Category Archives: Branson Shows

Tony Orlando’s Final Branson Christmas Season

Tony Orlando in dressing room during a 2010 interview celebrating his 50th year of performing.

BRANSON, Mo., October 28, 2013 – “This is a last chance for Branson visitors to see Tony Orlando perform his inspiring Christmas show, The Great American Christmas in Branson,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. “His limited engagement Branson performances of the show from November 5 through November 28 will conclude 20 years of performing the show in Branson as Tony has announced he will be taking the show on the road starting in 2014,” she continued.

“Tony will sing all of your holiday favorites and will also include his greatest hits from over 50 years in show business; ‘Candida’, ‘Knock Three Times’, ‘Tie a Yellow Ribbon’, ‘Sweet Gypsy Rose’ and more. Then, Santa pays a visit and Tony and Santa honor the true meaning of Christmas. It’s a Branson must see and a perennial family favorite!”

In announcing his final Branson Christmas season He said, “Branson is my home and I love being part of the community. After 20 years, I just feel it is time to take The Great American Christmas Show out to America.” In addition he “will continue his touring schedule with appearances at Performing Arts Centers and Casinos throughout the USA and Canada.” Dathan Atchison, General Manager of Welk Resort Branson said, “We are so excited and proud to have had such a legendary entertainer in our theatre for Christmas. There is no one like Tony!”

“In 1973, he recorded “Tie A Yellow Ribbon ‘Round The Ole Oak Tree.” The song was number one for the year, became Orlando’s theme song and grew into an American anthem of hope and homecoming, reunion and renewal. November 11th at 2pm, Tony will also host his 20th Yellow Ribbon Salute To Veterans, a star studded salute, free to all military past and present.”

For additional information on Tony Orlando’s The Great American Christmas or for information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, .

Three unique Branson musical moments

The huge Japanese Odaiko Drum from the Taiko Drum ensemble.

BRANSON, Mo., October 9, 2013 – “Branson is not referred to as the ‘The live music show capital of the world’ without reason,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Branson offers a quality and variety of music shows and live entertainment that is unrivaled at any other travel destination anywhere near its size,” she added.

She points out that within many of Branson’s outstanding shows there are acts or performances that cannot be experienced anywhere else and add a unique “special” musical something to an already great entertainment experience. Three such moments can be found in Branson’s longest running shows the Shoji Tabuchi Show, Presleys’ Country Jubilee and The Doug Gabriel Show.

A recent review of the Shoji Tabuchi Show, written by this writer said, “There’s a reason the Shoji Tabuchi Show is going into his 25th season of performing in Branson. Simply put, it’s because Shoji Tabuchi is a master at his craft, loves what he does, relates to his audience not only on a musical, but personal level, surrounds himself with some of the best musicians, singers and dancers in Branson and stars in a unique, colorful and exciting one of kind entertainment production.”

Although Shoji’s renowned violin and fiddle talent is legendary and a major element of his outstanding show, the “unique and special” musical moment relates to the playing of the Japanese “Taiko Drums” that, from the battlefield to defining geographic boundaries, have a special significance in Japanese history, culture and tradition. Featuring an ensemble of Taiko Drums from the large hand carved “Odaiko” to the smaller “Shime” drums this performance is one of the most unique musical performances most will ever see and hear.

Of the three, Presleys’ Country Jubilee has been in Branson the longest and was the first show to locate on the famed “Branson Strip” doing so in 1967 when Highway 76 was “nothing, but a ” curvy two lane stretch of black top.” It has been performing continuously in Branson ever since with its mixture of music and action comedy making it one of the most popular shows in Branson.

At that first show in 1967, a very young Steve Presley sat on a “makeshift stool crafted from a large hunk of firewood and a plywood scrap” playing a snare drum. This very night, an older Steve Presley will be playing the drums for Presleys’ Country Jubilee, as he has done continuously since that nigh setting a new Branson performance record every night he plays and enabling his audience to silently become part of a passing unique and special musical moment during each performance of this wonderful legendary show. Ok, so it’s not a musical moment, but it is special, because Steve’s older brother Gary, more commonly known as “Herkimer,” has been performing comedy in the show since that first performance and shares the performance record with his brother.

Doug Gabriel playing his famous "Mufftar."

Doug Gabriel, the star of Doug Gabriel’s #1 Hits Tribute Show has been a staple on the Branson show scene since 1985. For years he opened for many of the major stars, including Roy Clark himself, at the Roy Clark Celebrity theatre and in 1994, he and his wife Cheryl, also an accomplished vocalist, started their own show. They are celebrating their 27th year in Branson and 19th year of their own show this year.

Doug Gabriel’s voice and instrumental talent are a joy to hear and experience. His performance of “Malaguena” on the acoustic guitar is spectacular, but it is his performance on the “Mufftar” that adds “a unique ‘special’ musical something to an already great entertainment experience.” The “Mufftar” is a unique instrument made from the muffler of a 1969 Ford Thunderbird muffler by Doug’s dad when Doug first decided he wanted to play the guitar as a child. Doug still plays the original “Mufftar” in each show providing his audiences with a unique musical experience they will not hear anywhere else or soon forget.

For additional information on these shows or for information or tickets for any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling, toll free, 1-800-785-1550.


SOS – Dancing Queen “hot” Branson Abba 70’s entertainment

Tiffany. Alexander, Jan and Heather performing "Momma Mia."

BRANSON, Mo., September 29, 2013 – After seeing the show Dancing Queen Abbas’s Greatest Hits on September 28, this writer would suggest that those who are Abba fans, like the music of the 70’s or appreciate a colorful, fast moving energetic vocal and dancing production don’t want to miss this show. It features just about every Abba hit, a great collection of other hits and music that many danced to during the 70’s all presented by a talented cast of vocalists and dancers who are a joy to watch and hear as they present one hit song after another in two hours of non-stop, except for intermission, entertainment.

From the opening number, an all cast performance of the Abba hit, Dancing Queen, two things become apparent, the quality of the show’s production and the talent of its vocalist and dancers. The primary vocalists for Dancing Queen are Heather Peterson, Tiffany Sassanella, Jay McManus and Alexander James Webster. The shows dancers are Ollie Barrow, Martin Bennett, Ashley Gadd, Thomas Gray, Aaron Lemoine, Amy Morlang, Charles Redding, Ruth Robertson, Shelley Tees, and Kelly Weigand.

The opening set of the show is a collection of hits from “Momma Mia” and sets the stage for what is to follow. The numbers included, among others, Dancing Queen, Momma Mia, Gimme, Gimme, Gimme, Take A Chance On Me and Voulez Vous. From the all cast opening number of Dancing Queen to the four vocalists performance of Momma Mia and the performance of Knowing Me Knowing You featuring Heather Peterson in a “duet” with Jay McManus and Alexander James Webster the set dramatically illustrates the vocal and dancing skills and versatility of the cast along with the artful way that their talents would be interwoven throughout the show to provide and enjoyable and memorable entertainment experience.

Dancers and vocalists during "Celebrate."

From one of Abba’s very first hits Waterloo, to one of their last # 1 hits, Winner Takes It All, this show is a virtual cornucopia of Abbas top hits. In addition to the above this includes Abba hits such as Does Your Mother Know, Fernando, SOS, Thank You for the Music and others.

In addition to the Abba hits Dancing Queen also features some of the best music of the 70’s such the Village People’s hits In the Navy and YMCA; the Rose Royce blues song Car Wash; the Bee Gee’s hit How Deep Is Your Love and many more.

Although this writer fully realizes that his choices are subjective he typically mention two or three performances in a show that were his personal favorites. The ” dual duet” performance of How Deep Is Your Love started off by Heather Peterson and Alexander James Webster and later joined by Tiffany Sassanella and Jay McManus beautifully illustrated their vocal talents; In The Navy with Alexander James Webster doing the vocals and the dancers clogging was an exciting and colorful number featuring the skill and versatility of the dancer as they performed one of the many styles of dancing that are so artfully choreographed into the show and, what has to be my absolute favorite, the finale “Mega Mix” featuring all the cast members performing excerpts from the Abba hits that had previously been presented. What a fantastic way to end the show!

Information or tickets on the Dancing Queen Abbas’s Greatest Hits or tickets for any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements is available through the Branson Tourism Center. Please feel free to contact them by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through or through their website



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Legendary double dose of Elvis with Buddy, Whitney, Johnny & Blues Brothers

Dean Z performing during a recent performance of Legends in Concert.

BRANSON, Mo., September 25, 2013 – The new Fall schedule for Legends in Concert, the “World’s Greatest Live Tribute Show,” will feature tributes to Buddy Holly, Whitney Houston, Johnny Cash and The Blues Brothers™ as well as, a double-dose of Elvis. Running through October 31 it will include, for the first time ever in a single Legends in Concert production, two tributes to “The King” with each representing a different period in the his career.

Both of the Elvis tributes will be presented by tribute artists who have won the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. The show will open with the 1950s “Rockabilly” years presented by Dean Z, the reigning 2013 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist and a resident member of the Branson Legends in Concert cast. Bill Cherry, the 2009 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist will be the closing act of the show and highlight “the King’s concert years performing such hits as ‘Suspicious Minds,’ ‘Burning Love’ and ‘American Trilogy.'”

In a recent review of this show this writer wrote, “Legends in Concert would be great entertainment with just the mini concerts of its ‘superstar’ impersonators. With the addition of colorful costuming, the band and dancers all seamlessly choreographed into the performances of these superstars the show becomes an outstanding entertainment production and experience.

“Legends in Concert is to tribute shows what the Indianapolis 500 is to auto racing… It is the perfect illustration of why Legends in Concert has been around for 30 years and has millions of fans.”

For tickets or additional information on Legends in Concert or for information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website



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Daniel O’Donnell brings festive international show to Branson starting Nov. 1

Daniel O'Donnell.

BRANSON, Mo., September 24, 2013 – “What an honor it is for Branson that that Daniel O’Donnell choose to keep it as one of the cities on his reduced road tour,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “The fact that he will be performing at the beautiful Andy Williams Moon River Theatre is not only the fulfillment of one of O’Donnell’s early Branson wishes, but adds a special dynamic to the total entertainment experience provided by the Daniel O’Donnell Show,” she continued.

At the October 2012 press conference, when it was announced that he would be at the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre starting in 2013, O’Donnell related a story about his his first visit to Branson in the mid 90s, when he and his manager came to Branson to investigate the possibility of him doing shows in Branson. While on that visit they went to many theaters and saw a lot of great shows. One of those was Andy Williams in concert at the Moon River Theatre after which he said to his manager, “Maybe one day I’ll get to do shows in that theatre.”

Starting November 1 and running through December 7 that’s exactly what will be happening as O’Donnell presents his festive International show in the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre. Incorporating his charismatic and engaging style, he will present a blend of traditional Irish ballads, country favorites, and traditional gospel with an Irish twist that shows why he has sold millions of records and has been “a household name across Ireland and Great Britain for decade.” Appearing with O’Donnell will be guest star Mary Duff, one of Irelands’ top female vocalists.

In the United States O’Donnell has stared in several Public Broadcasting Network Specials  as well as  charting 18 albums in the Top 20 of Billboard’s World Music Album Chart.  In 2011, O’Donnell became the first artist to have an album in the UK charts for 25 consecutive weeks.

For additional information for the Daniel O’Donnell Show or for information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550.



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There’s country music shows and there’s Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express!

Clay Cooper singing "Rhinestone Cowboy."

BRANSON, Mo., September 15, 2013 – If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to read long “review,” pieces about shows, here’s all you have to know. Saying Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express Show in Branson is just another country music show makes about as much sense as saying “a California Redwood” is just another tree.” There’s trees and there’s California Redwoods; there’s country music shows and there’s Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express.

What makes it so exceptional? In a nutshell, the overall quality of the production; its star, both in terms of his voice and ability to actually make the audience a part of the performance; the magnificent choreography and dancing and its supporting cast. From before the curtain goes up until it drops this show is an “express” ride through two plus hours of the most engaging, energetic and talented entertainment available in Branson hosted by a performer who can work an audience as beautifully as he sings and his wife choreographs and dances.

As I stood in line at the ticket window, about 30 minutes before the show started, I was behind two older ladies who were working out a ticket exchange with a lady in the box office for a performance the next day. The caring way that the person in the box office handled the situation touched my heart, no pressure, no hurry, just, “How can we serve you best?”

They didn’t know it, but they were talking with Tina Cooper, the wife of Clay Cooper, who would be dancing in the opening number of the show about 25 minutes later. During the show Clay points out all the things she does, choreography, dancing and more, but what stands out in my mind is the way she does what she does. The grace, elegance and beauty of her dancing in the show, to this writer, was a reflection of what I witnessed as she served those two women before the show and represents the spirit and culture that resonates throughout the show.

Clay and Tina Cooper performing a "duet" of "You Are The Love of My Life."

Obviously the show’s star is Clay Cooper who performs a variety of music during the show. From the Glen Campbell hit, “Rhinestone Cowboy” to a neat impersonation of the Blues Brother’s “Soul Man” with his son Colton, the singing talents of Clay Cooper on just about any style of music is evident. This writer’s two favorite “Clay” numbers were the Roy Orbison hit ballad “Crying” and his performance of “You Are the Love of My Life” sung as part of a beautiful duet where Clay sang and his wife Tina danced creating a unique beautiful, elegant and touching entertainment memory.

If that was his only talent that would be enough, but he has that innate Neil McCoy ability to relate to his audience and draw them into their own entertainment experience. I am sure that some of his lines are triggers for the crowd, but once they are pulled or he adlibs on his own, the result is a warm comfortable humor where everyone is laughing, having fun and wondering what is coming next. If our show was any indication it could be anything, even a delivery from Walgreen’s, delivered to the surprise and delight of the audience. One thing for sure, whether it is his singing or interacting with the crowd Clay Cooper is a master at his craft and one with his audience.

The second major element in the show is the shows dancing. It’s choreographer, and one of the dancers herself is Tina Cooper, who has been dancing professionally since 1989 and holds a “Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Music Theatre with a Minor in Dance” from the University of Oklahoma. What a joy it is to is sit back and enjoy the beauty, grace and elegance of the way that she and “Country Express Dancers” Sarah Blackerby, Kelly Smith, Jenn Turner, Kristin Chandler, Elizabeth Harris, Corey Hanson, Matthew Smith and Tommy D’Amico as they add a new unique dimension to one of the most entertaining shows in Branson and demonstrate why they are one of its top dancing troupes.

 The “Country Express Band” is composed of RP Harrell, Piano and Musical Producer; John Lance, keyboard; Barry Bales, guitar; Dave Clark, bass guitar and Jimmy Hyde, drums. Although their talent is obvious throughout the whole show it is highlighted in their performance of the Doobie Brothers’ “Long Train Running.” On an individual basis, RP Harrell’s performance of “Bowed On My Knees and Cried Holy” and Dave Clark’s unique bass guitar performance of “Amazing Grace” were beautiful “Wow” moments.

Young Miss Ezrah Noelle.

Then there’s the preshow comedic antics of Matt Gumm, his talent as a musician and vocalist during the rest of the show; the amazing things that Johnny Lonestar does with a whip and rope and the voice and personality of ten year old singer Ezrah Noelle. When all the elements of this show are put together the result is “an ‘express’ ride through over two hours of the best, most unique, exciting, engaging and talented entertainment available in Branson.

Perhaps the words of the “two shadows,” friends who are kind enough to go with me and offer a second opinion, summed it up better. They said, “We absolutely recommend this show. Clay Cooper and the dancing is great, there is constant action, audience involvement and everyone is having fun.”

For additional information on the Clay Cooper Country Music Express Show or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website.


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Latest Info Branson Fall season Limited Engagement performances

Bill Cosby

BRANSON, Mo., September 9, 2013 – “On a daily basis Branson is blessed with some of the finest entertainers anywhere presenting almost 100 live shows per day offering a quality and variety of live entertainment that is absolutely amazing,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. She explained that it is these “resident” Branson Shows that form the foundation upon which Branson’s live entertainment reputation is based.

Supplementing that foundation and giving Branson visitors more exciting live entertainment choices are the periodic limited engagement performances of nationally known performers and acts. These performances are for a limited specific period of time and are typically for short periods of time, some as short as one performance.

In addition to the Fall foliage and everything else Branson has to offer a number of nationally known stars and acts will be performing limited engagements in Branson this Fall. The following list, obtained from the Official Branson.Com Show Schedule, powered by the Branson Tourism Center, is sorted alphabetically with a link for each to scheduling, ticket pricing and other information:

A Wartime Romance

Lee Greenwood

Bill Cosby

Charlie Daniels Band

Charley Pride

Clint Black

Crystal Gayle, T.G. Sheppard and Janie Fricke


Daniel O'Donnell

Daniel O’Donnell

David Frizzell & Shelly West

Diamond Rio

Don Williams

Gatlin Brothers

Dinner with Yakov

Grits and Glamour Tour

Starring Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan

Happy Together

Featuring Flo and Eddie, Mickey Dolenz, Gary Puckett & Union Band, and Mark Lindsay

Jim Belushi & The Chicago Board of Comedy

John Anderson

John Conlee & Bobby Bare

John Michael Montgomery


Kenny Rogers

Kenny Rogers

Lynn Anderson

Marty Stuart

Mel Tillis

Midwest Country Stars

Neal McCoy

Oak Ridge Boys

Rich Little

Ronnie Milsap & Connie Smith

Ronnie McDowell and the Sweethearts of the Rodeo

Sawyer Brown

Steve Wariner and Jeannie Seely

The Grascals Appearing At Larry’s Country Diner

Wilson and Fairchild Appearing At Larry’s Country Diner

Although not limited engagement shows it should be pointed out that the last scheduled performance of the Roy Rogers Jr. Show will be November 27 and that October 18th will be the last opportunity to see tthe spectacular production of Joseph at the Sight and Sound Theatre. Starting on November 2nd the Sight and Sound will be featuring another amazing production the Miracle of Christmas until December 28th. Joseph will be replaced by another spectacular biblical epic Jonah starting with the 2014 season.

For additional information on any of the shows mentioned in this article or for information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, and talk with one of their local Branson based Travel Planners by calling 1-800-785-1550.

“it” short name huge Branson entertainment experience

The Hughes Brothers Marty, left, Adam, Andy, Ryan and Jason.

BRANSON, Mo., September 6, 2013 – In terms of sport gear and footwear Nike advises “Just Do It” and in terms of fast food McDonalds says “I’m lovin it ,” but based on what this writer saw this week he would suggest that in terms of Branson shows it could be said “it is huge entertainment for the whole family.” Some may ask, “Shouldn’t the word ‘it’ be changed to ‘they’ to reflect that Branson shows are huge entertainment for the whole family?”

The answer would be “Yes” as applied to all Branson shows, but “No” as used in this context because we are talking about just one of Branson’s shows, it! Its billing as a “little word BIG show” relates to more than size and goes to the very essence of the show in terms of the total outstanding entertainment experience this show provides.

From beginning to end this production show is a fast paced cornucopia of music, comedy, dancing and color staring a cast of over 50 vocalists, dancers and musicians and featuring the Hughes Brothers and their incredibly talented families. Taken in total, the Hughes family is considered the largest family performing together in a live stage production, but that’s just the beginning.

Part of the colorful beginning to the shows patriotic segment.

From the opening to the final curtain, whether it is a segment with the Hughes Brothers themselves, their extremely talented wives, small kids or teens each segment is quality entertainment presented in an extremely professional, personable and entertaining manner. Although the Hughes Brothers themselves are featured, let there be no doubt about the fact that the “family” is the star of it and what makes it one of very few Branson shows with the ability to simultaneously entertain children and adults at the same time. What a joy it was to watch the kids in the audience react as they watched their “peers” perform on stage at the same time the adults they were with were clapping and appeared to be enjoying themselves too.

I would typically try to list all the cast members of the show, but for this one, based on the total number of cast members and the emphasis of the show on the participation of the whole family I will not do it this time. The musical breadth of this show is amazing and covers everything from country, to classical, gospel, rock pop and more. Factor in the vocal and instrumental talents of the Hughes Brothers and their families in presenting that music, colorful costuming, their energy, the ability of the entire cast to relate to the audience, a great live band and the result is a show filled with great music, fun, energy and excitement from beginning to end for everyone.

The Hughes children presenting an absolutely beautiful and inspirational performance of "I Am A Child of God.."

This is one fast paced show that transitions from one exciting, colorful and entertaining segment to another. Realizing the subjectivity involved I typically mention three segments or moments in a show that were my favorites. Among many for this show it would be “The Hughes Brothers” dynamite opening segment displaying their great talent and vocal range on music from rock and pop to classical; the Hughes kids as they beautifully sang an inspiring rendition of “I Am A Child of God” and the violin/fiddle medley presented by the Hughes’ children of a variety of music from “Simple Gifts,” played by Kristina Hughes to the “Barber of Seville Theme” with about six other numbers in between. It was a joy to see and hear.

The shows fantastic energetic opening established the tenor for the whole show and starts with the number “Can You Feel It.” That’s one of the beauties of this show, from beginning to end you will feel it; that feeling of being thoroughly entertained as the Hughes family shares their talent and family with yours drawing you into a very special and unique entertainment experience. This a unique Branson “gem” that truly entertains adults and children simultaneously at virtually the same high level throughout the whole show and should be considered for everyone’s “Branson Show’s Bucket List.”

For additional information or tickets on it or for information or tickets for any of Branson’s shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website.



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Hooray For Hollywood a spectacular musical celebration of Hollywood’s greatest music

The cute uniqueness of its opening number with "usherette" Tiffany Sassanell auditioning for a part in the show.

BRANSON, Mo., September 1, 2013 — What do you get when you have some of the greatest music from Hollywood films being performed live on stage by four extraordinary vocalists, a superb cast of dancers in a spectacular, colorful, entertaining and beautifully choreographed production? In this writer’s opinion it would be two hours of the most entertaining vocal and dancing performances on any Branson stage while watching the extremely entertaining production show Hooray For Hollywood.

From the 1952 musical comedy Singing in the Rain to the 2012 epic musical drama Les Miserables, Hooray For Hollywood  is a non-stop extravaganza of some of the greatest musical moments from the last 50 years of Hollywood film making presented live on stage. That’s “what” is being done, but it’s “how” it is done that makes this show such a wonderful entertainment experience.

When one considers that the performers in this show are performing some of the greatest musical moments in film making history the performance of the show’s singers and dancers is of critical importance. The vocal and dancing skills of this cast, in number after number, displays a level of talent that is absolutely amazing. The vocals are performed by Tony Turner, Cory Seay, Tiffany Sassanella, and Heather Petersen. The shows dancers are Becca Jennings, Amy Morlang, Shelley Tees, Kelly Weigand, Ruth Robertson, Tom Gray, Martin Bennett, Aaron LeMoine, Ollie Barrow, Clark Roberts and Charles Redding.

The way that the costuming, special effects and film clips are seamlessly integrated into each number with the vocals and dancing results in a different “mini production” for each different film and helps make this show the great entertainment experience it is. In the case of the film Titanic, it was a simple elegant “production” consisting of Tiffany Sassanella’s beautiful rendition of My Heart Will Go On,” accented by a beautiful gown, lighting effects and a video clip from the movie that created a unique and touching performance.

On the other hand, the “production” of “Less Miserables” involved three vocal solos, each with its own “mini set,” and the entire cast in its “finale.” The vocals, I Dreamed A Dream, by Tiffany Sassanella; On My Own, by Heather Petersen and Stars by Cory Seay, combined with the full cast performance of Do You Hear the People Sing, in this writer’s opinion, is one of the most powerful, moving and inspirational performances he has seen performed in a Branson show.

The "high flying" Heather Petersen performing "Feed The Birds" from Mary Poppins

And that’s just two of the many performances that follow, seamlessly one after the other. From many and realizing his opinion is subjective, this writers favorite three would be the “Usherette” opening to the show because it illustrates, very dramatically, the talent in this show the unique entertaining manner that will showcase that talent. Heather Peterson’s “hi flying” performance of Feed The Birds from Mary Poppins was as was another example of great vocal talent combined with “high flying special effects” and of course, as mentioned above, Less Miserables.

“It’s a tough act to follow,” comes into play when a show is presenting, live on stage, some of the most spectacular, memorable and beloved musical moments from over 50 years of Hollywood films. Hooray For Hollywood not only meets that challenge, but with its talented performers and great production makes those moments “its own.”

For additional information on Hooray For Hollywood please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website,


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Unique honors sparkle for three Branson Stars

Buck Trent and his marker on the Spartanburg Music Trail.

BRANSON, Mo., August 28, 2013 – “Recently, three Branson entertainers, Buck Trent, Mickey Gilley and Dean Z were each honored in separate and unique events,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Although each recognition was unique, the common thread between them was honoring and acknowledging the talent, accomplishments, and professionalism of each” she continued.

“Oh Yeah”, thumbs up and “Uh Huh!” as Spartanburg, SC, honored its native son, internationally acclaimed banjo picker and entertainer Buck Trent, for a distinguished entertainment career that has spanned over half a century. The city declared August 26th as “Buck Trent Day” and unveiled the “Buck Trent Marker” on the “Spartanburg Music Trail.”

Although, throughout his career Trent has received numerous honors and awards including twice being named the “Country Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year” he said that being honored by his hometown was really something special. Visitors to Branson can experience this amazing entertainer in the Buck Trent Show throughout the season.

The legendary Mickey Gilley will be inducted into the National Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame on August 31st in Le Mars, Iowa as part of its 38th Annual National Old-Time Country & Bluegrass Festival. Gilley who has earned numerous awards including the Academy of Country Music’s Entertainer of the Year said that he was “surprised and honored to be nominated for this prestigious award.”

Although many thought his career was over after receiving a paralyzing injury in 2009 Gilley is currently performing his Mickey Gilley show at his Branson theatre, Sunday through Wednesday. In addition he will be the guest host for Branson Tourism Center’s next exclusive Cruise With The Stars event at 11:45 AM on September 19 providing his fans with an unparalleled up close and personal experience with Gilley including opportunities for photos and autographs.

Dean Z, who has been performing as the Elvis Tribute Artist in the Branson edition of the Legends in Concert Show since 2007, won the national “Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest,” in front of a full house at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in Memphis, TN on August 27. Sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ involved hundreds of Elvis tribute artists competing in 28 preliminary Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ events all over the United States for cash and an invitation to the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ Semi-Finals in Memphis during Elvis Week. “At Legends in Concert we take great pride that our tribute artists are the best of the best,” said Jeannie Horton, General Manager, of the Branson Legends in Concert Theatre. “We have always known that Dean Z was one of the best Elvis Tribute Artists out there and we are just thrilled that now the whole world knows,” she continued.