Welcome to our 2017 season, our 38th year of madcap adventure and derring-do (and possibly even some derring-don't)!
On the movie front, The Control Group - the Peter Hurd-directed thriller which finds Taso co-starring with genre legend Brad Dourif - has been officialy completed! The producers are planning a special event cast & crew screening at the Showplace Icon Theater in Saint Louis Park, MN on April 1st. Visit their Facebook page or follow their Twitter feed at @tcgmovie for a chance to win tickets to this exclusive event!
In other cinematic news, H-LAT (in the guise of Taso and our old pal Ash Cary, who took a few years off to become an experienced bird-handler...one of his owls, Ulysses, even appeared in the first two Harry Potter films), provided wrangling services to The Veil, a tale of the dystopian future directed by Oklahoma filmmaker Brent Ryan Green under the auspices of his production company Toy Gun Films.
Speaking of Ash, he's just returned from Shreveport, Louisiana, where he - and his trusty augur buzzard Congo - took part in the filming of a new series for WGN called Salem, a historical melodrama set during the dreaded witch trials of 17th century Massachusetts which aims to put a new twist on the events of that period. Read more about the upcoming series here.
Meanwhile, Kent and Joe put in some time on a short Western film entitled Another Day, Another Kill, written and directed by another up-and-coming Oklahoma filmmaker by the name of William Tyler. For this outing, we provided horses, wardrobe, and props; Joe also appears in a fight scene (presumably as "Rowdy Drunk" or some such thing).
Oh, and then there's a little thing called August: Osage County; our lady friends Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts were nominated for a couple of awards. Kent (above left, posing with a stylin' production vehicle) did some stunt work on this one (with Jon Bielich - pictured above right - acting as Stunt Coordinator), and he did a damn fine job, winning the coveted "Most Stunted" award at the annual Knights' Rest Ranch ceremony.
Also of interest is the documentary Unconquerable, a recounting of the tribulations of the Chickasaw Nation produced by Hollywood legend Grey Frederickson. For this exciting historical re-enactment, the Lees provided horses, armor, weaponry, and various other bits of equipment as well as expert knowledge of historical equestrian methods and combat tactics.
In non-film-related news, Kent has reprised his role as Marshal Barber at Frontier City, that vast bastion of western lore and pageantry located in the wilds of Oklahoma City. Stop out and visit! (No, he's not a REAL barber. He just plays one on TV.)
And finally, some of that educational-type stuff we've been talking about: H-LAT is proud to announce a new project currently in development called Knight School, an interactive retreat scheduled for several weeks from April to June, beginning in Spring 2014 and taking place at the Knight's Rest Ranch in Luther, Oklahoma.
Well, that just about wraps things up for this season's update... Be sure to "like" us on that Face-Booke thingy (find us there via the banner link up above) and come see us at one of our performances this summer... We look forward to seeing you!
Well, here we are again! Our 2012 season is in full swing (or is that "full tilt?"), and if you've been to any of the finer Renaissance Festivals around the nation, chances are you've seen us in action!
Next, some fascinating news in a similar vein: Another "reunion" of sorts took place recently at Bristol, where we were visited by the lady at the center of this photo. Who is she, you might ask? None other than Geneve Harris, the great-great-granddaughter of Edward Hanlon, one of the original Hanlon Brothers! It seems that Geneve was seeking genealogical information online and stumbled across this very website...and since she lives in close proximity to Bristol, she paid us a visit, along with her husband Kurt, their son Dan and their granddaughter Alexandra. Needless to say, it was a real honor to meet a descendant of our historical namesakes, so many thanks to Geneve and her family for making the journey to see our show. Well met!
In other news, we were very pleased to present a complete performance of America's Favorite Wild West Show this June at the
Chisholm Trail Festival in Yukon, Oklahoma. This is the first time in a couple of years that we've staged the complete Wild West, which made the event an exciting change of pace for us as well as our audience (which roared with enthusiastic approval).
Meanwhile, back at the Ranch... We were recently featured in an article written by Terry Wagner for the June 2012 issue of Western Mule Magazine on our servces as an increasingly popular "horsey hotel" in a nice article entitled "TRAIL TIP #54: A Horse Motel for a Knight." While the website looks like fun, our article seems to have been limited to the print edition. Anyway, it was great to be recognized, so thanks, Terry!
On the cinematic side of things, Taso is currently working on a new thriller being lensed in the great state of Minnesota entitled The Control Group. Set in an abandoned mental hospital, the flick concerns an experiment in terror: A team of nefarious CIA scientists are testing a new mind-control chemical on a group of unwitting young subjects, who are monitored as they wander the deserted labyrinth. The plan goes awry, however, when it becomes apparent that the decrepit hospital is genuinely haunted. Sounds like a recipe for some serious mayhem!
Speaking of film work: Your Humble Webmaster is now officially a filmmaker, too! Yes, after over 3 years in production, his feature debut - entitled Mortal Remains - is nearing completion on the virtual editing table of producer and co-creator Mark Ricche.
Together, our combined talents will render a formidable product under the moniker of our new company, Cryptic Pictures. Stay tuned for updates and release information, or - better still - bop on over to Facebook and "Like" our official page!
...And that just about wraps things up from the front lines.
Don't forget to visit us on Facebook for more current bits of H-LAT goodness!
A word of explanation may be in order, as this year's update has been postponed several times already. "Mea culpa," sez your Humble Webmaster, who has been embroiled in the production of a couple of cinematic masterpieces-in-progress. One (which he is directing hisself) is nearing completion; details will be forthcoming as production wraps. The other is an Art Department gig for The Possession, a new experiment in terror from our good pals at Haxan Films, the same folks who brought you The Blair Witch Project. So watch for them soon!
Well, we've done it again (sort of)! For a second consecutive year, the Hanlon-Lees Action Theater (and yes, it really is TheatER, not TheatRE, though we're not picky) took 2nd Place in the category of Best Jousting Troupe for the 2010 Renaissance Festival Awards, sponsored by
Renaissance Magazine and
CelticMusic.org. And like the man says, as Number 2...we try harder. (We also ride harder and hit harder. Just sayin'.) So thanks for the shout-out, joust fans!
As you may have noticed, our 2011 Season is well underway! Our opening show at the
Arizona Renaissance Festival was a smashing success, due in no small part to exciting performances by our very own
Stephan "Steve" Cowan (as Master of Arms), his sturdy son Jackson "Jack" Cowan, the dependable and durable Giuseppe "Joe" D'Arrigo, Brian "No Nickname Yet" Fertel, and a fellow whom, for reasons of national security, shall be referred to only as "Wolf." Watch the video above (just one of many fine examples on YouTube) and you'll see what I'm talkin' about.
You may have seen a few of the Lees making appearances on various TV shows:
Taso returned to his living-dead roots with a cameo in Frank Darabont's pilot episode of The Walking Dead, the hit series on AMC-TV, while Joel Bond popped up as a photographer on an episode of Grey's Anatomy. You never know where these guys will turn up next...
Or perhaps you'd rather venture out to Frontier City! A rough-and-tumble outpost in the wilds of Oklahoma... a hostile, savage territory where Wildcats and Diamondbacks reign supreme and Silver Bullets fly... and, incidentally, where Kent and Joe now roam the dusty plains as newly-appointed Marshals. If you see them, remember this: they love candy apples. So surprise them with a treat and maybe they'll grant you a souvenir photo.
Speaking of Kent (who is spending less and less time in 21st century attire as the years march on), the Hanlon-Lees Action Theater is proud to present our newest attraction:
The Buffalo Bill Historical Presentation! (Yes, you've got to hand it to Kent when it comes to snappy event titles. At least he refrained from using "extravaganza" this time.)
In other news, Kent has recently been interviewed at length by soon-to-be renowned author Rachael Ruben for her upcoming book Well Met, an exhaustively researched history of the Renaissance festival phenomenon. It is scheduled to be published in December 2012, so watch for its eventual appearance in your grocer's freez- er, your local bookstore.
Say, have a look at this page on the Presidio la Bahia in Goliad, Texas. Do those Tejanos having a "picknic" [sic!] look familiar? (A fine time for a picknic, I might add, after "loosing" their possessions to the Mexican Army.)
Well, I think that's everything. Whew!
Visit us on Facebook for updates from the front lines!
This just in! Our very own Buffalo Bill (a.k.a. Fearless Leader Kent Shelton) will be performing at the
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum's
Chuckwagon Gathering and Children's Cowboy Festival in Oklahoma City this weekend!
This also just in! Due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict (a photo shoot for Penthorse magazine), Stiffy will NOT be appearing at the Festival. Our apologies to those who may have been planning on making the trip to see him.
At last! Spring is finally here after a helluva winter... and record snowfall notwithstanding, the gang at the ranch dodged about 30 tornadoes last night, so apparently it's shaping up to be a helluva summer, too! Is this the dramatic lead-in to the cataclysms of 2012...or simply a meteorological anomaly? (Does it really matter? A tornado is a tornado, after all! You say "tor-nay-do" and I say "tor-nah-do"... You say -- whoops, sorry. I'll get on with the news now, shall I?)
Before we get started, let's share a moment of silence for the legendary
Frank Frazetta, who passed away on May 10th at age 82. Farewell, Frank - your legacy is far greater than mere paint and canvas.
A bit of local news up front: The Lees appeared a few days ago in the
Luther Alumni Parade in our hometown of Luther, Oklahoma. Our presentation featured 3 persons on horseback and an elaborate float including both medieval and Wild West paraphernalia and characters! And a fun time was had by all. If you missed it, stop out next year and we'll do it again!
Would you believe we won 2nd Place in the "Best Jousting Troupe" category in the 5th Annual Renaissance Awards sponsored by Renaissance Magazine and Celtic MP3s.com? Well, we did! Thanks to all who voted for us. (Alas, the word is that the folks who took 1st Place were not rehired, so hopefully you saw them while you were able.)
A new addition to our 2010 Schedule: On Saturday, May 29th, we'll be appearing at the New Braunfels Public Library (in New Braunfels, Texas, roughly halfway between Austin and San Antonio) to perform a 2 person historical lecture and fight demo. So if you're in the area, stop on out and l'arn somethin'!
As far as the 2010 season goes, we are currently working both coasts simultaneously (not an easy thing to do, but hell - we've got experience in these matters.)
The ever-popular Lee Morrison is back in the saddle again in
Southern California, where he is once again appearing as as the Black Knight, that dashing, dastardly character created by our own Steve Cowan. The stalwart Joe D'Arrigo directs the latest show which features several new and exciting naughty bits. The mighty Jeff DeRocker has also returned in his beloved role as a kilted Scots warrior, and the indefatiguable Bond... Joel Bond has abdicated his position as Master of Arms to once again perform his popular and astoundingly painful saddle falls. And Joe Hunt appears as as The Beaver. Be sure to stick around for the fiery finale which includes a flaming whip vs. flaming sword battle, a jousting first!
Holding down the fort in Georgia are the sturdy
Matthew Mansour and the valiant
Jack Cowan (whose Bio page will be vastly improved once I get a decent - and more importantly RECENT - photo of him), both jousting under the auspices of elder statesman and versatile actor
Steve Cowan. Great food in Georgia, by the way, so stop on out and see the show armed with some tasty treats from the Peacock Tea Room. Tell 'em Christian sent you.
Meanwhile, back at the Ranch: Kent and Rosella - who have been making the rounds in the Wild West scene - made some great new friends at the
2010 Western Heritage Awards in Oklahoma City, including legendary actor
Buck Taylor (of Gunsmoke fame) - who unofficially adopted Kent as his lookalike "son" - and Rex Linn, better known as Detective Frank Tripp from CSI: Miami.
Kent also took part in a Buffalo Bill lookalike contest at the
Pony Express Sesquicentennial Celebration in St. Joseph, MO. Kent did not win, possibly due to a black eye unintentionally caused by a playful mastiff pup who bounded onto the ranch a week previous. I guess things are going to the dogs all over...
That's it for now; check back in a few months for yet another exciting H-LAT update. (I know, the suspense of wondering when the next update will appear can be overwhelming... Just keep your chin up and know that you can count on a pleasant surprise once or twice a year.)
What a summer it's been for the world of entertainment! Before we get started, let's all share a moment of silence for
Ed McMahon, and TV pitchman
Billy Mays, all of whom passed away within the past few days...
Buffalo Bill (a.k.a. Kent Shelton and the lovely Señorita Catalina (a.k.a. Rosella Gonzales) made an appearance - sans Buffalo Bill tent - at the National Cowboy and Western Museum's annual Chuck Wagon Gathering, where they once again attracted and honored numerous requests for photos in what will hopefully become an annual occurrence.
In other news, Kent and H-LAT special effects whiz Matthew Stratton are performing armorer duties on The Killer Inside Me, a period thriller currently filming in and around Oklahoma City. Based upon the 1952 potboiler by legendary pulp author Jim Thompson, who also wrote The Grifters (and who was born only a few miles away in Anadarko, OK), the film stars Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba,
Ned Beatty, and
Kate Hudson, among others.
And lest we forget our four-hoofed friends, Caesar has just celebrated his 31st birthday, making him one of the hardest-working horses in show business. To celebrate, Kent recreated a famous photo taken by Roy Rogers when his trusty steed Trigger turned 31. Happy Birthday, Sneezer!
Speaking of horses, the Ranch page is finally active! Photos are forthcoming, but check out the official spiel for our cozy horsey hotel, which is now open to travellers in need of stabling facilities while crossing the vast continent.
That's it for now; check back in a few months for yet another exciting H-LAT update.
Can you believe it? Our 2009 Season has begun - and it marks our 30th year of juggling, jousting, and jesting (not to mention slapstick, swords, and silliness)!
To mark the event, our friends at
Renaissance Magazine have featured us prominently upon the cover of their 64th issue. Also, a colorful half-page ad (designed by our highly skilled senior graphic artist Raoul and suitable for framing) appears on page 7 of the same issue. It's on the newsstands now, so grab a copy while you can!
In other news, Buffalo Bill and Queen Victoria were reunited in Texas this past October.
(Are you scratching your head at this point?)
Well, wonder no longer: Buffalo Bill is of course the not-so-secret identity of our fearless leader Kent Shelton - who, along with the lovely Señorita Catalina (a.k.a. Rosella Gonzales, better known to TRF patrons as Queen Catherine) paid a visit to
Dickens on the Strand, an annual historical event which takes place in Galveston.
It's been a busy season for short films: in the past few months, the Lees have already contributed to no fewer than three.
More news on these and other projects as it becomes available... In the meantime, we hope you've had a happy holiday season and are looking forward to entertaining you again in this, our 30TH YEAR of entortillation!
Yes, it's nearly summer already! Where does the time go? It just seems to keep slippin' into the future (according to Steve Miller, anyway).
Speaking of which, the Video Department is OPEN FOR BUSINESS! Click the link and check out our amazing selection of documentaries, TV series, and feature films (all of which include appearances by the Lees)!
Well, 2008 is here, and a new season has begun, though on a somber note. This past December, the world lost a great spirit with the passing of Floyd Red Crow Westerman, a renowned Native American activist, artist, and friend.
You may or may not be familiar with Floyd's work; he appeared in numerous films and television shows over the years, including Hidalgo, Dances With Wolves, The Doors, and The X-Files, to name just a few. He was also a sculptor (having created several busts of historical subjects such as Sitting Bull and Geronimo) and an accomplished musician who performed with the likes of Sting, Kris Kristofferson, Jackson Browne, and Willie Nelson.
Floyd succumbed to leukemia at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles after a prolonged battle with that illness. He is survived by his wife Rosie and five children. For more information on the man and his work, please visit his
official website. Well-wishers may also want to visit
Floyd's MySpace page and leave a message for his family.
Our good friend Julie Evans was very close to Floyd for many years; he was kind enough to welcome her to the sets of various film productions and performances, and gave generously of his own time to share his wisdom with her young students.
In January 2008, Julie, Kent, and several H-LAT members and friends erected a teepee on the grounds of the Wild West Knights' Rest Ranch and held a memorial ceremony in memory of Red Crow. For photos and details of the experience, please click on the link below:
A.R.F. Celebrates 20th Anniversary
In other news, the 2008 season gets underway this weekend with the opening of the Arizona Renaissance Festival, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. As the Hanlon-Lees have been providing the joust at this show for all twenty of those years, we're a little proud, too... so head on out to the Grand Canyon State and show your support! (Plus, watch for our own 30th Anniversary collectibles, coming soon...!)
Also, the 2008 Appearance Schedule is up and ready for viewing. We've added a new facet to the Schedule page with a little golden steed () signifying events featuring photo ops with Stiffy, our trusty (and realistic) fiberglas warhorse. A few new events have been added, so adjust your calendar as necessary...
That's about it for now; new tidbits and photos will be appearing on the site over the next few weeks, so come on back and hit that refresh button a few times to see what else might be cooking. As always, thanks for visiting, and remember:
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. -Winston Churchill
Yes, yes, it's finally here: that holiday gift you've all been waiting for, an H-LAT Update! And there's plenty of swell new stuff in store for you this time around, so let's get cracking, shall we?
In case you missed it, the big news this past summer was the appearance of the Hanlon-Lees on the E! Network show
The Girls Next Door, in an episode aptly entitled Surely, You Joust (the 3rd season finale, as the case may be).
The episode features Hugh Hefner and his bevy of beauties as they enjoy a day of revelry at the
Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire, where they cheer the Lees during a command performance for His Hefness. If you missed it, relax: E! will be airing it again on Sunday, December 9th, prior to the 4th season premiere episode, scheduled to air at 10:00 PM.
Concurrently, photos from the event appeared in the September 2007 issue of
Playboy magazine, which would almost certainly mark the first time that any of the Lees bought an issue of this periodical strictly for the pictures. (We typically read it for the articles.) Anyway, it's sure to become a collector's item, so track down that back issue today.
And, if re-runs just aren't good enough, don't panic:
The Girls Next Door, Season 3 will be released on DVD on January 22nd, 2008, so save those gift certificates for something worthwhile.
Next up is the long-awaited release of Kevin Leeser's documentary feature Renaissance Men! Several years in the making, this is the ultimate H-LAT video experience... and it is now available for purchase at the
3 Alarm Carnival website, where you can also view an online trailer. Check it out!
Other new website stuff includes some new horsey pics over at the Steeds department, plus a whole bunch of new Photo Gallery sections and additions (including some new Film Work pics, plus some incredible new shots by independent photographers
Alissa Behn, Chris Muetz, and Jeff Gibson) which will be appearing over the next few days as my schedule permits. Also, watch for a snazzy new format on some of the Cast Members pages, which will include some super-duper glory shots of various Lees in action!
That's the skinny for now... much more new stuff awaits over the course of the next few days and weeks, so stop on back and check out the goodness. In the meantime, from all of us here at H-LAT HQ (in other words, me): HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and yours, wherever you may be!
Okay, so the summer's been rolling merrily along and, while your humble webmaster has gone from waiting tables to blending Frappucini, the Lees have been keeping busy too! Most notable of late is a brief but splendidly entertaining article by journalist Marti Attoun for the website AmericanProfile.com. So, without further ado (or any other news, at least until my next transmission from "Kent-ral" Command), here's the link - read and enjoy!
Well, the 2007 season has been an exciting one so far... notably with our appearance at the
Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire in Irwindale. Various friendly celebrities have stopped by and expressed their satisfaction with the H-LAT joust, including
Abraham Benrubi (above left, of ER and Open Range fame); Kent's old school chum
John Sanderford (Ryan's Hope, CSI); and well-known character actor
Michael Gregory (above right, RoboCop, Total Recall, and nearly every American TV series ever aired).
Another interesting development is the appearance of company member
in a print ad for a Finnish phone company, seen above. Shot by professional photographer
Markku Lahdesmaki, the photo series depicts Joel in full armor as he squares off against a vicious two-headed dragon (actually a detailed 18-inch model). So if you'll be in Finland anytime soon, keep an eye out for "St. Joel and the Dragon" on a billboard near you!
The site update continues apace (it's a slow pace, but apace nonetheless); the most notable event would be the grand opening of the long-rumored
Steeds page, featuring our beloved, hooved co-workers (who are only slightly more muscular and hairy than the average knight...
Jimmy Fortner, for instance). Also available on the same page is a fascinating article entitled
Warhorses of the Hanlon-Lees
David Bareford, which is a great read, so enjoy. Coming soon: more pics in the
Photo Gallery, and the completion of the "How To Become a Knight" section...
Don't forget to visit the
Friends of H-LAT page on MySpace. Add us to your "Friends" list!
Any comments or questions (of a website-related nature) may be sent to yours truly at
Yes, yes, here we are with a snazzy update and some new stuff that you probably could have heard about sooner, but... well, here it is anyway, starting with our 2007 Appearance Schedule.
First things first: Your humble webmaster offers his deepest apologies for the delay
in updates to the site. Please bear in mind that he's just one lone man, slaving away
at a tedious job and trying to make sense of life in general while he's not doing this
(which, while a labor of love, really is more fun than you'd suspect). So thank you
for your patience! However...
Even deeper apologies must go to those who ventured to the Crete Wild West
Show last summer, only to discover that the Lees were not in attendance
as our schedule stated. Nobody was more surprised than us; we were notified at the 11th hour of a
snafu involving a corporate sponsor that prohibited our appearance
at that event. Due to a further glitch involving our e-mail system (or lack thereof at a
particular time), we were unable to reply or to notify anyone of our impending absence. So,
if you went to Crete and were disappointed, we're truly sorry. Please note that we won't
be there this year...
Next on the agenda is American Jouster, a documentary film directed
and produced by H-LAT alumnus Richard P. Alvarez. This feature-length project
depicts the day-to-day challenges of three jousting companies:
the Hanlon-Lees (of course),
Noble Cause Productions and
The Free Lancers. The film is available on DVD directly from the
American Jouster website, so don't miss out!
Speaking of The Free Lancers, our good friend
Roy Cox (more specifically, his wife
Katherine) gave birth last June to a beautiful baby
girl, Lucrecia Bella Luna Cox. Here she is, fresh from the oven:
Belated congratulations to the happy parents! All the best to you and yours, Roy.
Incidentally, the H-LAT Gift Shop page will soon (I swear) include the
Video Department where you can find all sorts of videos
featuring the Lees (or links to places where you can buy them, anyway)...
As you can see, the site itself is undergoing an overhaul, which includes a few new sections, lotsa new
graphics, and some other stuff that's not immediately apparent, like some snazzy
link banners on our expanded Links page, and a bunch of
new pics in the Photo Gallery, which now also features a selection
of stills from our 20-odd years of film work, among other things. Other stuff is still in the works, like the
long-awaited Clubhouse section, which will include some fun stuff for the kids
(and their parents, too), and the H-LAT FAQ, which will be somewhat graphics-intensive
due to a particular theme I'm working on (I love Photoshop).
Whoops! I nearly forgot: longtime H-LAT supporter (and excellent photographer) Cera Hess
has put together the first official
Friends of H-LAT page on MySpace,
so check it out and add us to your "Friends" list!
Any comments or questions (of a website-related nature) may be sent to yours truly at
Hooray! The EXPANDED 2006 Season is underway!
I know, I know... this update is long overdue. Even Kent's been after me to get cracking on it, and he doesn't own a computer. But your fearless webmaster has just returned from a couple of months in the wilds of Arizona, where he dwelt with no phone, no lights, no motor car... not a single luxury.
Okay, I'm exaggerating. I had lights. And a refrigerator. But no phone line, so the update had to wait. Anyway, here it is, so I'll stop kvetching and make with the news...
First of all, we've added SEVEN events to our 2006 schedule. That's right, SEVEN events, including a new Wild West show in Piqua, Ohio! Check out the schedule and adjust your vacation plans accordingly. Also, by popular demand, we here at H-LAT HQ have been working on a roster system to let you diehards know who will be jousting where, and it's almost ready (though even the best-laid plans can change), so keep your eyes open for another update soon.
Remember the epic History Channel documentary I mentioned last time called Secrets of the Koran? Well, it aired recently, in two parts - and will undoubtedly be aired again and again over the next few months. Check your local program guide for listings, or save yourself the effort and bop on over to the History Channel store where you can purchase the entire program. Please note that it's only available on DVD; apparently the History Channel isn't messing around with VHS anymore.
Also, last time we looked in on Taso, he was doing some work for Michael Mann on the film version of Miami Vice, which is due to be released this summer. Well, move over, Crockett and Tubbs: Jackass is in town! Yes, the fearless Greek (in conjunction with stuntman pal Dennis Deveaugh) wrangled a variety of animals including camels and donkeys (yes, REAL jackasses) for Jackass 2: The Movie! According to Taso, great fun was had by all - with the exception of certain members of the Jackass team who endured a variety of unfortunate experiments involving livestock and farm implements. Watch for it soon at your local megaplex.
On the technological side of things, your intrepid webmaster will be adding a few new things to the ol' website, including the much-discussed Clubhouse section and an F.A.Q., as well as a spiffy Press Section and a few new batches of Gallery photos from years past (way, way past). Any and all assistance is welcome, so drop us a line if you're feeling antsy and want to pitch in. Thanks in advance!
As always, any comments or questions may be sent to yours truly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Complaints may be directed to Kent Shelton at... ah, never mind. He gets enough from us.
Hanlon-Lees Invade Movies, TV... And An Opera!
In a bold tactical move, the notorious Hanlon-Lees have struck at the very breast of the entertainment industry by launching a simultaneous invasion of the opera stage and screens both large and small.
In the world of TV, the Lees are once again off on a crusade for the History Channel. For the new Towers Productions documentary Secrets of the Koran, founder Kent Shelton and various other Lees provided horses, performers, and sword-fighting choreography as well as assorted pieces of costuming and props. Appearing chiefly as Crusaders, they were also called upon to train some "Moorish" performers in swordplay for some of the more spectacular battle sequences. The program is tentatively scheduled to air in February 2006.
Meanwhile in sunny Florida, Taso Stavrakis sets his sights on Crockett and Tubbs with an appearance in director Michael Mann's film version of Miami Vice, currently shooting (so to speak) on location in Miami. Starring Colin Farrell and Jamie Foxx, the film will likely open in the summer of 2006. No official website exists as yet, but check back for updates.
Also in south Florida, both Kent and Taso (in association with veteran stuntman and good pal Dennis Deveaugh) will be appearing in (and wrangling critters for) two major events: Palm Beach Opera's production of Aida and the 22nd annual Fort Lauderdale Christmas Pageant. The opera runs from December 9th - 12th; the pageant runs weekly from December 1st - 18th. Click the links above for exact dates and/or ticketing information.
As always, any comments or questions may be sent to yours truly at email@example.com. Complaints may be directed to Kent Shelton at... ah, never mind. He gets enough.
Hanlon-Lees Assist Caped Crusader!
Yes, it's true - after all these years, the Lees have finally crossed paths with the shadowy avenger of Gotham City. Five horses and riders were provided by H-LAT for a dramatic sequence in director Christopher (Memento) Nolan's atmospheric prequel, Batman Begins. The film's formidable cast includes Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson, and Gary Oldman, among many others. Several H-LAT performers (including our hero Kent Shelton) spent a few busy days in the Windy City, riding as mounted officers of the Gotham City Police Department. More news (and possibly some on-set photos) as the story develops...
The Multimedia page will be online September 1st ! Stop by and feel the goodness in the form of free H-LAT desktop images, icons, and more. Also, take a moment to view the trailer for filmmaker Kevin Leeser's documentary-in-progress, Renaissance Men, the first full-length study of the Lees in their native habitat.
If I had a nickel for every time I got an e-mail asking, "Who is that blonde knight, Sir Morick?" I'd be a wealthy man. For your information, he's young Lee Morrison, one of our newest jousters. On September 1st, you can visit our Members page to see a little black-and-white photo (not much to read, as Lee has yet to send a resume...); better still, visit our Gift Shop to buy a huge full-color poster of Lee in action. Lest all this attention go to his head, we'll also be adding the headshot of another handsome company member, Jimmy Ellis.
Interested in working with the Lees? Visit our new Employment Opportunities page!
Hanlon-Lees Search for the Holy Grail!
In association with Kurtis Productions, the Lees are currently appearing on the History Channel program Investigating History, in an episode detailing the mythic quest for the Holy Grail. Was the Grail secreted in the Pyrenees by the Knights Templar? Find out by watching Bill Kurtis's informative exposť, for which the Lees provided horses, stunt performers, and choreographed action sequences by Stunt Coordinator (and Fearless Leader) Kent Shelton. The program initially aired on April 19th, 2004, but will certainly be re-run. Check your local listings for airtimes, or, even better, purchase the video from A&E and see the Lees in all their Templar glory.
COMING SOON: Filmmaker Kevin Leeser's H-LAT Documentary: Renaissance Men!
The Hanlon-Lees Gift Shop is Now Open!
That's right...after several hours of designing and uploading graphics to the ever-popular Cafepress website, we now have a variety of goods to offer, including apparel, drinking mugs and steins (emblazoned with your favorite knights!), and much, much more. In fact, we have so many cool wares in the works, we had to split them between a couple of virtual "shops." Click here to visit H-LAT Shop One, or here for H-LAT Shop Two (or simply visit our own Gift Shop page). A bit late for Christmas, perhaps, but there are always birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, bar mitzvah, etc., so stock up and be prepared for any gift-giving emergency.
COMING SOON: The H-LAT Thong, Version 1.0! And don't say we didn't warn you!
H-LAT's 2003 Event Season Starts With a Bang!
We are happy to announce that our 2003 season has begun, starting with our traditional appearance at the Arizona Renaissance Festival in Apache Junction, AZ. Despite inclement weather and the uncertainties of wartime, the ARF joust went off without a hitch every weekend, a good sign for the rest of the season...a season which promises to be one of our most exciting ever! Check out our freshly posted 2003 schedule for more information on where the Lees will be appearing next. Also, for those of you who crave Old West action and gunplay, you can catch America's Favorite Wild West Show at the famed Crete Wild West Days in Crete, Illinois on August 8th, 9th, and 10th. Be there!
Photo by Mark Konecki
America's Favorite Wild West Show: 2 Performances Added for Summer 2002!
Worried that your quota of Old West activities won't be met this summer? Have no fear - America's Favorite Wild West Show will be appearing at two Illinois events newly added to our 2002 schedule.
On August 10th and 11th, take part in the festivities during the legendary Crete Wild West Days in Crete, Illinois; then, on August 14th, a special group of children will be treated to a Western extravaganza at Camp Quality Illinois, a fantastic summer camp for youngsters suffering from the debilitating effects of cancer. (For more information, please visit the official Camp Quality website.)
Buffalo Bill rides again! Visit one or both events and join in the fun.
By Popular Demand: The Lees Return to Pittsburgh!
As you may have noticed, the Lees have added a number of sizeable events to their schedule this year, including some well-loved festivals in Texas and California; this has led to a dramatic restructuring of the 2002 schedule, resulting in certain changes of venue. For a while, it seemed as though the Lees, sadly, would not be making their annual appearance at the Pittsburgh Rennaisance Festival.
Due to a heartfelt appeal on behalf of the show's producers, however, the Lees performed an unprecedented act of juggling (in this case, of the Summer 2002 schedule) and, with great pleasure, added the Pittsburgh Festival to their roster! Every weekend from August 17th through September 22nd, the Lees will be performing their legendary 4-man joust thrice per day in the halcyon fields of West Newton, PA, a mere 30 miles east of Pittsburgh.
Make an effort to attend - this year's tournament will be led again by the indefatiguable Kevin Stillwell (a.k.a. the noble Sir Konner), with special appearances for the first 2 weekends by local champion Taso Stavrakis (a.k.a. Sir Ewain of Essex), who is proud to appear once again at his hometown show.
September 11th, 2001 - America Stands Strong and United
On behalf of the Hanlon-Lees Action Theater, we offer our condolences and support to the families and victims of the terror attacks on September 11th, as well as to the families of the rescue workers who perished in the attempt to save the lives of others. H-LAT has always maintained close ties with our friends in the New York area, and the tragedy of this devastatingly brutal attack (as well as that upon the Pentagon and the heroic rebellion of Flight 93) has affected us deeply. Please, take a moment to do your part and lend a hand to fellow Americans who still need all the help they can get. Donations may be made via the NY Firefighters Memorial Fund, the New York State World Trade Center Relief Fund, or the American Red Cross.
Taso Stavrakis portrays zombies and a cycle raider in Dawn of the Dead.
Taso Stavrakis to appear at Dawn of the Dead Reunion in Pittsburgh
One of H-LAT's founders, Taso Stavrakis will be appearing at the Pittsburgh Comicon, being held the weekend of April 27th - 29th at the Monroeville Expo Mart, in Monroeville, PA. The highlight of this year's Comicon is a huge reunion of cast members from George A. Romero's horror masterpiece, Dawn of the Dead, which was filmed in 1977-78 at the Monroeville Mall, only 200 yards from the Expo Mart itself. Other notable guests include pro-wrestler Chyna, actors from the Star Wars films and various well-known comic book writers and artists. This reunion marks Taso's first convention guest appearance, so if you're in the area, stop out and visit!
H-LAT member David Carter performs stunts on horseback for El Gusano.
H-LAT Provides Stunts for Don Juan and Miguel: The Tale of El Gusano
The H-LAT troupe was on hand to provide swordplay and stunts for The Tale of El Gusano, the first film produced by the popular comedic duo Don Juan and Miguel. Several H-LAT members, including Eric Michael and David Carter performed a variety of stunts, swordplay and riding maneuvers for the film, which was shot on location in Apache Junction, Arizona in March 2001.
H-LAT members pose for group shot at "castle" entrance.
Hanlon-Lees To Appear in Martin Lawrence's Black Knight
The Lees are providing swordplay and stunts for Martin Lawrence's next film, Black Knight, a 20th Century Fox production currently being lensed in North Carolina. Standing tall at the rear of the top photo are H-LAT Artistic Directors Kent Shelton and to his left, Kevin Stillwell, who served as the production's swordmaster. Directed by Gil Junger (who also directed 10 Things I Hate About You), the film is due to be released on January 11th, 2002.