By Judy Thorburn
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - Las Vegas Round The Clock
Owner/Editor in Chief/writer - The Flick Chicks
Director of Communications - Nevada Film Alliance
In a city where shows come and go, it is rare for a production to be around for as long as 20 years. But Tournament of Kings, the medieval themed dinner show at the Excalibur, has become an entertainment staple in Las Vegas for two decades and is still going strong, entertaining locals as well as visitors from all over the world with its family friendly show.
On June 18, Tournament of Kings celebrated its 20th anniversary with a performance immediately followed by the presentation of a 300 lb. anniversary cake and photo opportunity with the entire cast and crew. Also on hand was the show's producer, Patrick Johnson who was presented with an exact replica of the Excalibur sword.
The rousing production comprised of 44 actors, musicians, and 38 horses, is presented in King Arthur's Arena, a 900 seat showroom where guests enjoy a utensil free feast (as in eating with your hands, like in the days of old) while being transported back in time to the age of Camelot. The storyline is thin but, nevertheless, engaging, drawing spectators into the action that features King Arthur, The Round Table, noble Kings, gallant knights in shining armor, fair maidens, a wizard, evil dragon warriors, and as the title implies, tournaments and competitions that include horse racing, jousting, hand to hand combat and sword fights that are heightened by colorful costumes, visual effects and pyrotechnics. The audience is encouraged to participate by cheering, singing, getting up on their feet and being an integral part of the show. Obviously, all these ingredients add up to a winning formula that continually attracts new audiences year after year as well as returning guests of all ages.
For Las Vegas trivia buffs it is interesting to note: since opening in June of 1990, The Excalibur has been the largest purveyor of cornish hens, serving almost 7 million to guests. Also, 125 individuals and 160 horses have been in the show's cast.
Tournament of Kings is performed twice daily at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Mondays, dark on Tuesdays.
Photo credit: Stephen Thorburn