Category Archives: Branson Shows

“Buzzin in Branson” buzzes for February 2015

Dublin's Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies open their 2015 Branson season on February 12.

Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies open their 2015 Branson season on February 12.

Branson “Buzz of the Month:” Branson’s 21st Annual Hot Winter Fun Big Show on February 2. This fabulous one night only show features music, entertainment and comedy acts from some of Branson’s best shows, all of which are open for Branson’s Hot Winter including Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Grand Jubilee; Legends In Concert; “it” from the Hughes Brothers Theater; Paul Harris & The Cleverlys; Acrobats of China featuring New Shanghai Circus; AYO – starring Voices of Glory and SIX to name just a few. While we’re at it, we are going to highlight another special day in February for many people by asking this question, “Could Branson be the perfect Valentine for your sweetheart?” “Buzzin in Branson” is produced monthly by the Branson Tourism Center as a service to its customers and others interested in what’s going on in Branson. It is in a concise and easy to read format that conveniently provides pertinent and timely comments, information and a list of the major special events, shows and activities for the month being “Buzzed” which, in this case is February 2015.

February 2015 Buzzes

Feb. 1 – Feb. 28: Sweetheart Month at Titanic Feb. 2: 21st Annual Hot Winter Fun Big Show Feb. 13: Tri Lakes Building & Home Show Feb.13 – Feb. 16: Presidents Day Weekend: Just have to believe that there will Presidents Day Sales galore in Branson Outlet Malls, Branson Landing and many other places. Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day Feb. 14: 2015 Polar Bear Plunge Feb. 20 – Feb 22: VisionCon Anime, Gaming, Sci-Fi Convention Feb. 22: 2015 Branson Bridal Show Feb. 26 – Feb 28: 2015 Kenneth Copeland Branson Victory Campaign Feb. 27 – Mar 1: Edgewater USAG Woman’s Artistic Gymnastics Classic Feb 28: Vince Elfrink Memorial Fishing Tournament at Lilley’s Landing Feb. 28: World Sword Swallower’s Day Events at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Many of Branson’s shows close for a period during the winter months. Although it should be pointed out that there are shows re-opening on a regular basis, here is a non-inclusive list of the shows that will be performing during February as of January 8:

Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies Grand Jubilee Haygoods Legends in Concert New Jersey Nights Pierce Arrow Absolutely Patsy Amazing Pets Bon Jovi Tribute Comedy Jamboree Creedence Clearwater Revival Tribute Show Dixie Stampede Doowop Pop and Soul Tribute Show Eagles Tribute Concert Hot Winter Fun Big Show it at the Hughes Brothers Theatre Journey Tribute Ozark Mountain Jubilee Sunday Gospel Jubilee The Big Show

With winter weather and, the reopening of shows things can change. Please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, for additional information, tickets or hotel reservations by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Could Branson be the perfect Valentine for your sweetheart?

Valentine's DayWhen Thomas Hood wrote the words, “Oh, if it be to choose and call thee mine, love, thou art every day my Valentine” he just might have had Branson, Missouri in mind as the place to show that someone special that they “Art every day my Valentine!” “Valentine’s Day Falls on a four day weekend because Monday, February 16 is “Presidents Day,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center, “and that, coupled with Branson’s shows, attractions, restaurants, shopping and everything else there is to do in Branson provides a unique opportunity to show your Valentine just how special they are.” Since the movie “Titanic,” with its beautiful love story and theme song “My Heart Will Go On” sung by Celine Dion, romance has had a resurgence as part of the Titanic lore. The celebration, memory and history of the Titanic, her crew and passengers is a daily privilege for those working aboard the Branson Titanic Museum Attraction and February is “Sweetheart Month.” How special would it be to your Valentine to renew your vows or receive a proposal on the steps of the Titanic’s magnificent “Grand Staircase” that is an “exact full sized replica of the original and just like the one Rose and Jack ascended in the movie?” In addition, on Valentine’s Day, February 14, meet Helen Benziger, the Great Granddaughter of Margaret “Unsinkable Molly” Brown and see, for a limited time only, the display of her family’s prized possession, the LOVING CUP. For most, Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be Valentine’s Day without a special meal. From the simple down home cooking of the “Branson Café” in historic downtown Branson, to the elegant cuisine of the “Level 2 Steak House” or the “Chateau on the Lake,” and many in between, Branson offers a variety of choices for every budget to help you and your Valentine have that memorable Valentine’s Day dining experience. A number of Branson’s shows will be offering a wide variety of live entertainment to share with your Valentine including: Dublin’s Irish Tenors and The Celtic Ladies Grand Jubilee The Haygoods Legends in Concert Absolutely Patsy Amazing Pets Bon Jovi Tribute Comedy Jamboree it at the Hughes Brothers Theatre Eagles Tribute Concert Pierce Arrow In addition to the Titanic Museum Attraction, many of Branson’s other attractions will be open for Valentine’s Day weekend. These include attractions such at Branson’s Promised Land Zoo, National Tiger Sanctuary, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum and, weather permitting, the Thousand Hills Golf. Why not plan to celebrate Valentine’s Day, with your special Valentine, in Branson? For additional information on celebrating Valentine’s Day in Branson or tickets for 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 their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Special preview on what’s new in Branson for 2015

Spirit of the Dance will again be performing in Branson as part of its encore tour.

Spirit of the Dance will again be performing in Branson as part of its encore tour.

“From a unique cave tour evolving into what is today, the international award winning 1880’s styled theme park, “Silver Dollar City” to “Branson Landing,” one of Missouri’s most unique shopping venues with over 100 specialty stores, restaurants and its free spectacular $7.5 million water attraction, Branson is constantly evolving and changing to provide its visitors with a fresh, new and exciting experience while maintaining its small town heart, spirit and visitor experience,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Here’s a list of some of the changes we are aware of for the 2015 Branson season that we believe Branson visitors might find interesting,” she added.

ATTRACTIONS

Fireman’s Landing (Silver Dollar City) – Its new $8 million “Fireman’s Landing, “containing 10 new family adventures,” will continue the parks 1880s theme and is themed and as an 1880’s volunteer recruitment fair with rides and attractions for ages 3 to 93. Brad Thomas, the General Manager of the park, said that one of the things he likes best about “Fireman’s Landing” is that “families will be able to have fun together and we love it when we can bring families together and allow them to have fun as a family unit.”

One of the featured rides will be “Fireman’s Firefall” rising 80 feet into the air for a beautiful view of the Ozark Mountains; “but,” says Thomas, “You’ve got to keep your eyes open because in a second you go from 80 feet in the air all the way to the ground.” Lisa Rau, said, “Construction is right on target for its April 2015 Grand Opening.”

Harlem Globetrotters (Silver Dollar City) – The “Harlem Globetrotters will perform three times a day during Silver Dollar City’s “Star-Spangled Summer, a family-focused festival, running from June 6 through July 19. This exciting and entertaining 30 minute show will feature “highlights from the Globetrotters’ one-of-a-kind touring show.”

Parakeet Pete’s Balloon Rides (Branson Landing) – When completed by next spring, the “tethered” balloon ride will tower 180 feet above Branson Landing. Its unique construction permits its riders to experience the thrill of a hot air balloon ride without the weather restrictions that hamper the operation of the typical tethered balloon ride operating outside of a tower. The ride will be handicap accessible and there will be no age requirements so virtually anyone will be able to experience the thrill and enjoyment of the ride.

SHOWS

Million Dollar Quartet _ “The Welk Resort Theatre is proud to present an all-new production of the “Million Dollar Quartet.” The Tony Award winning Broadway musical is inspired by the electrifying true story of one of the most famed recording sessions of all time, where Sam Phillips, the “Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” brought together icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for one unforgettable night. Featuring a treasure trove of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, R&B and country hits from these music legends, including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Ghost Riders,” and “Whole Lotta’ Shakin’ Goin’ On,” Million Dollar Quartet captures the infectious spirit and thrilling sounds of a singular moment when four of the music industry’s most extraordinary talents, all in their creative prime, came together for one of the most memorable nights in music history. Million Dollar Quartet opens June 2015 and runs through December at Welk Resort Theatre.”

Spirit of the Dance the Encore Tour – Branson’s most popular dance production, “Spirit of the Dance,” is returning to Branson, after its “its International record breaking “Dream Tour.” to delight and captivate Branson audiences for the 2015 season. “Spirit of the Dance” is one of the most successful shows ever to come out of Ireland, has been seen by more than thirty million people around the world and “has won nine Global Awards, including ‘Best Choreography’ and ‘Best International Production.'”

Puttin’ on the Ritz – “Puttin’on the Ritz,” currently appearing to sold out venues worldwide on its current tour with “Spirit Productions,” will be performing at the King’s Palace Theatre in Branson for the 2015 season. It features the most innovative song and dance routines from major musical films over the last 50 years of the golden age of Hollywood and a dazzling tribute to the Award Winning Fred Astaire recreated live on stage. The elegance, grace, originality and precision of tap, ballet, and ballroom dancing is promised to be “one of Branson’s most thrilling experience in 2015!”

Twice Adopted – Although this amazing group of adopted children has performed in Branson before, they did not perform in 2014. The sudden tragic death of the “mother” last year has inspired the kids and has resulted in a unique, inspirational show filled with absolutely beautiful music that will not only entertain the whole family, but touch your heart in a special way.

Terry Fator – The “America’s Got Talent” winner returns to Branson for two nights only on April 18 and 19 at the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre.

Moon River and Me – New show at the Andy Williams Moon River Theater

The Hits Starring the Osmonds – Andy Williams Moon River Theatre

Branson Landing Fountain Show – (Branson Landing) There will be three new “Fountain Shows added to the 2015 schedule including “Carol of the Bells” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a the unforgettable “Hoe-Down Rodeo Ballet” by Aaron Copland – London Symphony Orchestra and “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi.

Wake Up With Yakov – Brand new morning show with one of Americas most beloved comedians, Yakov Smirnoff.

Buckets N Boards – This comedy percussion show that’s chock-full of precise percussion, ridiculous songs, spectacular tap dancing, inventive instrumentation, and incredibly unique musical talent is moving to the Starlite Theatre for the 2015 season.

#1 Hits of the 60’s (and 50’s Too) –  Amber Campell, the owner of the show and one of its entertainers, said that they are really enthused about moving to the Americana Theatre for their 2015 season, that it’s their 13th year in Branson and the opportunity the move affords for expanding the shows production. She is especially excited about adding a live band to the show in the 2015.

Acrobats of China – Moving from the RFD Theatre to Yakov’s Theatre

Fair Family – Moving to the Americana Theatre

George Dyer – Branson’s premier resident tenor will be moving his George Dyer show from the morning slot at the Duttons theatre to the afternoon slot.

RESTAURANTS

Buffalo Wild Wings is opening in Branson Landing on January 5.

Chick fil A, located just east of the intersection of Highway 76 and Highway 65, is progressing nicely and it looks like it will be open for the start of the 2015 season if not earlier.

Located near the Titanic Museum Attraction, "Pasghetti’s" is well under way for a 2015 opening.

Located near the Titanic Museum Attraction, “Pasghetti’s” is well under way for a 2015 opening.

Pasghetti’s, an Italian restaurant will open next to the Starlite Theatre on 76 County Boulevard. Although no definite date has been announced for the opening, this photo, taken on Dec. 30 indicates that its construction is well underway. It is anticipated that its 15 foot meatball with its 50 foot fork sticking out of it will become another “Branson Strip Icon.”

Branson Tourism Center’s Wood points out that these are just some of the changes we are aware of at this time and that things are constantly evolving in the Branson tourism industry. She suggests that one way to stay abreast of what is happening is through a free subscription to Branson Tourism Center’s free Exclusive Branson News and Information Newsletter. She also points out that the free assistance of a Branson based “Branson Tourism Center Trip Planner” is available to answer any questions or assist with show or lodging reservations by calling 1-800-785-1550.

“Buzzin in Branson” during January 2015

"New South" quartet, David Ragan, left, Luke Menard, Jon Brockelman and Mark McCaulley.

“New South” quartet, David Ragan, left, Luke Menard, Jon Brockelman and Mark McCaulley.

Branson “Buzz of the Month:”

Grand Country’s Grand Jubilee, staring the “New South” quartet, will be the first of Branson’s almost 100 shows to premier their 2015 season show. Mike Patrick, General Manager and Producer of Grand Country Shows, said, “We start rehearsing for next year’s show while we are doing our Christmas Show and actually premier it during our New Year’s Eve show and party. We are really excited about the new show with new music, fresh comedy and some really ‘grand’ surprises.”

“Buzzin in Branson” is produced monthly by the Branson Tourism Center as a service to its customers and others interested in what’s going on in Branson. It is in a concise and easy to read format that conveniently provides pertinent and timely comments, information and a list of the major special events, shows and activities for the month being “Buzzed” which, in this case is January 2015.

Buzzin in Branson during January 2015

Dec. 31: OK, so strictly speaking it’s not happening in January, but New Year’s Eve in Branson will sure be an exciting end to 2014 and beginning of 2015.
Jan. 1 – 31: The vast majority of Branson’s Attractions such as the Titanic Museum Attraction, Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, the National Tiger Sanctuary, Promised Land Zoo, and many others are open year round. Branson’s retail shopping, including its major outlet malls and Branson Landing, are open year round.
Jan. 1 – 31: The majority of Branson’s shows are closed for their winter break and to prepare for the 2015 season during January and those that are open are operating on “winter” schedules. The following list includes some of the major shows that will be open, a general scheduling note and a link to additional information, specific schedules and ticketing information:

Amazing Pets
The Haygoods (January 3 Only)
Legends in Concert (January1-3 Only)
Dixie Stampede (January 1-3 Only)
Comedy Jamboree (Dark January 4-15)
Grand Jubilee (Dark January 4-13)
it at the Hughes Brothers Theatre (Starts Jan. 20)
Branson Country USA (Starts Jan. 30)

Jan 1 – Jan 15: White Flight at The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure
Jan 1: New Year’s Day
Jan 1: Chateau on the Lake – New Year’s Day Champagne Brunch
Jan 23: Titanic Museum Attraction’s Girls Sleepover
Jan 24: The Master Trout Fishing Tournament at Lilley’s Landing

Please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, for additional information, tickets or hotel reservations by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Six things you should know about Branson Christmas shows

The  "Andy Williams Christmas Show" is just one of the spectacular Branson Christmas shows.

The “Andy Williams Christmas Show” is just one of the spectacular Branson Christmas shows.

“This is one of the most exciting times of the year in Branson and that is especially so for Branson Shows,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Each show is like a wrapped present under the Christmas tree waiting to be unwrapped and bring joy and happiness,” she added.

Here is a list of six things you should know about Branson Christmas shows:

1. Ozark Mountain Christmas – Branson’s live shows are an important part of all that Branson is every day, but in conjunction with Ozark Mountain Christmas, its Christmas shows share the “Christmas Spirit” and “the reason for the season” with their audiences in a very special and personal way.

2. All Christmas Shows are Limited Engagement Performances – Branson’s Christmas Shows usually start during the first week of Nov. and run to the end of their season which will typically be the first week in Dec. through Dec. 31.

SIX is one of many of Branson's performing families.

SIX performing during the Christmas portion of their show.

3. Plan because all shows are not open through Christmas – Many Branson shows end their season by the end of the second week in December. These include some of Branson’s most popular shows including Presleys’ Country Jubilee, Andy Williams Christmas Show, with the Osmonds and Lennon Sisters, Mickey Gilley, Shoji Tabuchi, Duttons and George Dyer. Other popular shows such as Billy Dean Live!, Doug Gabriel’s #1 Hits Tribute Show, Christmas Wonderland, Clay Cooper’s Country Express, Dublin Tenors and the Celtic Ladies, New Jersey Nights, Grand Jubilee, Haygoods, Hughe’s Brothers Christmas Show, Legends in Concert, SIX, Paul Harris and the Cleverlys, Christmas on the Trail, The Rankin Brothers and Dixie Stampede are open to the end of the third week in Dec. or beyond.

4. Two General Christmas Show Formats – It can generally be said that Branson’s Christmas shows follow one of two formats. The first is shows that are totally Christmas such as the Andy Williams Christmas Show, Christmas on the Trail, Christmas Wonderland and the Hughes Brothers Christmas Show. The second and by far the more prevalent is the “rest” of the Christmas shows that are a mixture of their regular season shows and Christmas. Typically one half of the show is devoted to the best of their regular season show and the other half, usually the last half, to their Christmas show.

5. Limited Seating Capacity – It’s no exaggeration to say that Ozark Mountain Christmas is not only one of the most special times of the year to visit Branson, but that it is also one of the busiest. The limited time these shows run and the demand for their tickets makes it imperative to make early reservations to not only insure availability, but to get the best seats. In this regard the Branson Tourism Center has sold over 4,000,000 million Branson show and attraction tickets and has a special relationship with its theatre partners that helps insure that their customers not only get tickets, but get the best available seats at the time they are purchased. Branson Tourism Center can be reached by phone at 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

6. OK, I know the title said “Branson Christmas shows” but I just have to mention that Branson’s most popular new show, Sight and Sound’s spectacular biblical production Jonah. It will be performing through Dec. 31 and although it’s not a Christmas show it sure would make a wonderful family Christmas memory and it is certainly related to the “reason for the season.” Come to think of it, seeing any Branson Christmas show and sharing it with your family is a wonderful way to get in the Christmas spirit, appreciate “the reason for the season” and make a special Christmas memory.

 

BTC Preferred Event presents a unique opportunity for Neal McCoy Fans

Country music legend Neal McCoy.

Country music legend Neal McCoy.

“Attending the Neal McCoy show is two hours of nonstop fun, entertainment, humor and music presented by one of the most personable and talented entertainers around,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC). “Although it’s hard to imagine how attending his show could be any more of an entertainment experience, some of those who are attending the Neal McCoy show on Nov. 13, and have purchased their tickets through the Branson Tourism Center, will have an exclusive opportunity to enhance that experience by meeting with Neal prior to his 3:00 p.m. show.

This exclusive BTC Preferred Event is just another of many value added features that makes doing business with BTC such a pleasure. The exclusive free event is limited to the first 75 people purchasing tickets to the Nov. 13 performance of the Neal McCoy show from BTC and registering for the event. It starts at 2:30 p.m. and will be conducted in a private room at the theatre.

Neal has received the Entertainer of the Year award twice, won Video of the Year, has three Platinum Albums, one Gold album and nine number one hits. He is one of the legends of country music; yet, in responding to the question, “What one thing do you want potential Branson audiences coming to your show to know about the show,” he said, “We want the folks who come to our show to know that we’re here to entertain them. I’m not coming to show you how good I can sing or how good my band is. We’re here to make sure you’re part of the show and that you have enjoyed yourself when you leave.”

What better way to start enjoying yourself and becoming “part of the show” than by meeting and interacting with this country music legend during this unique exclusive Preferred Event. Wood reminds those that might want to take advantage of this special opportunity that it is limited to the first 75 who register for the event after purchasing tickets from BTC to the Nov. 13 performance of Neal’s show. She suggests making reservations as soon as possible.

For further information on this special event, tickets for the Neal McCoy show, or any other Branson show, please feel free to call the Branson Tourism Center at 800-785-1550.

“Buzzin in Branson” buzzes for November 2014

Branson “Buzz of the Month”

The first week of November features Branson Veterans Home Coming Week, the start of Ozark Mountain Christmas, and the premiering of Branson’s 2014 Christmas Shows.

“Buzzin in Branson” is produced monthly by the Branson Tourism Center as a service to its customers and others interested in what’s going on in Branson. It is in a concise and easy to read format that conveniently provides pertinent and timely comments, information and a list of the major special events, shows and activities for the month being “Buzzed” which, in this case is November 2014.

 

Veteran's Memorial Garden, located at the junction of Roark Road and Hwy. 76, provides  a special  welcome those attending Branson's Veterans Home Coming Week.

Veteran’s Memorial Garden, located at the junction of Roark Road and Hwy. 76, provides a special welcome those attending Branson’s Veterans Home Coming Week.

Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week is a seven day celebration running from Nov. 5 through Nov. 11 of each year, is America’s biggest ‘Veterans Day’ tribute and, among many other events honoring Veterans, will feature the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall at the Welk Resort and one of America’s longest running Veterans parades, the 81st ‘Branson’s Veterans Day Parade,’ through historic downtown Branson starting at the 11th Hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Click here for more information and a schedule of most of the major events.

The  "Andy Williams Christmas Show" is just one of the spectacular Branson Christmas shows.

The “Andy Williams Christmas Show” is just one of the spectacular Branson Christmas shows.

Branson’s great live shows premier their Christmas shows during the first week of November. Except for those shows such as the Shoji Tabuchi Show, Andy Williams Christmas Show and Christmas Wonderland that are strictly Christmas shows. Most Branson Christmas shows will be a blend of highlights from their 2014 regular season show with a special Christmas segment that is generally presented during the second half of the show. These shows, especially those from the “family performed shows” such as Presleys, Coopers, Haygoods, Six, Duttons, Hughes Brothers, Gabriels and Dyers, to mention a few, are as unique as the families presenting them and are a special Christmas blessing. Click here for complete information, scheduling and prices for Branson’s shows. It should be noted that the Sight and Sound Theatre will be presenting its spectacular new show Jonah throughout the Christmas season.

 

Silver Dollar City lights up for its  "An Old Time Christmas" celebration.

Silver Dollar City lights up for its “An Old Time Christmas” celebration.

Ozark Mountain Christmas runs from November 1 through December 31, is a wonderful unique Christmas experience combining the very best of what Branson has to offer into a community wide traditional American Christmas celebration that is not available anywhere else. In addition to Branson’s Christmas shows, other highlights include Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas; millions of Christmas Lights and beautiful decorations throughout Branson highlighted by theBranson Area Festival of Lights and the Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights; great shopping and the celebration of the true meaning of Christmas highlighted by the 66th annualAdoration Lighting Ceremony and Parade,dedicated to “Keeping Christ in Christmas,” which will be held on December 7 in historic downtown Branson.

Some of the stars making Nov. Limited Engagement Appearances in Branson.

Some of the stars performing Nov. Limited Engagement shows in Branson.

The following list of major November events, limited engagement shows and activities is sorted by date and contains a link or other contact for further information.

Nov 1 – Dec 7: Dinner With Yakov
Nov 1 – Dec 31: Titanic Museum Attraction – Tribute to Musicians
Nov 1 – Dec 30: Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas Festival
Nov 1 – Dec 30: Branson Limousine Christmas Light Tour
Nov 1 – Dec 31: Branson Area Festival of Lights
Nov 1 – Jan 15: White Flight at The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure
Nov 2: 24th Annual Branson Motorcycle Toy Run
Nov 4 -23: Limited Engagement Oak Ridge Boys
Nov 5 – Nov 11: Branson Veterans Homecoming Week
Nov. 5 – Nov 6: Limited Engagement Roy Clark
Nov 7: Limited Engagement – Charlie Daniels
Nov 8 – Nov 9: Limited Engagement Mollie B Christmas Show
Nov 9: Limited Engagement – Don Williams
Nov 12: Limited Engagement – Crystal Gayle
Nov 12 – Nov 13:Limited Engagement – Neal McCoy
Nov 13: Branson Tourism Center Preferred Event with Neal McCoy
Nov 14 – Nov 15: Limited Engagement – Johnny Mathis Christmas
Nov 16: Limited Engagement – Charley Pride
Nov 19 – Nov 20: Limited Engagement – Neal McCoy
Nov 21 – Nov 22: Sandi Patty Christmas Featuring 100 Voices Choir
Nov 25: Limited Engagement – Neal McCoy
Nov 27: Thanksgiving Day
Nov 27: Thanksgiving Brunch at Chateau on the Lake
Nov 27 – Nov 30: Tanger Mall Moonlight Madness Sale – Begins 8 p.m. Thanksgiving Night
Nov 30: Limited Engagement – Martina McBride

Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center points out that the month of November is one of the busiest, if not the busiest, month of the Branson season and suggests making advance reservations for shows and lodging to ensure not only availability, but the best seats and accommodations available. For information on any of Branson’s events or shows please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-785-1550 and talk with one of their Branson based trip planners who will be delighted to answer questions as well as  assisting with show ticketing or lodging reservations.

 

Why Presleys’ Country Jubilee is an unequalled Branson entertainment experience

 

Three generations of Presley comedy Herkimer, Cecil and Cecil Jr.

Three generations of Presley comedy Herkimer, Cecil and Cecil Jr.

Going to Presleys’ Country Jubilee is more than going to a show, it’s an experience that is unequalled in Branson. Where else in Branson can you see three generations of performers spanning from today back to the original cast who opened “Branson’s first show on the Strip” in 1967? In what other theatre in Branson can you walk into a lobby that’s as comfortable and inviting as Presleys’, join in a live gospel sing along, and enjoy the smell of roasting “Glazed Almonds and Pecans” made from a “secret” recipe developed by “Cecil,” Eric Presley?

Obviously the way the questions are crafted, the answer is, “None,” but that’s the point. From its lobby to the show itself seeped in history and talent, there is nothing else in Branson offering the total entertainment experience for the whole family that a night at Presleys’ Country Jubilee offers. Its unique hilarious comedy, with a familial flair, combined with some of the best vocalists and instrumentalists in Branson, colorful costuming and great production provides an entertainment experience that demonstrates why this show has achieved legendary status and has been a consistent favorite of Branson audiences for over 47 years.

Since the Presleys’ opened on the Branson strip, Gary Presley, known on the stage as “Herkimer,” has been performing his unique blend of Ozark comedy. In combination with his son, Eric, “Cecil” in the show, their comedy is a unique blend of Ozark humor, one liners, action and skits that always seem to be relevant to current events and keeps the audience, kids and adults alike, laughing throughout the show.

Jay Wickizer, one of the shows vocalists, acts as the “straight man” or go-between in much of the comedy. One of my favorite comedic moments was the reconciliation of Herkimer and Cecil and what “being ‘open’ to reconciliation” meant to them. Another was the skit when young Master Benjamin Presley, the son of Eric, appeared as “Cecil Jr.”

The show is a well-coordinated mixture of music and comedy. Its format of one or two musical numbers followed by a comedy segment, coupled with the variety of ways each is performed, holds the audience’s attention, including kids, throughout the whole show. From their all cast opening number, “Take Me Back To The Country” to their finale, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” the music in this show, while definitely favoring country, has something for everyone including gospel, rock and roll and more, all performed by superb musicians and vocalists.

Ambrus Presley performing  "Over the Rainbow."

Ambrus Presley performing “Over the Rainbow.”

To say the vocal performances were outstanding would be an understatement. The shows vocalists Ambrus Presley, Kimberly Barber, Devonna Wickizer, Lauren Presley, Jay Wickizer, Tim Gregg, Chuck Crain, Scott Presley and Bruce Haynes performed a range of music in a variety of ways, solos, duets and quartets. A few of my personal favorite vocal highlights would be the performance by the Gospel Quartet composed of Jay Wickizer, Tim Greg, Chuck Crain and Bruce Haynes; Kimberly Barber’s performance of Patsy Cline’s hit “Crazy;” the duet by Jay and Devonna Wickizer of “Together Again” and Ambrus Presley’s performance of “Over The Rainbow” from the “Wizard of Oz.”

Over six years ago someone told me that I had to hear “Ambrus” at Presleys’ sing “Over The Rainbow.” Since then she has married John Presley, had a son and is expecting again in March of 2015, but until now, although I have heard her sing countless times, I had never heard her sing that song. It was worth the wait!

The Gospel Quartet of Tim Greg, Chuck Crain, Bruce Haynes and Jay Wickizer.

The Gospel Quartet of Tim Greg, Chuck Crain, Bruce Haynes and Jay Wickizer.

The shows band is composed of Steve Presley, Drums; Scott Presley, Guitar and Fiddle; Greg Presley, Harmonica; John Presley, Piano and Keyboard; Bruce Haynes, Bass Guitar; Kevin Clemens, Steel Guitar and Cortland Ingram, Fiddle. Absent, but there in spirit, after over 25 years of never missing a performance, was Mark Walker, who played Fiddle, Guitar, Banjo and Saxophone and is recovering from a recently suffered stroke. Godspeed, Mark.

The band and vocalists just blend together so beautifully and comfortably, whether it’s the band accompanying the vocalists, featured as part of a vocal performance or an instrumental solo. From many, here’s a few of my favorite “instrumental” highlights. Every time I hear John Presley on the piano I am amazed and this was no exception. I just loved his performance of the Floyd Cramer medley. Two others would be the cast’s performance of “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” featuring Cortland Ingram on the fiddle and Greg Presleys’ performance on the harmonica. Wow can he ever play!

Alone, its origin and the faithfulness of four generations in maintaining the traditions and heritage of that origin make the Presleys’ Country Jubilee unique. Combined with the shows genuineness, the talents of the Presley family and the shows other cast members, its musical variety, the uniqueness and humor of its comedy, and their blending into a show that seamlessly flows from one entertaining segment to another there can be only one result; an evening spent with the Presley family and their cast will be a special unforgettable Branson entertainment memory.

For additional information on Presleys’ Country Jubilee 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, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

Future’s so bright for Branson comedian Paul Harris he’s “gotta wear shades”

Paul Harris, 3rd from left, and the "Cleverlys."

Paul Harris, 3rd from left, and the “Cleverlys.”

“Branson is well known for the quality and variety of its live shows and entertainment,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Its great music shows, covering just about every genre of music, are legend, but, while perhaps not as well known, Branson is also blessed with a variety of some of the funniest comedians anywhere. From Branson’s longest performing comedian, the incomparable Gary Presley as “Herkimer” in Presleys’ Country Music Jubilee to the comical characters of Jarrett Dougherty at the Billy Dean Live show, the antics of Jamie Haage of the Grand Jubilee , the great standup comedy of Paul Harris from  Paul Harris and the Cleverlys and many others, Branson audiences are full of laughter every day,” she added. Wood said that the announcement this week about the future of Paul Harris, one of Branson’s longtime favorites, is both an example of the quality of comedians Branson has, but also their wit and humor. The announcement of his future plans, which still involves doing shows in Branson, was accompanied by a photo featuring him wearing a “standout” pair of sunglasses and Paul saying, “The futures so bright I gotta wear shades.” Recently Harris and The Cleverlys have had to make some changes to their Branson show schedule at the Starlight Theatre to accommodate some of the opportunities coming their way. One of those opportunities is touring” with the most awarded band in country music’s history, “Alabama.” In addition, Harris has become the national spokesman for Bad Boy Mowers,”the mower with an attitude,” built by American workers “right in the middle of the country in the Ozarks Mountains” and has a recording deal and a TV project in the works. The Starlite Theatre said that they are ecstatic about the possibilities for Paul and have been working with him on scheduling to free up time for these opportunities that are beneficial to both Paul and Branson. Harris said that he is appreciative of not only the theatres flexibility, but that of his fans. Branson Tourism Center’s Wood reminds those coming to Branson of the advice contained in the announcement saying, “Don’t miss your chance to see Paul before his craziness is unleased upon America in a big way!” She points out that even while taking advantage of these opportunities Paul Harris and the Cleverlys are scheduled to perform a number of Branson performances between now and the end of December. For their latest schedule, information and tickets please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550.

The Adventures of Marco Polo – an epic Branson entertainment adventure

The Swan Dance was a wonderful example of the beauty and elegance of this show.

The Swan Dance was a wonderful example of the beauty and elegance of this show.

After having seen The Adventures of Marco Polo last week I can say that it is a remarkable and unique show the likes of which has never been seen on a Branson stage before. This spectacular production, through the use of a 2000 square foot LED screen, an extremely talented international cast of over 60 dancers, acrobats and other performers, over 300 colorful costume changes and magnificent sets, vividly and colorfully brings the essence of Marco Polo’s epic 20 year plus adventures in central Asia and China to life on the stage all wrapped in a touching love story.

The panoramic sweep of the production, in terms of what it covers, is amazing. From one of the most dramatic and action filled shipwreck scenes most people will ever see on a stage, to Marco’s near death in the cold snows of Mongolia, his rescue by the Princess Sa Ren, his time amid the grandeur of the court of the China’s Kublai Khan and his travel throughout Asia this production is a “cultural experience” filled with pageantry; beautiful dancing, featuring ballet and a variety of other dances all impeccably performed by the shows cast. It makes no difference if it’s an exquisite ballet duet or an ensemble number, each is superbly performed with a grace, precision and beauty that is almost spellbinding.

You do want to be in your seat for the start of the show as Marco starts his adventure and ends up in a shipwreck. The integration of lighting, sound, special effects and acrobatics of the crew with the huge 2000 square foot LED screen across the back of the stage results in one of the most exciting beginnings to any show that I have ever seen in Branson.

This scene from the court of Kublai Khan is, but one example of the shows exciting pageantry and color.

This scene from the court of Kublai Khan is, but one example of the shows exciting pageantry and color.

The shows format does not involve any spoken parts by the cast, English or otherwise. The audience is guided from one scene to the next by a short introductory narrative, in English, that explains what it is that is being portrayed next. The cast’s communication with the audience, whether using ballet, another form of dancing, acrobatics or other action, is through their performance with no dialogue, but it was easy to follow and it did not impact on my enjoyment of the show.

In the first half of the show Marco travels from Venice to China; delivers a message from the Pope to China’s Kublai Khan in Dadu, China, which is today named “Beijing” and develops his relationship with the “Great Kahn.” The journey takes years during which he is involved in a ship wreck, almost dies in the snowy cold of a Mongolian winter and is rescued by the Princess Sa Ren, with whom he falls in love during his recovery and has to leave to continue his journey.

During the second half, as Marco travels China serving the Kublai Kahn, the story is told with a mixture of dance and “cirque” as performers are infused into the performance at different times with the Chinese Boomerang; the Diabolo, Chinese Yoyo, a unique Chair Stacking Act and other surprises. Marco is reunited with Sa Ran, but is all too soon separated from her as he is required by Kublai Khan to escort another Chinese Princess to Persia to be married to a Persian monarch. Marco is never to return to China.

The poignant ending to the show, features a very old Marco still dreaming of Sa Ren and a beautifully orchestrated ending to the story that is at the same time sad, but fulfilling. It is a spectacular, touching and beautiful ending to the show involving an absolutely exquisite dance, the LED screen, special effects and a high flying Silk Routine and one that touched my heart.

The Adventures of Marco Polo is a wonderful cultural experience, based on an historical event that most are familiar with that is presented through one of the most spectacular productions every to appear on a Branson stage. For additional information or tickets for The Adventures of Marco Polo please call the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through its website, www.BransonTourismCenter.