arts, fine dining, and vaudeville performed in a Belgian spiegeltent which is a 4,000 piece mirror tent, on the 14th floor of the Cambria Hotel.

Liv Warfield
Sandy Morris

"This venue is magical. Something came over me when I saw the tent for the first time," she said.

Warfield said being back in the Midwest is extra special.

"I love Chicago. I love the people here. My family and friends have already been up from Peoria several times."

Alseny Sylla & Liv Warfield
Sandy Morris

Warfield is set to perform with this cast through the end of March, but said she'll play the role as long as they'll have her.

"I feel very blessed to part of this cast. I really do, because it's something else. Oh, I've fallen in love with this show. I'm here forever, okay? Teatro Zinzanni has got me forever," Warfield said.