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New, Live Musical Stage Show Features Dinosaurs, "Chefs," and Audience Volunteers

“Chomp! Chomp!” performances are scheduled at 12:00 & 3:00 p.m. daily through Labor Day weekend. 


Mix together bad puns, an egotistical French chef, and original songs (including one about worms), add three high-tech dinosaurs on stage and the result is a new, live, musical show at the Santa Barbara Zoo. “Chomp! Chomp! Dinosaurs are Picky Eaters” is performed daily at noon and 3 p.m. at the Zoo now through Labor Day, when the schedule moves to shows on weekends only. The performances are free with admission, as are visits to the Zoo’s animal kitchen, located in the newly opened Discovery Pavilion, to observe the animals’ food preparation first-hand.

“Chomp! Chomp!” stars the Zoo’s popular dinosaurs, Duncan the T-Rex, Lily the Duckbill, and baby Triceratops Tulip, in a lively 15-minute “cooking show” that reveals how the Zoo’s animals diets are created. Audience volunteers help the two cooking contestants, “Nutritionist Trent” and “French Chef Ego,” figure out what kinds of foods the dinosaurs should receive. 

The Top Chef-type competition between the two chefs also includes volunteers from the audience, who help feed Lily, and a hapless “assistant” who could end up as dinner for Duncan the T-Rex. 

“This fun show is a good way for guests find out more about what animals eat at the Zoo,” says Zoo CEO Rich Block. “Another way is to visit our animal kitchen, which is open in the Discovery Pavilion every day. You can see first-hand what is being prepped – fresh fruit for the gorillas, fish for the otters, wiggling mealworms for the birds, and even enrichment items like huge bones for the lions. As Chef Ego says, ‘Bone appetit!’” 

All three dinosaurs were designed and hand-built by the Chiodo Bros., the Hollywood “creature shop” that also created Duncan. The Zoo’s dinosaurs are sponsored by the Duncan family.

Performances are held at the outdoor Rolling Hill Theatre and are free with Zoo admission. Audience seating is on a grassy hillside and there is no reserved seating. 

Shows are canceled in the event of rain, since dinosaurs don't like to get wet!

Creation of the Zoo's Dinosaurs

The Chiodo Bros. Productions, Inc. did an amazing job in bringing dinosaurs to life at the Santa Barbara Zoo! Check out this video by Stan Winston School of Character Arts that describes the entire creation process. 



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