For the ultimate in dinner theatre (or should I say "dinner and tournament") head to one Medieval Time's nine locations across our fair land. I myself recently caught the show in Schaumburg and found it, sad to say, less than satisfying.
It begins with a good impression: I was there before the doors even opened so we waited in a foyer area decorated with curtains, tapestries, and shields until the king was announced by trumpets and welcomed us into his house. Pretty cool. However, the next room we were faced with was the lobby which was a grave disappointment. The gift shops and bar were not detractors, but what was were the unfinished walls with various murals, shields, and standards painted on them. These paintings were done very flatly and in bright colors; there was no contrast and no attempt to make them look either authentic or old. Also, they were generally painted on bare walls. I would have liked some attempt to make the walls either distressed wood or stone - you know, try to create a little atmosphere and make it look like an old building.
The costumed staff were quite nice and attendant. They were always willing to participate in a photo opportunity and even threw in a few Medieval cliches into their speech. There was a weapons cage (where you could purchase costume weaponry) and a museum of Medieval torture that were quite fun.
Sadly, the show did not measure up to any of the rest of this. Things it did have in it's favor were beautiful weaponry, costumes, and a high budget for excellent lighting and special effects. However, this was more than doused by poor sound reinforcement that made it almost impossible to follow the dialogue of the "plot" (and I used that term very lightly) that is supposed to hold the evening together. And for a production that is "dinner and tournament" with the tournament obviously being the biggest draw, you had better have the most excellent stage combat around. Even the unplanned broken sword during a fight scene could not save this poor stage combat. Please, please, please come up with a kill move other than a sword slash to the stomach.
All in all, the best thing about the evening was the dinner. The chicken and soup were quite tasty. And if you do have the chance to see the show, do. It is a fun experience, but I wouldn't want to go back and I am very glad that I did not pay full price.