Category Archives: Branson Shows

Branson Up Close and Personal with King’s Castle’s “Angel” vocalist, Maggie Moore

Maggie Moore with Robert Quibell, singing “Tonight” from “West Side Story,”during a recent performance of “Broadway’s Greatest Hits.”

Broadway’s Greatest Hits, at the Kings Castle Theatre, is one of Branson’s hottest new shows. It features timeless music, beautiful sets, colorful costuming, and a cast of some of the finest vocalists and dancers on any Branson stage. Rising Branson talent, the lovely and talented Maggie Moore, is one of the show’s four featured vocalists.

Maggie (MM), recently took time from her hectic schedule for this “Branson – Up Close and Personal” interview. “Branson Up Close and Personal” is a service of Branson Tourism Center (BTC), the seller of over 5 million Branson show and attraction tickets. The interview uses a “Question and Answer” format to introduce readers to a Branson star or personality.

BTC: If you could perform or meet with any entertainer/person (living or deceased) who would it be and why?
MM:  Julie Andrews. I love her music and everything about her. She’s just so encouraging!

BTC: Why should someone coming to Branson plan to see the Broadway’s Greatest Hits?
MM: [With a big heart revealing smile she enthusiastically said] Because it’s awesome!!

BTC: What do you think that kids ages 8-15 will like most about the Broadway’s Greatest Hits?
MM: There’s so much music in the show that will directly appeal to them such as, “Mary Poppins,” “Aladdin,” Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and more. There’s not a lot of “park and bark,” where someone just stands there and sings. The constant action, interaction between performers, dancing, and colorful costume changes appeal to adults and kids alike.

BTC: What do you like most about being a vocalist in the Broadway’s Greatest Hits?
MM: It’s all Broadway and I love the challenges of singing the different styles and musical influences that covers. In one number I’m singing down in the basement and in the next I have to pop to the top. I just love it!

BTC: Whether you’re in it or not what’s your favorite part of the show?
MM: Step in Time from the “Mary Poppins Segment” of the show. The set with its chimneys and the dancers. Some of the things they do is amazing! I remember watching it when they were setting it up and it made me feel like a kid.

BTC: What’s your personal favorite musical number in the show?
MM: That’s so hard, but I’m going to go with Tonight from the “West Side Story Segment” of the show.

BTC: What’s your favorite genre of music to listen to?
MM: Jazz and country

 BTC: What’s your favorite Genre of music to sing?
MM: Opera.

 BTC: Whether it’s in Broadway’s Greatest Hits or not, what song do you personally enjoy singing the most?
MM: There’s a song in college that I used to sing that I really love called Glitter and Be Gay from the operetta Candide.

BTC: Where were you born?
MM: I was actually born in Jacksonville, Florida about 40 miles from my hometown of St. Marys, Georgia.

BTC: When?
MM: 1990

BTC: Was there something special about your childhood that you think our readers would be interested in?
MM: It was wonderful. We lived in downtown St. Marys. I enjoyed the outdoors, the beautiful marshlands, and doing community theatre with my family.

BTC: How old were you when you first sang publicly and where was it?
MM: In the church choir at about the age of three or four.

BTC: When did you realize that you wanted to be a singer?
MM: There never was an “ah ha moment.” I’ve always loved singing. It became more focused when I was in college with a music theatre major.

BTC: Where did you first perform professionally?
MM: As an angel singing Ave Maria in the Nativity scene at Pensacola, Florida’s “Winterfest.”

BTC: In your career, of all the performances you have made and you have been in, no matter how big or small, which one personally meant the most to you and why?
MM: There’s not just one, it’s a type of performance. Those where someone comes up and tells me how a performance inspired, impacted or helped them.

BTC: What was your first impression of Branson?
MM: I loved it. There’s so much here and we love the natural beauty and outdoors.

BTC: Did you perform in Branson prior to performing at productions in the Kings Castle Theatre?
MM: No. I was working in a non-performing capacity, heard about the auditions at King’s Castle and tried out. I started out in “Dancing Queen” and went into the Dublin’s IrishTenors and The Celtic Ladies when it opened.

BTC: What King Castle’s Productions do you perform in?
MM: Broadway’s Greatest Hits and Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies

BTC: What’s your favorite thing to do in Branson when you are not performing?
MM: Being outside doing something. I like the lakes boating and fishing, especially when I am catching fish.

BTC: Do you have a “little known” fact about yourself that you think our readers would enjoy?
MM: I could eat chocolate all day long!

BTC: Do you live in the Branson Area?
MM: Yes.

BTC: Are you married?
MM: Yes, to Lukas.

For additional information or tickets for either Broadway’s Greatest Hits or Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550, or by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

Million Dollar Quartet is as awesome as it is unique and fun

Million Dollar Quartet’s Sara Tweedle as Dyanna, Tyler K. Hunter as Elvis Presley, Brad Waters as Carl Perkins, Cliff Wright as Johnny Cash and  John Countryman as Jerry Lee Lewis.

On December 4, 1956, in the Memphis storefront recording studio of Sun Records, one of the greatest jam sessions in rock n’ roll history took place. It was an impromptu gathering of four young recording artists who were soon to become legends; Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Although all went on to achieve legendary status, it’s the only time they’d ever perform together. Branson’s Million Dollar Quartet recreates that special moment in a unique awesome fun filled musical production for the whole family to enjoy.

Except for one newspaper article the day after the jam session, headlined “The Million Dollar Quartet,” and its accompanying picture, the jam session went largely unnoticed. It was so impromptu and unnoticed that even the “Father of Rock N’ Roll,” Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records, didn’t know it had been recorded. The recordings languished in the “Sun Records Catalog” for decades. When new owners of Sun Records discovered the “lost recordings,” they released 17 tracks from them in an album entitled, “The Million Dollar Quartet.”

That jam session, and those recordings, are the foundation and inspiration for the Tony Award winning musical, Million Dollar Quartet. The show combines timeless music that everyone knows, a great storyline, and an outstanding cast with great production and a unique set to create an incredible entertainment experience.

Most musicals feature music written specifically for that show. The music in the Million Dollar Quartet is a part of music history, sung by four music legends at the start of their careers. This needs a great cast to recreate that special moment and do it justice. The Million Dollar Quartet, both musically and dramatically, has the perfect cast to do just that!

Tyler K. Hunter as Elvis Presley, Cliff Wright as Johnny Cash, John Countryman as Jerry Lee Lewis, and Brad Waters as Carl Perkins, do a wonderful job of sharing the music and excitement of that night. They perform hit classics such “Great Balls of Fire,” “I’ll Walk the Line,” “Riders in the Sky,” “Hound Dog,” “Peace in the Valley,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” and many more. Watching them perform, in the show’s elaborate Sun Records Studio set, I felt, even if only for a moment, that I was getting a personal glimpse of what they actually shared together that night. It was awesome!

Sarah Tweedle as Dyanna, the girl accompanying Elvis, adds to the musical repertoire of the jam session with delightful performances of “Fever” and “I Hear You Knocking.” She’s also part of the vocal back up in many numbers. One of my personal favorite parts of the show is her part in the back up for “Riders in the Sky.” It’s a WOW moment, but you must look for it. Daniel Dossey, playing W.S. “Fluke” Holland, the drummer, and Austin Wilson, as Jay Perkins, the bass player, who was the brother of Carl Perkins, round out the musical cast.

Three of my personal favorite musical highlights were “Peace in the Valley,” “[Ghost] Riders in the Sky,” and “Fever.” The cast performance of “Peace in the Valley” was as inspirational as it was beautiful. The storyline personalizing each of their involvement in the performance makes it a special moment. “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” was a hauntingly powerful performance by Johnny Cash. It’s made even more enjoyable by the performance of the backup singers. Sarah Tweedle’s sultry performance of “Fever” was a joy to hear as it introduces a new vocal element to the music of the jam session.

Besides the great music, there’s an interesting storyline artfully woven into and around the shows music. Matt Joyce plays the role of Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records, the “Father of rock n’ roll,” and the person who set the circumstances in motion that resulted in the jam session. He does an excellent job of telling the story, and tying it together in a manner that keeps the audience’s rapt attention throughout. Dyanna’s interaction with Sam Phillips, Elvis, and the other three legends, adds another entertaining dimension to the story’s drama and impact.

It’s a story based on historical facts about what happened that day, and more. It shares not only what happened that day, but insight to the lives of the artists involved, their personal relationships, how the record industry worked, and the early history of rock n’ roll. But, it’s also a personal story with potential romance, competition, jealousy, expectation, disappointment, and hope.

The story of the greatest rock n’ roll jam session of all time presented in the Million Dollar Quartet is great entertainment that the whole family will enjoy.  It’s nonstop music, energy, fun, and enjoyment from beginning to end.

And in speaking of the show’s “ending;” it’s a good idea to remember the advice of Yogi Berra when he said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but, paraphrasing Yogi, “It ain’t over till after the coats fall.” It’s a spectacular finale to a wonderful entertainment experience that’s unlike anything else in Branson.

For additional information or tickets for Million Dollar Quartet please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, by calling 1-800-785-1550, or by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Branson Up Close and Personal with James Sibley, the “funny” in Pierce Arrow

James Sibley, as Janitor Gene Pool, cracking up the audience .

The advertisements for one of Branson’s most popular shows, Pierce Arrow, ask, “Want Funny?” Then they announce, “We got funny!”  After seeing the show recently, I can testify that they do indeed “have funny” and it’s provided by comedian James Sibley. He’s one funny guy!

We interviewed James Sibley (JS) with two objectives in mind. The first was getting a review of the Pierce Arrow show through his eyes. The second, sharing information with our readers that will enable them to know him better.

“Branson – Up Close and Personal” is a service of Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. It uses a “Question and Answer” format to provide readers with an up close and personal look at a Branson star or personality.

BTC: What is the name of your character in Pierce Arrow?
JS: I am the janitor, “Gene Pool.”

BTC: Have you used that character elsewhere during your career or is it exclusive to the Pierce Arrow Show?
JS: It’s a character that I have developed and used elsewhere throughout my career.

BTC: If you could perform or meet with any entertainer/person (living or deceased) who would it be and why?
JS: It would have to be Elvis. He was one of the greatest entertainers of all.

BTC: Why should someone coming to Branson plan to see the Pierce Arrow Show?
JS: Together, we are going to have a great time filled with original family friendly comedy and great music.
BTC: What do you think that kids ages 8-15 will like most about the Pierce Arrow Show?
JS: The show’s music and comedy. Ages 8 through 80, and beyond, will all find a lot to enjoy.

BTC: What do you like most about being the comedian in the Pierce Arrow Show?
JS: The subtle way the comedy is worked into the show. The shows subtle beginning, using “Gene Pool” as the underdog, and getting the audience’s support against the trials he faces is so much fun!

BTC: Whether you’re in it or not what’s your favorite part of the show?
JS: The last two segments where I get to come out and perform comedy as myself, James Sibley, not “Gene Pool.”  I get to share some of the jokes and standup routines I have developed over the past 25 years and that have made me the comedian I am.

Pierce Arrow. Travis Spratt, Tony Turner, Scott Fraker, and Dan Britton, performing “Waydown.”

BTC: What’s your favorite musical number in the show and why?
JS: Pierce Arrow’s performance “Way Down.”  It’s not just because it’s an Elvis song and its one of the last he recorded. I love the way they perform it and Dan [Britton] hits those low notes.

BTC: Of all the comedy you do in the show which routine is your favorite and why?
JS: The seamless transition into the start of the show. The routine and interaction between “Gene Pool” and Bobby Blackburn is so subtle and seamless that many in the audience don’t even know that the show has started.

BTC: Where was your last gig before Pierce Arrow?
JS: Carnival Cruise Lines on January 25, 2015

BTC: Where were you born?
JS: Jackson, Mississippi, but I grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana

BTC: When?
JS: 1965

BTC: Was there something special about your childhood that you think our readers would be interested in?
JS: I had to wear a leg brace every day until I was 11 years old because of a mistake that was made during some simple surgery when I was very young.

BTC: When did you realize that you wanted to be a comedian?
JS: I first realized that I wanted to be an entertainer in high school where I played the trumpet in the band. I started singing in bands when I got out of high school. Then I went into musicals and comedy theatres. That lead to me into doing comedy on the side and into “improv” theatres

BTC: Where and when did you first perform professionally?
JS: It was a one night comedy show in Ashville, North Carolina

BTC: What are some of your favorite career highlights?
JS: Getting the opportunity to know and work with Tim Wilson. I heard him on the radio before I even got into comedy and wished I had the money to go see him. As it ended up, he became my mentor, friend, and we did over 300 shows together. Others were the “Comedy Store” and “Laugh Factory” in Los Angeles in 2005/2006, and getting to meet and work with some of the “Blue Collar Comedy Tour” guys.

BTC: In your career, of all the performances you have made and you have been in, no matter how big or small, which one personally meant the most to you and why?
JS: Doing 15 minutes of comedy with Bill Engvall in Shreveport, Louisiana, for an astronomical amount of money, performing before a hometown crowd of about 10,000.

BTC: When was the first time you were in Branson?
JS: In 2000 when I filled in for Paul Harris.

BTC: What was you first impression of Branson?
JS: That it was like “Bizarro Entertainment World.” Entertainers I remembered from my youth were here in Branson entertaining sold out audiences.

BTC: How did you end up in the Pierce Arrow Show?
JS: When the job opened in Pierce Arrow the timing was right from both a personal and professional perspective. I was working cruise ships when Dan [Britton] made the offer. My wife Viki and I were ready for a change and we made the decision to come to Branson.

BTC: What’s your favorite thing to do in Branson when you are not performing?
JS: We like to go to other Branson shows.

BTC: Do you live in Branson year-round?

JS: We live in Branson 10 months out of the year and in our house in Greenville, South Carolina the other two months.

BTC: Do you have a “little known” fact about yourself that you think our readers would find interesting?
JS: I’ve had bariatric surgery and am about 150 pounds lighter than some folks might remember.

BTC: Anything else you would like our readers to know?
JS: I can guarantee that if you come see the Pierce Arrow Show that you won’t be disappointed. There’s something, a comedy routine, song or songs, that will excite and entertain you. I know you’ll have a great time!

For additional information or tickets for the Pierce Arrow Show, or any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550, or by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

There’s nothing in the world like an “Ozark Mountain Christmas!”

Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas is a beautiful “centerpiece” of Ozark Mountain Christmas.

“Do you want to celebrate the simple beauty of the traditional American Christmas?” asks Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “If so, there’s no better place for you to be than in Branson, Missouri for its spectacular, one of a kind, celebration of Ozark Mountain Christmas.

Running from November 1 through December 31, Ozark Mountain Christmas blends the best of what Branson offers into a unique community wide celebration of the traditional American Christmas. It’s combination of Christmas lights, displays, spirit, inspiration, fun, and live entertainment is unlike any other in the world!

The centerpiece of Ozark Mountain Christmas is Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas Festival. Its 5 million plus glittering Christmas lights perennially receives national recognition as one of the best Christmas light displays in America.  It also features a 5 Story Special Effects Christmas Tree, two Broadway productions, and the Holly Jolly ™ Christmas Light Parade with “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & Friends,” and more. In addition, weather allowing, its 30 plus rides and almost everything else the world class 1880s styled theme park features, is open to enjoy. Silver Dollar City’s Ozark Mountain Christmas is celebrated from November 4 through December 30.

Even in a town that’s famous for the quality of its live shows, Branson’s Christmas shows are a special. There’s excitement in the air as most of its most popular shows start their Christmas shows during the first week of November.

From the “Grinch” to the Nativity and true meaning of Christmas, Branson’s Christmas shows are full of color, fun, and the “Reason for the Season.”

For most of Branson’s shows, that’s a combination of the best from their regular season show and Christmas. Some share a mix of their ‘regular’ shows combined with special Christmas numbers throughout. These include shows such as Daniel O’Donnell, Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies, Legends In Concert, and Puttin’ On The Ritz. Shows such as Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Grand Jubilee, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, and The Haygoods, feature the best of their regular season show for half of the show and their Christmas show during the other half. Regardless of how it’s done, each show is like a snowflake, sharing Christmas in their own special way, giving Branson audiences a unique Christmas blessing and glimpse of what Christmas means to them.

Other shows are totally Christmas and only available during Ozark Mountain Christmas.  These include shows such as the Andy Williams Christmas Extravaganza, Christmas Wonderland, Hughes Brothers Christmas Show, Shoji Tabuchi, and The Texas Tenors Deep In the Heart of Christmas.

How about Christmas shopping? Branson offers a year-round world class shopping experience including Branson Landing; a large variety of unique galleries, craft shops, boutiques, and specialty shops; as well as discount malls such as the Tanger Factory Outlet Center and The Shoppes at Branson Meadows. Wood said that opportunities abound to find that special one of a kind Christmas gift, for that special person, in Branson.

One of the most unique aspects of Ozark Mountain Christmas is the spirit of the traditional American Christmas that underpins it. It’s OK to say “Merry Christmas.” It’s even socially acceptable to acknowledge that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. One of the major annual highlights of Ozark Mountain Christmas is the annual “Adoration Lighting Ceremony and Parade” dedicated to “Keeping Christ in Christmas.” The 69th annual lighting of the huge Nativity Scene on top of Mount Branson and night “light parade,” will be held on December 3 in historic downtown Branson.

Wood points out that Ozark Mountain Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year in Branson and that not all shows and activities are available throughout the entirety of Ozark Mountain Christmas. To help ensure, not only availability, but getting the best available show seats and lodging, she suggests calling one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Vacation Specialists at 1-800-785-1550. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9.30 PM.

Ways families with kids can save money on Branson shows

Some of Branson’s most popular shows make it easier on the pocketbook for families to enjoy a great Branson show.

“Do you want a family vacation destination that’s filled with exciting things for your family to do and that’s easy on the pocketbook?” asks Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “It’s hard to imagine a place anywhere in the country that offers families more exiting ways to have fun or is easier on the pocketbook than Branson, Missouri.”

Garrison points out that with Branson’s lakes, attractions, museums, and over 100 live shows, shopping, and more, there’s always something new and exciting for families to see and do. Branson’s live shows are legendary for their variety, quality, and being an outstanding entertainment value. Shows further enhance that value, for families with children, in different ways.

Two of the most popular are by offering free tickets to children under certain conditions, and the use of Family Passes. Either way, it makes it easier on the pocketbook for families to enjoy their favorite Branson show.

The conditions for getting free tickets for children will vary from show to show. As one example, one of Branson’s hottest shows, the Million Dollar Quartet, offers a free child’s ticket with the purchase of each adult ticket.

Although differing from show to show, generally the Family Pass will include two adults, and up to a certain number of children, for a substantially reduced rate. Presleys’ Country Jubilee, celebrating its 50th year in Branson, is a great music and comedy show for the whole family. By using its Family Pass, a family of two adults, one teenager and two children ages 10 and 11 can save over 34% off the price of buying them separately.

The following is a list of the Branson shows, on “Branson Tourism Center’s Most Popular Shows (and Highly Recommended) List,”  offering either free tickets for children under certain conditions or Family Passes. Each entry contains a link to more information, photos, videos, schedules and ticket pricing:

Amazing Pets
AYO starring Voices of Glory
Buckets N Boards
Clay Cooper’s Country Express
Comedy Jamboree
Down Home Country
Grand Jubilee
The Haygoods
Million Dollar Quartet
New South Gospel
Ozarks Country
Ozarks Gospel
Pierce Arrow
Presleys’ Country Jubilee
Shoji Tabuchi

Garrison points out that the savings can really mount up when the free children’s tickets or Family Passes are part of a “package” including lodging. For help in finding or creating, a package that is just right for your family, and saves you the most money, please call one of our Branson based Vacation Planning Specialists at 417-785-1550. “One call can take care of it all,” he adds.

 

Acrobats of China is an unbelievable summer entertainment adventure!

The Amazing Acrobats of China!

When describing the Acrobats of China Featuring The New Shanghai Circus Show words like “Amazing,” “incredible, and “unbelievable” immediately come to mind. Enjoying this show and its color, pageantry, and unbelievable human skill, strength, and beauty is something that families have been experiencing together in Branson for over 19 years. The skill, agility, strength, and endurance of these performers is beyond belief.

From the beginning to end, there’s a constant seamless flow of exciting acts. From strength and juggling acts, to the delicacy of balancing 55 pounds on a one ounce feather, each act’s amazing! They’re like separate shows, in terms of colorful costuming, set design, lighting, choreography, music, and presentation. Yet, they flow seamlessly from one to the other with no dead time providing about 2 hours of the most amazing, incredible, and unbelievable entertainment in Branson

I had the opportunity to talk with a grandmother and her six-year-old granddaughter who were visiting Branson. The grandmother said that she had brought her older granddaughter to see the show several years ago and liked it so much that she brought her two younger granddaughters back to see it. Her six -year-old granddaughter said that she was really enjoying the show and thought that other kids her age would too. I asked the grandmother, “Do you think that this show can entertain kids and adults simultaneously?” Without hesitation she said, “Definitely!”

That’s a critical distinction with Branson entering that part of its season where families, with kids of all ages, come for vacation. The content of all the Branson shows that I have seen over the last 31 years is “kid friendly.” There are very few however, that will hold a kid’s interest throughout most of the show. There are still fewer still that can do it for kids and adults simultaneously. The Acrobats of China Featuring The New Shanghai Circus, is one of these!

It’s “a visual display of spectacular beauty and athletic endurance that seems nearly impossible. These “graceful, skilled artists will keep your rapt attention throughout the show with a revolving line-up of award-winning acts.” These include the Spinning Girls; Diabolos; Butterfly Lovers, an exquisite Silks act representing a touching story of love and much more. Three of my favorite acts were:

Cycling: It had all the beauty, color, excitement, and daring that I expected and “then some.” It’s an amazing thing to see as one of the riders flips from one moving cycle to the other and how many they fit on one cycle. No, it’s unbelievable, but I saw it with my own eyes!

Rope Skills: It has rope twirling, as you have never seen it before, performed by both individuals and groups as well as a jump rope set, unlike anything I have ever seen. Figuratively speaking, this unique high energy act blew my socks off.

Hoop Diving: Folks this isn’t your grandmother’s hoop diving act. This high energy, high flying act had more action going on than you could shake a stick at. Even though I’ve seen hoop diving before, this segment was unbelievable. These guys take hoop diving to a new exciting level.

If you are looking for a Branson show filled with high energy, color, daring, and excitement that will entertain adults and kids simultaneously the Acrobats of China Featuring The New Shanghai Circus is for you. You will be sitting on the edge of your seat eagerly waiting for what’s coming next! For additional information or tickets please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

If The Haygoods 25th Anniversary show was a diamond it’d be the “Hope Diamond!”

“Banjo Boy” jetting in, Dominic on the sax with “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” Catherine playing “Some Where Over The Rainbow,” and instruments like you’ve never seen before!

There are many different diamonds in the world, but there’s only one Hope Diamond. Branson has many great live shows, but there is only one The Haygoods show! The talent of the Haygoods, their technical innovations, and production easily makes it the Hope Diamond of Branson’s music shows. It simultaneously entertains both adults and children with two hours of the most exciting, colorful, high energy, and talent filled shows in Branson.

The Haygoods got to their 25th year of entertaining Branson audiences one performance at a time. Throughout 7,000 performances and entertaining over six million people, they left “each” with the feeling that they’ve been a part of a unique special entertainment experience. I know because I have been one of the millions, most recently a couple of weeks ago.

I am constantly amazed at just how fresh and exciting it is each time I see it, but this time it really “blew my socks off!” The new special effects, created by Michael Haygood, are simply amazing. My favorite was the beautiful images coming from the instruments as they were being played. WOW, and that’s just one thing! The costuming, its color, and shows technical innovations have no equal on any Branson musical show. Large LED screens, special effects, and dramatic overhead entries onto the stage all add to the excitement and enjoyment of the show.

All that’s fine, but it’s a music show, and what a music show it is! The Haygood siblings, six brothers Timothy, Pat, Dom, Shawn, Mike, and Matt and their sister Catherine, are some of the best vocalists and instrumentalists in Branson. The show’s drummer, for the last ten years, is Dino Phillips. When they come together, the music; bluegrass, gospel, country, pop, patriotic, or anything else is amazing!

While realizing that my favorites might not be the same as someone else’s, I traditionally list three favorite parts in each show I write about. From among many, Catherine’s playing of Somewhere Over the Rainbow on the harp was an elegant, unique, and special experience. Their acapella version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, featuring Michael, was as inspiring as it was beautiful. The Haygoods performance of the Hank Williams Classic, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, with Dominic featured on the sax, adds a wonderful new dimension to this classic country gem.

It’s not just some very talented performers singing and playing or some of the best special affects you will see in any music show in Branson. There’s more than unique colorful costumes, great production, charisma, and choreography. It’s the total entertainment experience that results when it all comes together.

No, it’s more than that! From the beginning to the end, it’s an exciting musical “adventure” for the family to share together. An adventure filling the senses with great music, energy, excitement, color, and action, the likes of which will not be seen on any other Branson stage. Whether it’s back flips, fire canons, high-energy mountain tap dancing, or something else, you’re always anticipating what’s coming next. That’s how they entertain both children and adults, simultaneously and to similar levels of enjoyment. That’s why The Haygoods are celebrating their 25th year in Branson!

For information on The Haygoods show or any other Branson show, please contact the Branson Tourism Center. It’s Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of Branson show and attraction tickets and lodging. Reach them by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Branson’s most “Legendary” show!


Céline Dion is just one of the many legendary stars appearing in the Legends in Concert show during 2017.

“Where else in Branson can a person go to be entertained by the likes of ‘Céline Dion,’ ‘Michael Jackson,’ and ‘Frank Sinatra’?” asked Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. Of course, the rhetorical question was referring to the Legends in Concert show, known for the variety of its “legendary stars,” and excitement and quality of its productions. Here’s the schedule of the “legendary” stars scheduled to perform throughout 2017:

SPRING: Through May 16

Through May 11: The Temptations
Through May 16: George Strait
Through May 16: The Blues Brothers™
Through May 16: Elvis
Through May 16: Adele
May 12-May 16: Michael Jackson

MAY 18-21 Menopause The Musical

SUMMER: May 22-Sept 5

May 22-Sep. 5: Céline Dion
May 22-Sep. 5: Brooks and Dunn
May 22-Sep. 5: Michael Jackson
May 22-Sep. 5: The Blues Brothers™
May 22-Sep. 5: Elvis
June-July Only: SPECIAL GUEST- Bruno Mars

FALL: Sep.7-Oct 31

Sep.7-Oct 31: Frank Sinatra
Sep.7-Oct 31: Aretha Franklin
Sep.7-Oct 31: Johnny Cash
Sep.7-Oct 31: The Blues Brothers™
Sep.7-Oct 31: Elvis

CHRISTMAS: Nov.2-Dec. 31

Nov.2-Dec. 31: Michael Jackson
Nov.2-Dec. 30: Barbra Streisand
Nov.2-Dec. 31: Alan Jackson
Nov.2-Dec. 31: The Blues Brothers™
Nov.2-Dec. 31: Elvis
Dec. 31: Cher SPECIAL GUEST-NEW YEARS EVE

“Being a part of the Legends in Concert family, we have access to wonderful cast of “legends” from which to pick acts for our show. We are really excited about our schedule and the opportunity it gives us to be able to present Branson audiences with a variety of high quality legendary entertainment,” said Jeannie Horton, the General Manager, of Branson’s  Legends in Concert. “It’s designed to bring in  ‘legends’ that will entertain and appeal to the audiences we believe will be in Branson during a particular time of the year.”

In addition, she said that they are really excited about the limited engagement performance of Menopause The Musical, performing May 18-21, as part of their National tour. “Set in a department store, four women with seemingly nothing in common, come to find they have more to share than ever imagined. The cast makes fun of their woeful hot flashes, forgetfulness, mood swings, wrinkles, night sweats and chocolate binges. A sisterhood is created between these diverse women as they realize that menopause is no longer The Silent Passage, but a stage in every woman’s life that is perfectly normal!”

The Branson premier gives Branson audiences, albeit for short time, a chance to “see what millions of women worldwide have been laughing about for 14 years” in this “groundbreaking, hilarious celebration of women who are on the brink of, in the middle of, or have survived “The Change!”

For additional information or tickets on the Legends in Concert, Menopause The Musical, or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

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Is “Menopause” different in Branson?


The ladies of “Menopause The Musical” celebrating a disco moment.

“Not if we’re talking about Menopause The Musical,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “The National Touring Company of this funny musical parody will perform it, in Branson, the same way it has for millions over the last 14 years,” she added.

“It’s exciting to bring this hysterical musical to Branson for the first time,” said Jeannie Horton, the General Manager, for Branson’s Legends in Concert. She said the show’s 60s, 70s, and 80s music will have you dancing in the aisles as four women, who seemingly have nothing in common, discover just how similar they are.

Set in a department store, the four women “make fun of their woeful hot flashes, forgetfulness, mood swings, wrinkles, night sweats and chocolate binges.” They form a sisterhood as they musically, and hilariously, come to a common realization, “Menopause is no longer ‘The Silent Passage;’” it’s a normal stage in every woman’s life!

“Bring the waterproof mascara because you’ll laugh so hard, you’ll cry. With humor and compassion, writer, producer, and lyricist Jeanie Linders has captured the experiences of every woman in her 40s and 50s,” said Leslie Fischer of ChicagoCritic.com.

Menopause The Musical will be in Branson, for a four day six performance limited engagement, May 18 through May 21. Don’t miss your opportunity to see this hilarious musical in Branson! For more information or ticketing please call the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550 or visit their website www.BransonTourismCenter.Com.

 

Best Branson Insider Highlights for May 2017

The Million Dollar Quartet; dresses worn by “Rose”, Kate Winslet,  in the movie “Titanic;” and White Water’s KaPau Plummet.

“May is the month when all of Branson’s shows and attractions are fully open and running for the 2017 season,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “From our lakes to our great live shows, there’s fresh excitement, adventure, and entertainment for everyone to enjoy in Branson during 2017,” she added.

Along with our highlight list, containing some of the best of what’s going on in Branson during May, here’s our Featured Show, Limited Engagement, and Event of the Month:

Featured Show of the Month: The Million Dollar Quartet has quickly become one of Branson’s most popular do not miss shows. Live on the Branson stage, the musical that the hit CMT TV drama “Sun Records” is based on. It’s a show about one of the greatest jam sessions in rock n’ roll history. A once in a lifetime impromptu gathering of four young recording legends-to-be, Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis, that took place on December 4, 1956, in the Memphis storefront recording studio of Sun Records. It would have been a forgotten page of history, but for the resurfacing of an unknown recording of it decades later. It became the inspiration for the Tony Award winning musical Million Dollar Quartet that shares the music, spontaneity, and drama of what happened that day, as these four legends performed together for their first and last time.

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: The last 42 days to see the Titanic Museum Attraction’s display of actual costumes worn in the “Titanic.” 2017 is the 20th anniversary of the premier of the blockbuster hit movie. It went on to win eleven Academy Awards including “Best Picture” and “Best Costume Design.” Now, for the first time, and only through June 11, 2017, visitors to the Museum can view a collection of the actual costumes worn in the movie.

The costumes are displayed throughout the museum. Each is in an appropriate setting that enhances the viewing experience. During a recent tour of the exhibit with First Class Maid Jamie, she said, “Everyone comes to the Museum and asks, ‘Where’s Jack?’ Well we don’t have ‘Jack,’ but what we do have is one of the costumes that Leonardo DiCaprio’s, ‘Jack,’ wore in the movie.” They will be on display in Branson through June 11, after which they will moved to the Pigeon Forge Titanic Museum Attraction, where they will be displayed from June 17 through Labor Day.

Featured Event of the Month: White Water, Southwest Missouri’s largest water park, opens with two million gallons of cool wet fun ensconced in a 13 acre Polynesian themed “island” in the middle of the Ozarks. Its $1.7 million thrill ride, KaPau Plummet, launches riders from a drop-floor, four stories in the air, into a 70-degree plunge into a thrilling 240-foot spiraling loop slide to the bottom. And that’s just one ride! When you add in the iconic seven story multiple slide Kalani Towers; Aloha River at Hula Bay, with “over 800 feet of unexpected twists and turns, fountains, misters, bubblers, geysers, a 30-foot tall tiki water tower; and so much more, it’s easy to understand why White Water is sometimes referred to as “Mid-America’s Nearby Island Adventure.”

Limited Engagements (Sorted by starting date.)

May 1: Larry’s Country Diner-T. Graham Brown
May 2: Larry’s Country Diner-Jimmy Fortune
May 3: Larry’s Country Diner-Gene Watson
May 4: Larry’s Country Diner-Mo and Holly Pitney
May 5: Larry’s Country Diner-Mark Wills
May 14: Vicki Lawrence and Mama
May 18-21: Menopause The Musical
May 31: The Bellamy Brothers

Special Event Highlights (Sorted by starting date.)

May 1-31: Ozark Mountain Shindig Festival
May 1-31: Trail of Art
May 4-29: Bluegrass & Barbecue Festival at Silver Dollar City
May 5: Cinco de Mayo
May 5-6: Scott’s Challenge Firefighter Combat in Branson!
May 6: MDA Muscle Walk
May 12: Wanda Durant to Speak
May 14: Mother’s Day Cruise on Main Street Lake Cruises Landing Princess
May 14: Happy Mother’s Day
May 14: Keeter Center Mother’s Day Brunch
May 14: Mother’s Day Brunch at Chateau on the Lake
May14: Level 2 Steakhouse Mother’s Day Brunch
May 14: Big Cedar & Top of the Rock Mother’s Day Brunches
May 14: Branson Center Stage Mother’s Day Brunch
May 18: Shindig Festival – Jammin’ at Area 57
May 20: Armed Forces Day
May 20: Kayak Branson’s Biggest Flotilla Adventure on Lake Taneycomo
May 20: Reeds Spring Cajun Days
May 20: Annual Casino Night, BBQ, and Silent Auction – VVA Chapter 913
May 20-21: Summer Splash In-Water Boat Show
May 22: Annual Veterans Benefit Show
May 26-27: Treasure Lake RV Resort Wood Carvers Club Show and Sale
May 26-29: Memorial Day Weekend Sidewalk Sale at Tanger Outlets
May 27: Shindig Festival – The Shindig Shuffle
May 27-Jun 2: Ballparks of America – Memorial Day Classic (10U-13U)
May 28: Celebrate Memorial Day with Chateau of the Lake
May 29: Memorial Day
May 29: Memorial Day Service
May 29-30: Branson Landing’s Annual School Shoes For Kids

For additional information on these events, Branson’s shows and attractions, or lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com, or calling 1-800-785-1550 and talking with a Branson-based vacation planning specialist. They will be delighted to answer any questions, and assist you with show or lodging reservations and there’s absolutely no charge for this service.