Saturday, June 8, 2019

INTERVIEW: Rhyn Saver in "The Cake"

When I saw the casting for The Cake at Horizon Theatre Company, my face lit up as if  it'd been years since seeing a dear friend. In actuality, it'd only been a few weeks, but I've been a fan of Rhyn McLemore Saver since the first time I saw her on stage, which turned out to be her first Atlanta performance. I'm thrilled to bring you this interview with Rhyn during the run of The Cake, on stage now through Sunday, June 23.


Rhyn Saver | Photo: Mark Bradley Miller
Rhyn Saver | Photo: Mark Bradley Miller

Before we get to the interview, allow me to set the stage. The Cake was written by Bekah Brunstetter, writer of the hit television series This Is Us, as well as a number of other shows. If you've seen This Is Us, you already know what a treat The Cake is going to be.


The Cake is loosely based on the Supreme Court case of a Colorado baker's refusal to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. This story, set in Winston, North Carolina, is not about forcing acceptance down anyone's throat, but instead it's presented with hope of opening hearts.


Now, let's meet the phenomenal and totally awesome Rhyn...

wanderlust ATLANTAPlease share with us a little about your journey to Atlanta, and then your journey to the stage at Horizon Theatre.

Rhyn SaverAs a Southern woman (born and raised on Jekyll Island, GA), I've always felt strong ties to my home state. No matter where I've traveled or lived, my heart has always remained in Georgia. 


My theater training took me up north to Pittsburgh, where I received my BFA from Carnegie Mellon University. From there, New York City became my home base for well over a decade. Throughout my career, I've always kept a finger on the pulse of the Atlanta theater community, looking for potential job opportunities to bring me back down South. 


I'm forever grateful to Freddie Ashley for giving me my first job in Atlanta (Stupid F*cking Bird at Actors Express), which was a wonderful introduction for me into the Atlanta theater community. 


Since then I've been fortunate enough to work at many incredible theaters here in Atlanta. I still have representation in NYC, and I go up to NYC now and then for various auditions; but I'm thrilled to now call Atlanta my home base. Horizon Theatre has been on my bucket list of places to work, and I'm so excited to be doing this gorgeous play at this fantastic theater!


I was first introduced to The Cake a few years ago when I did an initial workshop of it at The Alliance. Marcie Millard (who plays Della in our current production) played Della in that workshop, and we had the immense honor of working directly with the brilliant playwright Bekah Brunstetter. I remember thinking, "Man oh MAN I hope I get to do a full production of this someday". And now here we are—years later—doing it at Horizon! And the fact that I get to do it again with Marcie?! Well, that's some pretty delicious icing on the cake, pun intended.


wanderlust ATLANTA: This was my second time seeing Parris Sarter (Macy, Jen's fiancée in The Cake) perform and I certainly hope not my last. (She was amazing in The Revolutionists) She's brilliant in this role, being true to her character's real self in interactions with Jen and Della. You'll see the later in the opening scene and you'll get Parris' deep talent right away.

Macy (Parris Sarter) and Jen (Rhyn McLemore Saver) in "The Cake" at Horizon Theatre Company
Macy (Parris Sarter) and Jen (Rhyn McLemore Saver) in "The Cake"

wanderlust ATLANTAAs an actor—and as a human being—how do you reconcile or separate political and religious beliefs from the character you're playing when they're not in alignment? Or even when they are?

Rhyn SaverI love this question. The simple answer: empathy. 


I have played myriad characters that are the polar opposite of all that I believe in: from an extreme racist, to a homophobe, to a murderer...I've played them all. And every time I had to dig deep to discover the underlying emotions driving these characters. And EVERY time, I've discovered a common thread: fear. Specifically: fear of the unknown. Fear is such an incredibly powerful emotion, and it's often  the driving force behind acts of unkindess and hatred. 


I'm able to get into the minds of these characters by placing myself in their shoes and seeing through their eyes. It's uncomfortable, but necessary in order to live their truths. 


In the case of my character in The Cake (Jen), our beliefs happen to very much align. She is torn between two different worlds: the world of her religious, Southern  upbringing and the world of her life in NY and her love for Macy (her fiancée). She is struggling to stay true to her roots and her faith, while also staying true to her authentic self.


Like Jen, I am a Southern woman who was raised with a strong Christian faith, but have found myself questioning certain beliefs within that faith. Also like Jen, I've found that "the parties (up North) are easier when people start talking shit about people down here, I just nod and say 'totally'. But something inside of me burns a little, so in my head I go away. I just go away". I have totally been there, and I can completely relate.


wanderlust ATLANTA: Marcie Millard is hilarious! She plays Della, owner of a famous bakery in Winston, NC, and she's just been selected as a contestant on the most popular baking who on American television! We, the audience get to venture inside her blissful-turned-confused imagination while "on the set" of the television show. She's also a devout Southern Baptist, which she has to reconcile with her love for her best friend's daughter when asked to make her wedding cake.

When you meet Tim (Allan Edwards), you'll wish you'd checked your funny bone at the door, because it's going to hurt! Tim is the antagonist in the play--and damn funny about it--but his love for his wife is undeniable.


Della (Marcie Millard) and Tim (Allan Edwards) in "The Cake" at Horizon Theatre Company
Della (Marcie Millard) and Tim (Allan Edwards) in "The Cake"

wanderlust ATLANTA: All of us theatre enthusiasts know how little free time you have, but when you do have a little time to do something for you, or just for fun, what do you find yourself doing?


Rhyn SaverAs someone whose job is to be in the spotlight, I tend to shy far, far away from the spotlight on my days off. :) I'm definitely a bit of an introvert, and I cherish my alone time. So my days off are usually spent at home with my pup Sadie, some delish delivery (I'm fairly certain I keep Postmates in business), and Netflix. :) I also LOVE spinning, so I try to take class at least 4-5 times a week (shout out to my Vibe Ride family in Grant Park!)


wanderlust ATLANTAYou’ve been in Atlanta for a few years now. What has been your biggest surprise about Atlanta? Has anything changed your mind, for better or worse, about Atlanta?


Rhyn SaverI actually spent a lot of time in Atlanta long before I became a part of its incredible theater community. My sister has lived here for a long time, so I have many happy memories of various visits and holidays over the years. 


I think the biggest surprise (and greatest blessing) for me has been how head-over-heels in love I have become with the Atlanta theater community. I always knew I wanted to work here, but it has been such a beautiful gift to realize that Atlanta is a true home for me, both personally and artistically.



Jen (Rhyn McLemore Saver) in "The Cake" at Horizon Theatre Company
Jen (Rhyn McLemore Saver) in "The Cake" at Horizon Theatre Company

wanderlust ATLANTAJust for fun, what’s your favorite kind of cake?


Rhyn SaverOh man...this is a tough one, mainly because I love cake. Period. If I *had* to choose? Red velvet. But only if it has cream cheese icing. Lots and lots of cream cheese icing. :)


wanderlust ATLANTA: I've said it dozens of times, one of my favorite parts of performances at Horizon Theatre--aside from the remarkable plays and musicals--is getting to meet, thank, and make photos wit the actors!

When you post your photos with the cast of The Cake, be sure to tag them on social media with #htcCAKE and #htc35.


Rhyn Saver and Travis Swann Taylor on the set of "The Cake" at Horizon Theatre Company
Rhyn Saver and Travis Swann Taylor on the set of "The Cake" at Horizon Theatre Company

Playwright Bekah Brunstetter's intent here was to write a play that would offer hope and serve as a model of how we might begin to talk to each other. “You still have to love your family. You still have to reach across the table… Della is lovable because most of the time your family members are lovable… You have to give people time to change, reevaluate and change some more,” said Brunstetter.
Part of Horizon Theatre's 35th anniversary year, you can see The Cake, in its South-Eastern premiere, now through Sunday, June 23, 2019...


  • Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 8PM
  • Saturdays at 3PM & 8PM
  • Sundays at 5PM
And there's a special matinee on Thursday, June 20, 2019, at 11AM.

My most sincere gratitude to Rhyn Saver for giving me this interview, and to Horizon for coordinating it, and I hope you've enjoyed it, too. Come out to see Rhyn and the rest of the AMAZING cast in The Cake!

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville

I've been wanting to visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Gainesville since it opened and finally went recently...it's a magical place with lots of room to grow! I highly recommend a visit to explore...and be sure to bring your camera!


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Some of the programming at the Gainesville location mimics—not exactly though—what you might see at the Midtown location. Wonderful for visitors, they have their own "Imaginary Worlds" exhibition, with some sculptures that Atlantans have never seen—including TWO PANDAS!!!—and others that we've seen before but that have new plantings. 


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

It's not as far away as you might think, either! Heading north on I-85 and I-985, it's only an hour from the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Midtown! There are more scenic routes that add only another 20 minutes. Did you know it was that close?! 

If you're a member, admission is free. Regular admission is only $8 for adults and $5 for kids...a fantastic deal considering the beauty within! It's smaller (for now) than Atlanta, but it's a wonderful place.


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

I opened with the recommendation to bring your camera when you visit. I wasn't sure what to expect when I visited, whether or not they would have the same plantings as they do at the Atlanta location, but let me put that to rest right now...

The plantings here are beautiful, they're stunning, and you will definitely see plants, trees and flowers that you do not see at the Midtown location. I was delighted with every corner and path I turned.


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor


Many of us know that the Midtown Atlanta location has 'Cocktails in the Garden' on Thursday evenings. The Gainesville location is hosting its first Flamingle in the Garden this coming Thursday, June 6, 2019!
Themed to the fabulous 50s, the Garden will be loaded with groovy fun: a mobile record shop by the local folks at Imperial Records, hula-hoop and limbo contests starting at 7 p.m. on the Terrace, games on the Event Lawn, DJ and live oldies music in the Ivester Amphitheater and more.
This inaugural event sounds like great fun!

Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Also at the Gainesville location for "Imaginary Worlds" is The Ogre, which was one of my favorites during the 2013-2014 exhibit at the Atlanta location! 

When you check-in at the Visitor Center, be sure to ask about the location of the sculptures. The Ogre is off the beaten path—to the left when you first enter the Garden. The others are along the main path which makes a giant loop through the Garden.


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

A super-popular program at the Midtown location, "Concerts in the Garden" also takes place at the Gainesville location. They have fewer concerts (so far), but they have a huge amphitheater perfect for this kind of entertaining! 

Concerts in the Garden performances in Gainesville will be in June and August, so you have plenty of time to get tickets. Actually, I'm assuming that....based on photos of other concerts there, they sell out, so maybe don't wait to long to get tickets if you know you want to go.


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Rumpelstiltskin is here for "Imaginary Worlds" and he's looking better than ever! You have to be careful though...as much as he makes you think it's a great idea to pick a tree and take a nap in this wholly delightful garden, you should keep to the path and perhaps find one of the many benches throughout the garden.  


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

The Model Train Garden was a wonderful surprise and it's there year-round! 

At first I thought it was only running during special events, but the friend I went with, Wayne, connected the dots and pressed the giant red button—which I totally missed out of all the excitement—and the train emerged from the landscaped tunnel to begin its multi-run journey around the tracks. 

This special little garden made this train-lover very happy!

Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Just to the right when entering the Garden there's a lovely Forest Pond that features flowering water lilies and other aquatic plants.


Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

There's so much more for me—and you!—to discover at the beautiful Atlanta Botanical Garden - Gainesville! Now under construction is a 2-acre Children's Garden, I believe slated to open later this year. 

This Garden has come a long way since opening and it's obvious they're going to become a major northeast Georgia destination! Enjoy your visit!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Ragtime Through the Lens of Vaudeville

Ragtime, The Musical is—as creatively as ever—being present by Serenbe Playhouse through the lens of Vaudeville and it's magnificent! See it under their big top tent now through Sunday, June 9.


Ragtime, The Musical at Serenbe Playhouse
Ragtime, The Musical at Serenbe Playhouse  |  Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus


Ragtime opens with a number called "Ragtime" with the entire company on stage. 

This opening number introduces a story of changing times through the lives of three groups of people in early 20th century New York City. This is a story of trials and tribulations, heartaches and triumphs, of family, ambition, prejudice and compassion.

The three groups are African Americans—you'll meet Coalhouse Walker Jr., a Harlem musician; Eastern European immigrants—you'll meet Tatah, a Jewish immigrant from Latvia; and the white upper-class—you'll meet Mother, the matriarch of a NY family. None of the characters in the upper-class family have names; they're known only as Mother, Father, Little Boy, Younger Brother, and Grandfather.



Ragtime, The Musical is a musical with a book by Terrence McNally, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and music by Stephen FlahertyRagtime is based on the 1975 book by E.L. Doctorow, which was on the New York Times Best Sellers List for more than three months that year!

Ragtime, The Musical at Serenbe Playhouse
Ragtime, The Musical at Serenbe Playhouse  |  Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

It's difficult to have a single favorite actor from such a large cast, but I was moved by Jacob S. Louchheim's performance as Tatah, a Jewish immigrant and loving father who recently lost his wife and made his way to the U.S. from Latvia. 

You feel great empathy for Tatah's journey, past and present...it's an emotional roller coaster! His is a life of love and loss, rags-to-riches, profound fatherly love for his daughter (who is absolutely adorable!) and your heart is with him every step and song along the way.


Ragtime, The Musical at Serenbe Playhouse
Ragtime, The Musical at Serenbe Playhouse  |  Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Woven into the story are a number of historical figures including Harry Houdini, played brilliantly by Ethan Hall (Don't miss his steamy, theatrical entrance!), and Evelyn Nesbit beautifully portrayed by Niki Badua who won a Best Actress Suzi Bass Award for Serenbe Playhouse's Miss Saigon, and yes, she is "the most beautiful woman in the world". JP Morgan was performed wonderfully by Aaron Schilling who recently gained numerous credits in Serenbe Playhouse shows, including the phenomenal Titanic

You'll also see Booker T. Washington, Henry Ford and many more. The character list in Ragtime is not happenstance. In fact, each of the historical figures in the show had a role in shaping 20th century America.


Ragtime, The Musical at Serenbe Playhouse
Ragtime, The Musical at Serenbe Playhouse  |  Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

With the backdrop of a fantastic set, superb lighting, brilliant costuming and amazing music, the cast of Ragtime spectacularly tells a mesmerizing, epic story of surprising interconnections of the human heart, discovering the American Dream, and the heartbreak when dreams are unjustly denied. You're going to see an amazing show!


Ragtime, The Musical at Serenbe Playhouse
Ragtime, The Musical at Serenbe Playhouse  |  Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Our group, pictured below, had the wonderful opportunity to meet and chat with Marcus Terrell Smith (Coalhouse Walker Jr.). He's a tower of talent, charm, humor, humility and his performance in Ragtime is beyond magnificent! This was his Serenbe Playhouse debut and even though he's not Atlanta-based, I do hope we get to see more of him.


Our Gang at "Ragtime" at Serenbe Playhouse
Our Gang at "Ragtime, The Musical" at Serenbe Playhouse | Photo: Jennifer

In our group of eight some had never seen Ragtime and for some this was their first Serenbe Playhouse show and some of us have been coming for years. The thread that ties us all together—some were even meeting for the first time—each and every one of us is a huge theatre enthusiast. I think I can speak for the group and highly recommend that you come to Serenbe Playhouse to see this magnificent production of Ragtime, The Musical.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

"Big Bugs" is Brilliant!

David Harry Grodzinsky-Rogers' first all-natural materials sculptures were dinosaurs, so it's doubly befitting that the Fernbank Museum of Natural History hosts a "David Rogers' Big Bugs" exhibition!

Big Bugs will be on display in WildWoods at Fernbank through July 21, 2019, and is free with admission...and they're great FUN!


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

"It was in the fall of 1990, while staying on a cousin’s farm in Vermont’s Green Mountains that I encountered a maple sapling bent over from a previous winter’s ice storm. There was something about the curvature and posture of this particularly ravaged tree – a backbone to a large beast, perhaps that suggested a new life for the tree. Using dried branches and different varieties of tree saplings a 'dinosaur' sculpture emerged in twelve inspired days,"
David Rogers

David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

As soon as you walk into WildWoods—the 75-acre "backyard" at Fernbank—you see the first of the 10 really, really big bugs in the exhibition! 

Some of these bugs are rarely seen, so they're excellent for teaching kids about their important roles in nature and how many of them are "friends" to humans. Seriously! Did you know that dragonflies eat mosquitoes? I call that friendly! 


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

I would venture to guess that most of us know that a mating female Praying Mantis sometimes eats—as in consumes—her mate after mating. A regular practice in the mantid world, it doesn't deter male mantids from wanting to mate. 

The actual size of a Praying Mantis ranges from half an inch to six inches long! This one is massive and the welcoming sculpture in the exhibition.


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

When I was a kid, we used to play with Granddaddy Long Legs spiders! That must have been before seeing the classic 1977 William Shatner horror flick Kingdom of the Spiders! But then reading The Amazing Spider-Man comic books made spiders okay again, but we didn't play with them anymore. 

According to Guinness World Records, the largest spider in the world has a body that's a foot long! The one that set the record was discovered in 1965, so it's long gone. We just won't talk about what's still out there today, okay?

The spiders in the David Rogers' Big Bugs exhibition are anything but menacing, though. They're practically jovial! 


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

I mean, look at that face...it's adorable! It's Pixar-esque, right?


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

It's awesome that we get to see 10 "Big Bugs"! But, did you know that it's estimated that there are approximately 10,000,000,000,000,000,000 insects alive at any given moment? The idea of that is like imagining just how BIG the universe is! AND, insects very likely have the largest biomass of terrestrial animals. Bugs are totally fascinating, that's what I'm trying to say.


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

Ladybugs are thought to bring good luck, so just imagine the LUCK a 7-foot long ladybug would bring a person! Then again, ladybugs are attracted to light colored houses, especially ones with a clear southwestern sun exposure. I wouldn't call an infestation of 7-foot ladybugs good luck, but you can't help but love just this one, right?

When I was a kid we had a collie named "Ladybug". We loved that dog sooooo much! Did you know that Lassie has her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? So does Bugs Bunny! Just sayin'.


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

I don't know what kind of spider this one is or if it's a general representation, but it made me think of the myths of "writing spiders" that I heard as a kid. I couldn't find any citations of these myths except for chat rooms where others recalled the same myths. What, if anything, did you hear about writing spiders when you were a kid?

The spider above is a fun one and the web...the web is fantastic! Of all the Big Bugs, this one is the one that you get to get the closest to, but remember, no touching! 

Speaking of touching, in my senior year of high school, a friend named Dreama had a pet tarantula. She bought it to school one day and the brave lad (read not-so-bright) that I was wanted to "hold" the spider. I let it crawl on my arm and within seconds of it climbing onto my arm the lights went out!!! I totally freaked for a second, but didn't move, during which time the lights came back on. That was an experience I'll never forget!


David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor
David Rogers' Big Bugs | Fernbank Museum of Natural History | Photo: Travis Swann Taylor

This dragonfly is at the lower level of WildWoods, near the creek. Did you know that dragonflies begin their lives in water? Did you know that dragonflies have been around for 300 million years? Some fossil dragonflies have a wingspan of TWO FEET! This one is even bigger than its ancient ancestors!

Although their size may make them a bit underappreciated, insects, spiders and bugs act as many things from decomposers to pollinators, and even help with insect control...this outdoor installation offers an exciting new perspective on these creatures,” said Fernbank's Vice President of Programming, Bobbi Hohmann.

This is a must-see exhibition, not only for entomologists, but for nature-lovers, art-lovers, kids, kids-at-heart, and anyone with a spirit for fun. Go see the "David Rogers' Big Bugs" exhibition at Fernbank Museum of Natural History now through July 21!

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Medieval Times has a new Queen!

There's a new Queen on the throne at Medieval Times Atlanta! While she may not sit upon an iron throne, from the very beginning she demonstrates—and you feel—that she rules her kingdom with an iron fist, perched high above the arena while graciously hosting her feast and tournament guests, as well as her knights and other loyal subjects.


The Queen | Photo credit: Medieval Times Atlanta
The Queen | Photo courtesy of Medieval Times Atlanta

You have the wonderful opportunity to meet the new Queen when you first arrive. As soon as you enter the Great Hall (the lobby) and have received your Medieval Times crown, you're invited to a photo-op with either the Queen or another member of the Royal Family. The Queen is an absolute royal delight. We had our photo made with her!

There's no obligation to purchase, but if you decided to, you can pick them up at the photo station after the show, or before the show depending on how early you arrive. And they're in a handsome gold frame ready to display!


Jousting | Photo courtesy of Medieval Times Atlanta
Jousting | Photo courtesy of Medieval Times Atlanta

My first Medieval Times experience was at the Atlanta Castle in 2013 and I've returned many, many times, approximately 1-2 times per year since. This particular visit was my first VIP upgrade and it was AWESOME! Among other fantastic royal treatments, we were seated on the front row! A truly spectacular view! 


The final season of Game of Thrones is now underway, making the experience all the more exciting. Fans are excited for a new season, but sad that it'll be the last. Fortunately, you can visit Medieval Times most days of the week, some Monday holidays, and there are even some matinees. My favorite time to go is Friday evenings...it's a great way to unwind for the weekend! 

In Game of Thrones, you see jousting as early as the 4th episode in Season One. But at Medieval Times, you don't have to wait that long and it's live, up close and personal! They're fighting for their Queen, after all.

Medieval Times Atlanta | Photo: wanderlust ATLANTA
Medieval Times Atlanta | Photo: wanderlust ATLANTA

This is one of most fun "dinner and a show" experiences out there! 

Arrive early to enjoy a drink (with lots of souvenir glasses to choose from) and to explore the lobby, which features numerous suits of armor and a fire place the size of which I could stand in! 

You can also meet the falcon that will be in the show, see a live owl with one of the widest wingspans, and you even have the option of being knighted—lots of fun for those celebrating birthdays or other special occasions.


Medieval Times Atlanta | Photo: wanderlust ATLANTA
Medieval Times Atlanta | Photo: wanderlust ATLANTA
If you'd like wine with your dinner, you can pre-order it prior to the show and it'll be bought to your table. You can also buy a libations from your table, either beer, wine or cocktails.

The feast is exactly that...a FEAST! You'll be given a choice of beverage: soda, tea or water--you get two pours of that each. Then comes the piping hot "Dragon's Blood"! (tomato bisque). The buttery thick-slice toast is crunchy, delicious and great for sopping up your dragon's blood. The main course features Baby Dragon (half a roast chicken!), a Dragon Scale (roasted half potato), and corn on the cob. Dessert used to be a flaky baked pastry, but now it's...ICE CREAM! 

They even offer a vegetarian meal for those who wish to forego the dragon.


Tournament | Photo courtesy of Medieval Times Atlanta
Tournament | Photo courtesy of Medieval Times Atlanta

Before you enjoy the four-course feast and two-hour tournament, you might want to treat yourself to a little torture, literally. There's a "torture chamber" in the main lobby, guarded by a royal toll-taker (there's a modest fee for admission). I've visited before...it stirs the imagination to say the very least!

After the tournament, head back into the lobby where you can make all the free photos you want with the knights that you just saw compete in the Queen's tournament! Get a photo with your favorite knight or all of them! Be sure to tag the photos you post on social media with #MTFan or #MTFans!

Be sure to explore the amply supplied gift shop where you can acquire a vast array or treasures ranging from a new tunic to a handsomely engraved long sword or perhaps your very own dragon. I have quite the handsome dagger from a previous visit and I keep eyeballing the full-size swords...I know one of those will be going home with me eventually. Probably two, to be honest!  


Travis Swann Taylor and Barry at Medieval Times Atlanta
Travis and Barry at Medieval Times Atlanta


My friend Barry went with me on this visit and we had a grand time! I've been to Medieval Times with many friends over the years, but most often with Barry. It's equally a fun 'guys night out' or a 'girls night out', or a family night out or a work team building outing...you can make it a fun evening out for any number of groups! Or "just because" is my favorite reason.

Just for clarification and not that it matters, what looks like a sash across my chest, is actually a Medieval Times pennant, which guests love waving furiously to celebrate their knight during the tournament, and it's complimentary with the VIP package. Please consider the VIP experience—worth every penny—but know that wherever you are seated in the arena, you're sure to have a great time! I have every single time I've been!

Enhance your Game of Thrones final season experience with a taste of the real thing, without the gore, of course, but with knights, equestrian beauty and grace, a generous dose of royal chivalry, and a beautiful new Queen! 

Go, be a knight or princess for an evening at Medieval Times Atlanta!


(I'd like to offer a huge wanderlust ATLANTA "Thank you!" to Medieval Times for the tickets and the VIP upgrade. All opinions are my own and are from my personal experience at Medieval Times.)