...I couldn't wait. I needed my quasi-Medieval fix. Thankfully, there was last week's press event at Medieval Times. I hadn't gone since childhood, when I was "knighted." Yup, pre-pubescent girls are totally qualified to serve in the king's army. Represent.
Anyway, the Schaumburg castle has a brand new show. George R. R. Martin it's not, but the plot is a welcomed refresher. A few key points:
- The cast is huge, and everyone has a job. In addition to the knights, there are musicians, flag-bearers, squires, and dudes who move set pieces and then run like hell. The stage combat is so-so, but improves as the final battle approaches. I, personally, favor the emcee; public speaking skills totally do it for me.
- The animals are more talented than ever. The show I saw as a child featured a doofy dancing horse. Now, the animal presentations are a high point. They include a well-trained horse that can walk backwards, high-step, and bow, and a falcon that swoops within feet of the audience.
- AT LAST, the villain is an outside party. In the past, the bad guy was (always?) the Green Knight. If you were placed in that section, your "hero" was going to cheat, and get killed for it. Boo! Being the Slytherins of the realm was fun for adults, but I could imagine some toddler tears over it. Thank goodness for the new baddie: The Herald from the North.
- That said, I felt really, really bad for said "villain." The Herald from the North definitely comes offering peace between the kingdoms. All he asks in return is the hand of Princess Catalina- a thing that totally happened all the time in the Middle Ages- and the king is outraged. I know, I know, women's rights, strong portrayal of females, romance, blablabla. I'm just saying, it's a historically-accurate request... and it gets the dude whipped, imprisoned, and tortured for the rest of his life!! Princess Catalina is grateful now, but she's gonna have daddy issues. And a war with the North.
All in all, the new Medieval Times show is great for families. It's fun watching cheesy combat and eating dragon-themed food with your hands. It's even better after a few, erm, adult beverages. Oh, and for you science geeks, I did some research: the reason those swords spark so friggin' much is the use of titanium blades. The more you know!
Medieval Times: 2001 N. Roselle Rd, Schaumburg, IL. Adults: $59.95, Kids 12 and under: $39.95. Birthday packages available. Purchase tickets.
Enjoy these photos, taken by Geek Girl Jess.