Two years in the making, Landmark Chicago entertainment destination unveils first new show in five years; marks 20th anniversary in Chicagoland with even more action-packed chivalry, revelry and rivalry.
Get ready to experience history like never before. Travel back in time to the 11th century at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament, North America’s longest running dinner attraction, as an all-new show is unveiled on March 21, 2012. The first completely new show since 2007, this live performance has been two years in the making and features even more action-packed entertainment and a reimagined four-course feast fit for a king! Medieval Times is located at 2001 N. Roselle Rd. in Schaumburg, IL
While the new show has undergone a complete overhaul, some traditions remain. The live show still features two- and four-legged performers with a true medieval utensil-free meal, all in a recently updated, castle-inspired arena. However, the new live production presents even more of audience favorites such as live jousting, swordplay, horsemanship and falconry. Guests become part of the action, filling arena seats and cheering for one of six “Knights of the Realm,” named after historic regions of medieval Spain.
“The new show is designed to keep our guests on the edges of their seats from the opening moment,” says Saj Rizvi, vice president and general manager of the Chicago Castle. “New & returning guests will feel the electricity in the air from the riveting new battle scenes and grand costumes, to the new lighting and on-going action set to a fresh musical score.”
“Guests will see a celebration of the horses along with more action and elements of high drama. The new show’s streamlined plot allows more concentration on the action,” said Leigh Cordner, Medieval Times creative director. “When we started to put pen to paper, we knew we wanted to grab guests’ attention from the moment they take their seats. This led us to the creation of the opening moment, when Liberty Horse enters the arena.”
After the opening, guests will witness intricate battles that are in reality precisely planned sequences which have been practiced daily. Director of stunt choreography Tim Baker began developing the fight sequences shortly after Cordner started writing the new script.
With authentic weaponry and enhanced armor, the new production presents non-stop action tied to the tempo of the music. And while there’s still a general theme of “good versus evil” throughout the show, guests will see much more of what they’ve requested – fights scenes that maintain the highest quality and safety standards.
While almost all of the royal subjects at Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament stand on their own two feet, the most celebrated members of the Kingdom are best known for their trot, gallop and canter. “Audiences will witness authentic jousting and equine presentations that would not be possible without four special breeds of horses,” said Victor de Lara, a veteran horse trainer at Medieval Times.
Spanish Andalusian stallions, Quarter Horses, Friesians and Menorcan – from the Mediterranean island for which it is named – complete the mix of horses at the Chicago Castle and at each of the eight other North American Castles. For the new production, de Lara and Baker worked with all of the horses and Knights to incorporate authentic dressage elements.
“Each horse is unique,” said de Lara. “Like any of the actors and actresses in our show, each horse has its own personality, so with our new production, we started the training process several months in advance to develop new routines that are friendly for the horses, their riders and especially the audience.”
When audiences experience the new show debuting on Wednesday, March 21 at Medieval Times, they may sense a familiar note behind every clash of swords. For the third time, award-winning IMAX and feature film score composer Daniel May provides all of the dramatic musical elements that complete the Castle experience.
“Creating music to build the best possible 11th Century experience provides many challenges, but the reward comes in knowing that millions of people will hear my creation over the next few years,” said May.
For the new Medieval Times show, May began arranging compositions for scenes as early as fall 2010. Armed with information such as show concepts, early drafts of scripts and videos, May set out to create a strong and commanding musical score that would once again garner favorable responses from guests.
Highly acclaimed musicians in Kiev, Ukraine recorded the new score in one day. According to May, “The vibe of the city is classic medieval with a strong artistic soul. It was the ideal location and group of musicians to ensure the score was a perfect match for Leigh’s script.”
Guests will even enjoy an upgraded menu for the utensil free meal during the new show. The menu includes:
- Tomato Bisque
- Focaccia Bread with Olive Oil and Seasoning
- Oven Roasted Chicken
- Larger BBQ Spare Rib
- Herb-Basted Potato Split into Two Quarters
- Braided Apple Strudel
- Larger Beverage Servings that include ice tea, soda and coffee
Note: a new vegetarian meal is also available upon request
Guests can purchase tickets at the door, online at www.medievaltimes.com, or by calling
1-888-WE-JOUST. For show times, visit www.medievaltimes.com
Guests also can find Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament on Facebook and Twitter.
About Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
Medieval Times Entertainment launched in Majorca, Spain, in 1973, and opened its first North American Castle in Kissimmee, Fla., in 1983. Now regarded as North America’s longest running and most popular dinner attraction, more than 50 million guests have experienced Medieval Times at Castles in Buena Park, Calif., Schaumburg, Ill., Hanover, Md., Lyndhurst, N.J., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Dallas, Atlanta, and Toronto, Ont., Canada. In 2007, the company moved its North American headquarters to Irving, Texas, close to the company’s Chapel Creek Ranch in Sanger, Texas. Medieval Times is online at www.medievaltimes.com and reachable at 1-888-WE-JOUST (888-935-6878).