On Thursday night, the sound system in Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena will rumble to life. The lights will dim to black.
A few minutes before members of the Las Vegas Golden Knights and Washington Capitals take the ice for the fifth and possibly final game in this year's Stanley Cup final, a booming voice belonging to Buffalo actor Eileen Dugan will echo through the venue.
She'll introduce two combatants decked out in medieval battle regalia, one representing the Knights and the other the Capitals. They will engage in a choreographed battle-on-ice, somewhere between the Icecapades and "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."
It's very Vegas, very kitschy and – according to the roar of the crowd and YouTube viewership numbers, at least — incredibly popular.
"Because the Golden Knights are down, 3-1, there's a sense when they do the sword fight on the ice, that they're going to make it look like our knight may be defeated," Dugan said. "But then, of course, he is not."
Dugan, an expert in Shakespeare and veteran performer on Buffalo stages, was hired to narrate a series of over-the-top pregame performances the team has produced for home games during its extraordinary NHL playoff run.
"It's never been implied whether I'm the historical voice of all time, or whether I'm actually their queen, which I prefer," she said.
A veteran voiceover artist, Dugan landed the gig through her connection with Kim Ferullo of Chameleon studios on Franklin Street. Ferullo was asked by a producer connected to the Knights to find someone who could could convincingly render, as Dugan put it, "a Judi Dench, Game of Thrones-y thing."
She could do that, she said. She was hired.
Dugan records her voice-overs at Chameleon's studios, rattling off dialogue that evokes images of outings to Medieval Times or Renaissance fairs.
"The war for the west is in its final battle," Dugan said during a mid-May contest in Las Vegas. "Chapter One saw the fall of the Kings. Chapter Two, the Knights feasted on Shark. The Golden Knights' army has grown. Once a battle of eight teams, only two remain."
The actor admitted she finds the insertion of medieval, quasi-Shakespearean language into a Las Vegas hockey arena to be somewhat incongruous, but she is loving the ride.
"It does seem to be a weird mix with hockey. It's all about setting up this legendary team, which in actual fact I think has been around for one season," she said. Even so, she added, "It's a unicorn situation."
As yet, Dugan has not been invited to appear in person during the pregame spectacles, but she's been hoping for an invite. Who knows: If the Knights aren't vanquished Thursday or in Game Six on Sunday in Washington, she may get her wish. Game Seven would be Wednesday night in Las Vegas.
"I have been hinting rather broadly to say that I should be invited," Dugan said. "The guy said, 'Would you be willing to wear a medieval costume?' I said, 'I own a medieval costume! I'm wearing a medieval costume right now.' "