Category Archives: Branson Shows

Branson Dinner cruises cannot be replicated anywhere

The Showboat Branson Belle cruising on Table Rock Lake.

BRANSON, MO, April 17, 2013 — Branson has dinner cruises on two of its three lakes, Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo. Starting with the boats themselves, they are as different and unique as the two lakes upon which the cruises take place.

The Showboat Branson Belle provides a combination dinner, sightseeing and show cruise on beautiful Table Rock Lake a warm water lake with over 857 miles of shoreline. The 278 foot long, 3 decked, 700 passenger boat is as close to the old river showboats as one is likely to get, not only in terms of its docking facility at the “White River Landing,” but in its appearance and the entertainment it provides.

The “Made in the USA Dinner show” features the world’s only aerial violinist, Janice Martin; “The Show Men,” a six-member all-male vocal group , Master of Ceremonies, magician and comedian Christopher James and is presented in a “riverboat showboat” setting. The show is a combination of Martin’s extraordinary musical and acrobatic talent, the harmonies and individual talents of The Showmen and the magic and comedy of James in as entertaining production as any “showboat” has ever seen. When combined with a delicious meal and sightseeing on Table Rock Lake a dinner cruise on the Branson Belle provides a special, entertaining and unique Branson dinner cruise that is not replicated anywhere.

Main Street Lake Cruises' "Landing Princess."

Main Street Cruise Lines Landing Princess a spectacular sightseeing and dinner cruise on Lake Taneycomo, a cold water lake impoundment of the White River that runs 23 miles from Table Rock Dam to the Power Site Dam near Forsyth. It is a lake whose shoreline is narrow and closely follows the banks and channels of the impounded White River providing an unparalleled opportunity for observing the constantly changing beauty of the Ozarks.

A sightseeing trip on either of Main Street Cruises two boats, the Lake Queen or Landing Princess, provide passengers an unparalleled opportunity to experience a spectacular show produced by “Mother Nature” herself. It includes the grandeur of the Ozarks scenery including a constantly changing show of color, deer and other animals; birds of prey such as hawks, Ospreys and Bald Eagles; as well as other birds, waterfowl, lake activity and a unique view of Branson Landing and its famous fountain show. The scenic vistas and unique bluffs carved out over eons of time are only viewable from the Lake and provide what, in its own way, may very well be the biggest and best show in Branson.

The “show” takes place aboard Main Street Lake Cruises’ Landing Princess, 100 feet of luxury, elegance and beauty. Her two fully glass enclosed climate controlled decks provide the ultimate in comfort and convenience while cruising, dining and enjoying the breathtaking scenery passing by on either side. The Landing Princess, scrumptious dinner and spectacular sightseeing show staring the beauty of the Ozarks and Lake Taneycomo provides one of the most unique and enjoyable dining experiences available anywhere.

Two vastly different lakes, “shows” and boats with each providing an extraordinary dining and entertainment experience that is unique and cannot be replicated. For additional information on either the Showboat Branson Belle or the Landing Princess 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, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

It’s “Your Branson”

This scenic Ozark vista was taken from the bow of the Lake Queen and is an example of why the natural beauty of the Ozarks, sooner of later, will become part of "Your Branson."

BRANSON, MO, April 8, 2013 — “Part of the fun and adventure of Branson is finding ‘Your Branson” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center.” When asked, “Isn’t there only one Branson?” Johnson responds, “Yes, but that Branson is full of so many different things to see and do that everyone who comes to Branson can make it ‘Their Branson’ by simply selecting those things they and their families are interested in doing.”

Branson is sometimes called the “Live music show capital of the world,” because of the large number and diversity of Branson Shows offered on a daily basis during the season. This offers an unparallel opportunity to help define “Your Branson” from within Branson’s show offerings by selecting shows that interest you. It might be an itinerary of all country music shows* including, Presleys’ Country Jubilee, Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express, Pierce Arrow or the Grand Jubilee; noncountry music shows such as the Haygoods, Duttons, it, The Rankins, Shoji Tabuchi or George Dyer; production shows such as Joseph, The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Pageant, Acrobats of China, Adventures of Marco Polo, Cirque Montage or any of the other magic, comedy and other shows Branson offers.

Branson’s Attractions add another element to the creation of “Your Branson.” With attractions as varied as the 1880s styled winning theme park, such Silver Dollar City, debuting its world record setting wooden coaster, “Outlaw Run,” this year; White Water; the Titanic Museum Attraction, the National Tiger Sanctuary, sightseeing cruises aboard Main Street Lakes Cruises “Lake Queen,” paddle wheel river boat replica of a bygone era plus dozens of other attractions the scope of the things to include in “Your Branson” grows exponentially.

“Your Branson” for many will include some form of shopping. With its Historic Downtown Shopping District, Branson Landing, discount malls such as Tanger Mall and The Shoppes at Branson Meadows and dozens of unique and exciting specialty shops sprinkled throughout Branson it is real easy to include shopping in “Your Branson.”

The natural beauty of the Ozarks and Branson’s three pristine lakes, Table Rock and Bull Shoals Lakes and Lake Taneycomo will, if not initially, become a part of “Your Branson.” Whether it’s a scenic overview, a walk along the Branson Landing Board Walk, a romantic dinner cruise on the Landing Princess, watching the summer fog lift off of Lake Taneycomo or a drive across Table Rock Lake the spectacular beauty of the Ozarks is an inherent part of the Branson experience.

“What’s wonderful is that it really is ‘Your Branson’ and a Branson vacation can be anything you want it to be,” Branson Tourism Center’s Johnson said. “Our mission at the Branson Tourism Center, is to help people plan ‘Their Branson’ and have a great Branson experience that will bring them back to Branson again and again.” For additional 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, www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

* Although the music in these shows is primarily country each offers a variety of music and great comedy.

 

Hamner Barber is a unique magical entertainment experience

Dave and Denise Hamner with one of thier "magical" high flying friends"

BRANSON, MO, March 22, 2013 — The Hamner Barber Variety Show in Branson is truly a magical experience presenting some of the most unique and fascinating illusions and ventriloquism ever seen on a Branson stage let alone in one show. Regardless of age, this show captivates and holds the interest of its audience from beginning to end as each of its elements magically unfolds into two hours of amazement, fun, comedy and excitement.

The “variety” in the show comes from its two main elements, the magic and illusions of Dave and Denise Hamner and the ventriloquism and comedy of Jim Barber and his “friends.” It’s almost magic the way these diverse skills, each performed by master craftsmen, are seamlessly blended together into the amazing entertainment experience that is the Hamner Barber Variety Show.

From their very first illusion, it is easy to see why Dave and Denise Hamner have won numerous awards including having received the “Merlin Award” from the International Magician Society on more than one occasion. Surprise and wonder is a large part of magic for the audience so while maintaining that prospect, this writer can say it’s hard to imagine illusions being performed with anymore skill, showmanship and personality than in this show. From the artful way the shows dancers, AJ Heard, who is also the shows choreographer, Ken Brown and Gwen Bliss are choreographed into the illusions to the costuming and sets, each illusion is a wonderful entertaining production.

The Hamner’s opening illusion, really illusions, sets the show’s tenor and takes the audience on a magical adventure. Without spoiling the surprise, it is safe to say that it will add new meaning to the phrase, “That’s for the birds,” and is a “high flying” combination of beautiful birds and sleight of hand magic that is as entertaining as it is amazing.

And that’s just the beginning of the magic. There are subtle illusions such as Dave Hamners amazing, up close card manipulations, production numbers such as the inspirational “Ark of the Lost Covenant” and the excitement and danger of the death defying “Vertigo” to name a couple of this writer’s favorites. The Hamner’s unique performance of the classic illusion “Origami” is another example of the way they keep audiences on the edge of their seats anticipating what is coming next.

Jim Barber and one of his friends, the loveable and funny "Pecos Pete."

Jim Barber, a world class ventriloquist and comedian keeps the audience amazed and in stitches. His entertaining and one of a kind performance of the “Barber of Seville,” staring who else, but “Barber” and “Seville,” to the “baby” and “Chico Pete,” the most unusual and funny Chihuahua you have ever met. They add another funny and entertaining element to the show as they demonstrate why he has won numerous awards and, among other major national appearances, has been on the Dave Letterman Show.

Barbers performance goes beyond the mere quality and breadth of ventriloquism skills and his comedy. The way he relates to the audience and gets them invested in the performance is, in its own way, a wonderful “magical” part of the entertainment experience the show provides.

In Branson honoring America’s Veterans is something that the vast majority of its shows do. The Hamner Barber Variety Show however has a special interactive Veteran’s salute that, from, its original music and video content, to the shows spectacular and inspiring final illusion, is as spectacular and magnificent as the sacrifice and commitment of those that it honors.

One cannot sit in the audience of this show and not notice how the audience, regardless of age, reacts to it. The audience was “into” this show from beginning to end, whether it was applause, the sound of laughter, or some other reaction, it was obvious that the audience was having a great time and enjoying the show. I had two “shadows” with me who had never seen the show before, thoroughly enjoyed themselves and heartily recommend it.

In a previous review of this show I wrote, “A person attending a professional production magic show expects a show consisting of great illusions artfully presented by a master illusionist. Those attending a comedy ventriloquism show expect great ventriloquism liberally laced with comedy. What not many expect however, is to attend one show where one of the world’s funniest and best ventriloquists combines with a master illusionist for two of the most magical, funny, inspirational and exciting hours of entertainment in Branson, the Hamner Barber Variety Show.” After having seen the 2013 edition of the show I can simply say, “Ditto.”

For additional information or tickets for the Hamner Barber Variety Show or any of Branson’s other 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 either calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

A rainy day in Branson is just another day of fun

Branson's Titanic Museum Attraction takes passengers on an exciting voyage no matter what the weather.

BRANSON, MO, March 14, 2013 –  One of the most dreaded sounds most families with children can hear while on vacation is the sound of rain hitting the windows of their hotel, resort room or camper. Generally, as is the case for many families vacationing in Branson, if the days plans involve outdoor activities that sound signals that adjustments must be made. The good news about a vacation in Branson is that not only are those adjustments easy to make, but might be things that you would want to do anyway.

Although different families might prefer different things, the majority of Branson’s attractions, activities , shows and shopping are not weather dependent and are open regardless of the weather offering visitors a wide choice of things to do with something for everyone. Another thing to consider is that while rain might knock out a few outdoor activities for the whole day, generally the rain is sporadic permitting people access to the majority of those that are open with only minimal exposure to the elements.

The morning of a typical rainy day might start with a drive to historic downtown Branson and breakfast at one of its fabled cafes such as “The Farmhouse,” “Branson Café,” “Clockers” or “The Shack.” It’s only a short walk from any of them to one of the most unique and interesting attractions in Branson, “Dicks 5 & 10.” It is like walking back in time into the old time “5& 10″ with an important difference.

Just browsing the 175,000 plus items in the store is an experience in itself. You will find things that you can’t find anywhere else. Locals say “If you can’t find it at Dicks you don’t need it.” The various collections throughout the store make a nostalgic shopping adventure into an exciting and unique experience that is not available anywhere else in the world. Among other things, the collections include the areas largest arrowhead collection, World War II aviation prints, large scale model airplanes hanging from the ceiling, a baseball ‘Wall of Fame’ containing 60 feet of original autographed pictures of players like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Cy Young, a suspended train track with a train that is actually running around the main part of the store plus much more.

"Sparky" is on the signs marking each of the distinctive" trolley stop signs."

Free Downtown Trolley is available rain or shine.

Stop #4 for the “Free Downtown Trolley” is just across the street. The 38 passenger “trolley” styled buses run about every 15 minutes, from 10 AM to 6 PM between Historic Downtown Branson and the Branson Landing. It is a wonderful free attraction providing an excellent overview and perspective of the historic downtown area, the Branson Convention Center, the Lake Taneycomo Lakefront and Branson Landing. Along the way you will pass Branson’s first theatre, the Owens Theatre; the spot where the “Baldknobbers” performed Branson’s first live music show; the grave of the man the city of Branson is named after, Ruben S. Branson, and other points of interest.

If you still have time before lunch and have younger children, a stop at Branson’s Official Duck Feeding Station provides fun and a photo opportunity. It is located by Scotty’s Trout Dock in the southern end of the City of Branson’s Camp Ground on Lake Taneycomo near the city’s boat launching ramp. Scotty’s has corn bagged to feed the ducks with or you can use bread etc. Either way kids just love it and you will get to see a variety of waterfowl up close. Even a slight break in the weather enables this activity because you are able to drive right up to the to the shoreline near the “ducks.”

After lunch there is a variety of Branson attractions to chose from offering a broad range of fun and excitement for just about every interest. Take a voyage aboard the Titanic Museum Attraction, visit the Hollywood Wax Museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, or the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure. There’s indoor miniature golf at Grand Country or Laser Tag, G-Force drag race simulator and arcades at The Track Family Fun Parks with the added advantage that should the weather permit, they have a variety of some of the coolest go-cart tracks around.

Branson shows offer another alternative. Shows such as Amazing Pets, Todd Oliver and his talking dogs who were finalists on the NBC’s Prime Time show “Americas Got Talent” in 2012, Cirque Montage and the Acrobats of China along with magic shows such as Kirby VanBurch or Taylor Reed all offer day time shows that will appeal to children and adults alike.

A visit to the Shepherd of the Hills Trout Hatchery at the foot of Table Rock Dam on State Route 165 is an excellent way to fill in time on either end of the day and is free. Its Visitor Center features an interesting nature display and a short video on the hatchery and the process involved with producing the trout that makes Lake Taneycomo such premier trout fishery. It also has a huge aquarium with some “lunker” Brown and Rainbow Trout showing the size of some of the trout that Lake Taneycomo is capable of producing. If there is a break in the weather it is interesting to walk through the outside hatchery area and see the cement “holding pools” filled with tens of thousands of trout of varying sizes.

The really neat thing about a family vacation in Branson is that fun, adventure and excitement “rains” on Branson every day whether the sun is out or not.

7th Annual Branson Elvis Festival

BRANSON, MO, March 12, 2013 — “Branson is blessed in that Elvis Presley fans can pick from a variety of quality Elvis Tribute artists performing in Branson on any given day, but the Annual Elvis® Festival is something special for Elvis fans,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. ” Legends in Concert announced that “the 7th Annual Branson Elvis® Festival will take place April 12-14, 2013. The highlight of the festival, the Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater. This contest is one of a select few tribute competitions sanctioned by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

“The winner of the Branson contest will receive $1,000 and the opportunity to compete in the 2013 Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest™ finals presented by Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.  The finals will be held in Memphis, Tennessee during Elvis Week.  The winner of the Branson contest will also be offered the opportunity to perform in the Legends in Concert show at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater on Sunday, April 14 at 8 p.m.

“Branson Elvis® Festival highlights, in addition to the contest, include an Elvis Vendor Village at Dick Clarks American Bandstand Theater, The Hound Dog Competition at Branson Landing’s Town Square, and Elvis Karaoke Nights at Shorty Smalls.”

From a show perspective, Johnson suggests that those attending the Festival might also enjoy the following shows while in Branson because of their “Elvis” connection, Joseph Hall’s Elvis Rock N Remember Tribute, the Rankin Brothers and Tony Roi’s Elvis and More or one of the many other quality Branson Shows that will be open during the the time the Festival is running. She also points out that the majority of Branson’s attractions, including Silver Dollar City, will be open for Festival attendees to enjoy and the splendor of an Ozarks Spring should be at its height during the Festival.

For additional information or tickets for Ultimate Elvis® Tribute Artist Contest,™ or any of Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550.

Branson Up Close and Personal with Sheila Dutton

Dean and Sheila Dutton

BRANSON, MO, March 13, 2013 — The Duttons have been performing as a family for over two decades and entertaining Branson audiences since 1997 with their unique sound and brand of entertainment. Millions have seen them on PBS Specials and as Finalists on the prime time NBC hit, “America’s Got Talent” and hundreds of thousands in person as they perform road shows all over the world and in their theatres in Branson and Mesa, Arizona. Little did Dean and Sheila Dutton know that violin lessons for their pre-school children to help instill “a sense of discipline and a strong work ethic” would lead to a very successful career in show business and national fame.

Sheila Dutton, the mother and grandmother of the “Duttons” and devoted wife of Dean, has been one of the linchpins of that success. In addition to her familial duties she is the CEO of the Duttons business enterprise including among other things two theaters, a motel, and a gift shop and performs in every show. We were fortunate enough to get a few moments with this remarkable woman as she shared a little about herself  her family’s professional journey.

“Branson – Up Close and Personal,” is a service of the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, and is intended to provide readers with an up close and personal look at a Branson star or personality. The interview with Sheila Dutton, (SD) uses a “Question and Answer” format with the interviewing being done for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC) by Gary J. Groman, a 27 year resident of the Branson area, local columnist and free lance writer.

BTC: How many children do you and Dean have?

SD: We have 14 children of which seven are natural and seven are adopted.

BTC: How many perform in the show?

SD: We have a total of five children performing in the show all the time, our core group, Timothy, Benjamin, Jonathan, Amy, Abigail and Tim’s wife Judith. Two of our other children, visit us and perform occasionally Jenny and Joshua.

BTC: How many grandchildren do you and Dean have?

SD: We have just had our 24th grandchild in August [2012] and our 25th grandchild is due this month [March 2013].

BTC: How do you decide where and when to use the grandchildren in the show?

SD: We have a Dutton brand and sound which gets the priority in terms of planning and designing the show and is provided through our core Dutton group. However in looking to the future and having something extra for the younger children in our audience, the icing on the cake is choreographing our grandchildren into a few specific targeted parts of the show. It is something that many of our guests enjoy and look forward to and something that is done in a manner that enhances the overall entertainment experience for our audience.

BTC: The Duttons had been performing for a number of years before they made the decision to make full time careers out of it. When and how did that happen?

SD: In 1994 when Amy came out of the recording studio in Nashville and said, “Mom, this is the happiest day of my life,” I remember thinking, “Oh my goodness we’re going to be musicians.” At the time we were doing 200 plus dates a year, but it was kind of a “we’re having fun type of thing” that went from year to year. In 1997 we came to Branson and performed fill in dates around our national tour, and the rest is history.

BTC: How did you end up in Box Car Willies Theatre?

SD: He saw our TV special and wanted us in his theatre. We leased the theatre within two years of coming to Branson and opened our first show in the theatre on the night of April 13, 1999. In 2001 we purchased the theatre.

BTC: What instrument do you play?

SD: I play the acoustic and electric bass and the only reason I do is because my children needed a bass player. I had no prior musical experience, Timothy taught me how to play in about 1986 and I have been playing ever since.

BTC: How many months a year does your family perform?

SD: We perform about 8 months in Branson and 4 months in Arizona in the off season.

BTC: That’s 12 months. Do you ever take a vacation?

SD: We normally take two weeks off the first of January and about ten more days the first of July.

BTC: We know where you perform in Branson, but where do you perform in Arizona?

SD: We have our own theatre in Mesa. We helped complete the auditorium and stage at East Valley High School, a charter school. The “theatre” is named after us, gives us a place to perform our shows in the winter, and provides an opportunity for the school’s students to “intern” in areas like lighting and sound.

BTC: What is your biggest challenge in doing a show in Branson?

SD: Coming up with new material every year so that our audiences are always seeing something fresh and different.

BTC: Do you develope some of the new Branson material during your winter shows in Arizona?

SD: Yes, we have kind of fallen into a nice routine. Because our market actually lives there, we actually do four different shows, while we are in Arizona. When we arrive in December we do the Branson Christmas show through the rest of the year. In January we run the regular season Branson show from the previous season with a new show in February and a new show in March. Out of the new shows in February and March we draw our favorite material and that becomes the new Branson show.

BTC: What do you like best about living in Branson?

SD: I love that it is a small town community of good Christian people and that our family is here together with a great support system of friends. It has just been a tremendous blessing to meet the people we have met here that will be lifelong friends.

BTC: What has been your biggest challenge in being a mother, a grandmother, and being involved with the show?

SD: Trying to be more like my angel grandmother, a quiet person who blessed the lives of everybody. Being the CEO of our business and performing in the show I spend a lot of time in the business. I would like to be more like my grandmother who had time to sit, love, do service and kind deeds for people and yet I see myself in a position where in every show I have a few minutes with every grandchild. Life is too full for me, but at the same time I don’t know how I could replicate what I have.

BTC: What one thing stands out as a defining moment in the development of the Duttons professional careers to you personally?

SD: The joy I felt as I edited our last PBS Special. It wasn’t just the talent of our family members, but the talents of the crew with the lighting and filming, as wonderful professionals came together in a cumulative effort that resulted in something that was just truly remarkable.

BTC: Do you have a thought that you would like to share with our readers?

SD: I never envisioned or planned for this career. I had a different plan, but the Lord is in charge and sometimes His plan is different than ours, but oh what a glorious plan it is. I am just so grateful for the life, family and experiences that His plan had for me.

BTC:  Can you give us a hint about what will be in the 2013 Dutton show when it opens in Branson on April 8?

SD: Our Mesa audiences are calling this show our best ever with a superb lineup of numbers.  You won’t want to miss our new opening segment that incorporates high energy vocals, instrumentals, and dance.  Every night the audience spontaneously erupts with applause as our latest star debuts on “Danke Schoen.”  And cousin Julio (bless his heart) will have you in stitches when he plays Amy’s “Stradivarius” violin.  The new tricks he has up his sleeve are hilarious.  Along with that, we have all kinds of surprises that you are just going to have to come and see.

For additional information or tickets for the Duttons or any of Branson’s other 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.

Spring shows bloom in Branson

SIX, Jak, left, Owen, Kevin, Barry, Lynn and Curtis, one of the many popular Branson shows blossoming forth for 2013 season in March.in March.

BRANSON, MO, March 4, 2013 — “As spring approaches Redbuds and Bradford Pear Trees won’t be the only things ‘blooming’ in Branson,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “Many of the Branson shows that took a hiatus during the winter months will be blossoming forth with their new shows during the month of March,” she continued.

Some of Branson’s most popular  shows such as the Haygoods, Grand Jubilee, it at the Hughes Brothers Theatre, Legends in Concert, Pierce Arrow and SIX, who have already opened their 2013 Branson seasons, will be joined by a myriad of other shows premiering the 2013 edition of their show during March. The following is a list of Branson shows scheduled to be performing by March 30 sorted alphabetically with links to additional information, pictures, videos, schedules, showing the actual date in March they will open, ticket prices and more:

#1 Hits of the 60′s

3 Redneck Tenors

70′s Music Celebration Starring Barry Williams

A Neil Diamond Tribute

A Tribute to John Denver

A Tribute to Marty Robbins

Absolutely Patsy

Acrobats of China Featuring The New Shanghai Circus

Amazing Pets

Ayo Starring Voices of Glory

Baldknobbers Jamboree Show

Branson Country USA

Buck Trent

Buckets N Boards

Cat’s Pajamas – Vocal Band

Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express

Comedy Hypnosis

Comedy Jamboree

Dancing Queen ABBA’s Greatest Hits

Dixie Stampede

Doug Gabriel’s #1 Hits Tribute Show

Hank Williams Revisited

Grand Jubilee

Hamner Barber Variety Show

Haygoods

Hooray for Hollywood

it at the Hughes Brothers Theatre

Jim Stafford

Johnny Cash Songbook

Joseph

Joseph Hall Elvis Rock N Remember Tribute

Legends in Concert

Mickey Gilley

New Jersey Nights

New South Gospel

Ozark Mountain Jubilee

Ozark Murder Mysteries

Paul Harris & The Cleverly’s

Pierce Arrow

Presleys’ Country Jubilee

Red, Hot & Blue

Red Skelton – A Tribute by Tom Mullica

Reelin in the Years Starring John Tweed

Showboat Branson Belle

SIX

The Fair Family

The Petersen Family Bluegrass Band

The Price is Right, Live

Todd Oliver & Friends

Tony Roi’s Elvis and More

Twelve Irish Tenors

Twice Adopted

Johnson points out that other popular Branson Show such as Shoji Tabuchi, Duttons and George Dyer will open early in April. For additional information or tickets for the shows listed in the article or any of Branson’s other 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.

Presleys’ Country Jubilee has new music, comedy, lights, set and shopping

Three generations of Presley comedy and the Branson consecutive years performing record holders, Gary "Herkimer" Presley, red shirt hat, and Steve Presley, Drummer, who have been performing in the show since 1967.

BRANSON, MO, March 4, 2013 — Branson’s First Family of Entertainment, the Presleys will kick off their 47th live show season at 8p.m., Friday, March 8, 2013 in their original theater built in 1967 on Branson’s famous Highway 76 Strip. Three generations of Presley family members, plus a cast of multi-talented entertainers, can be seen six nights a week in an all-new show full of country hits, classic country favorites, Southern gospel and hilarious comedy.

“Every year we bring back parts of the show our audiences love best, but over 75 percent of the music and comedy is always new,” according to co-producer, Gary Presley, also known as the lovable hillbilly character, Herkimer. “Now, the mistakes are always new every night, and that’s what makes it fun!”

Also new for the 2013 season is a state-of-the-art stage set that will give the show a new look and feel while keeping with the tradition of the original theater on the Strip. Brand new eco-friendly LED stage lights also promise to add fresh pizazz to the show while saving energy and reducing the show’s carbon footprint.

Before and after the show, guests will want to check out the Presleys’ Country Jubilee gift shop because for the first time ever, a sampling of Dick’s Old-Time 5 & 10 merchandise will be available for purchase outside of their only retail store, located in Historic Downtown Branson. Dick’s Old-Time 5 & 10 is a nationally-known variety store and a great family-owned Branson business.

Fans of the Presleys’ live music and comedy show in Branson, along with fans of their hit TV series on RFD-TV, can watch the new 4th season of Presleys’ Country Jubilee on television every Saturday night at 7:30pm EST/6:30pm CST. RFD-TV is available on DIRECTV channel 345, Dish Network channel 231, or your local cable provider. RFD-TV is available to 41 million homes and is now programming to 20 million more through FamilyNet.

For Presleys’ Country Jubilee information or tickets or information on any of Branson’s other 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.

2013 Pierce Arrow show hits center of Branson entertainment bull’s-eye

Pierce Arrow Quartet with Luke Menard, left, Jimmy Fullbright, Scott Fraker and Tim Storm.

BRANSON, MO, February 27, 2013 — When my daughter, Mary, who had just seen the 2013 edition of the Pierce Arrow Show said, “Dad you have to see this show, it’s totally different than last year and is just amazing” I thought to myself, “Well I just saw the show in October and I thought it was great then, how much better can it be?” Well I saw the 2013 edition on January 22 and, in a word the answer is “Lots.”

Actually, the answer to the question deserves more than a one word answer and the opinion of Debra Wiskirchen, a Manager at the Branson Tourism Center, which has sold well over 3 million Branson show and attraction tickets is a great place to start. She said, “I have seen this show many times before and the 2013 edition is by far the best. Their press release says, ‘If you think you’ve seen the Pierce Arrow show…think again in 2013.!’ That might be an understatement, it is truly an amazing show with great comedy and music that the whole family will enjoy.”

Straight man, Bobby Blackburn, and Animal Control Officer Ray Bees a.k.a. Jarrett Dougherty

Let’s start with the comedy which is provided by one of Branson’s premier comedians, Jarrett Dougherty. From start to finish, comedy is an inherent element of this show and is woven in at just the right moment to complement the great music in the show. This year Dougherty starts the show with a new character, the funniest Animal Control Officer you will ever meet, Ray Bees who is in search of a snake that has escaped from the new Promised Land Zoon being built just east of the theatre. From there, the laughs just keep coming as he makes just about the whole cast, with special emphasis on Band Leader Bobby Blackburn, “his straight man,” as his hilarious comedic journey, among other places, takes the audience to the bible, the demise of the snake and the most beautiful, funny and unforgettable version of the Nat King Cole classic “Unforgettable” you will ever experience.

As good as 2012′s music was, the shows musical repertoire has been completely changed and features two new vocalists, Jimmy Fulbright and Michelle Wait adding fresh energy and vibrancy resulting in a totally new experience. Fulbright has been the bass guitar player and fill in singer with the Oak Ridge Boys for the past 12 years and prior to that time was a member of the Branson Brothers Quartet in Branson along with bass singer Dan Britton who is the owner of the Pierce Arrow Theatre. Wait was a vocalist with the Kings Castle Theatre in Branson (formerly known as the Branson Variety Theatre.)

The Pierce Arrow Quartet consists of American Idol finalist, Luke Menard; Jimmy Fulbright, Scott Fraker, previously with the gospel group “Chosen Few” and Tim Storms, the current Guiness Book of World Record holder for singing the lowest note. “Amazing” is a good word to use to describe this group as they cover a wide variety of music. Highlights for me was the gospel segment, Dan Britton’s appearance with the group during “Dream On” and “Sixteen Tons,” their acapella performance of “Drift Away” and the group’s performance of “Come On In” at the beginning of the show as they continued the exciting tenor, energy and excitement with which Michelle Wait kicks off the show.

Michelle Wait kicking the show off singing "Here For The Party."

Wait’s opening number, “Here for the Party,” is a high energy performance that gets the show off to a rousing start and establishes the musical tenor for the rest of the show. “Wind Beneath My Wings” is one of my favorite songs and her rendition of it was simply beautiful. In 2011 I did a review of the show “Hooray for Hollywood,” and wrote, “To say that the shows vocalist, Michelle Wait, did an outstanding job would be an understatement.” All I can say for her performance in the 2013 edition of the Pierce Arrow Show is “Ditto.”

The Pierce Arrow Band is outstanding and, like the rest of the cast, really gets involved with the excitement and flow of the show and is strategically featured during various numbers throughout the performance. The band consists of Bobby Blackburn/band leader, lead guitar; Randy McConnell/bass guitar; Colt Straub/keyboards/mandolin and Michael Jackson/drums. Sitting in the audience one can just sense the synergy between the band and the vocalists who just seem to be having fun with each other, the audience and enjoying what they are doing as it draws you into the performance and enhances the overall entertainment experience.

The theatres newly renovated  sound and lighting system and its “Vegas” styled moving stage all enhance the enjoyment of the show. Two hours spent with the Pierce Arrow Show has always been a great entertainment experience, but the statement “If you think you’ve seen the Pierce Arrow show…think again in 2013!” is true. If you have never seen the Pierce Arrow show 2013 is an excellent opportunity to experience two of the most exciting and enjoyable hours of entertainment in Branson that will be over all too quickly.

Family Passes show the way to big savings on Branson Shows

Three generations of Presley comedy, Herkimer, Grandpa; Cecil, Son and Cecil Jr. Grandson

BRANSON, MO, February 26, 2013 — “In these times, families on vacation are looking for ways to not only have fun together, but to save money,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. With all there is to see and do in Branson there is never a problem having fun. With lodging available for just about any budget and the savings that can result from “packaging,” attractions, shows and lodging together it’s easy to save money too,” she continued.

Branson’s live shows are legend for their outstanding entertainment and value. Some of Branson’s best shows have made that value even more so with the addition of “Family Passes.” Although they are different for different shows, under the general scheme of things the Family Pass will include two adults and up to a certain number of children for a substantially reduced rate.

As an example, Presleys’ Country Jubilee is one of Branson’s most popular shows and 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 41% off the price of buying them separately. The following list, sorted alphabetically and with a link to more information, photos, videos, schedules and ticket pricing, indicates the Branson shows offering Family Passes as of this date:

#1 Hits of the 60′s

3 Redneck Tenors

70′s Music Celebration Starring Barry Williams

A Heapin’ Spoonful

A Neil Diamond Tribute

ABBA Tribute – Thank You for the Music

All American Gospel

Always Patsy Cline

Amazing Pets

Angels of Country Music

Baldknobbers Jamboree Show

Bretts

Buckets N Boards

California Dreamin’

Christmas on the Trail

Clay Cooper’s Country Music Express

Comedy Jamboree

Conway Remembered

Dalena Ditto Country Variety Show

Down Home Country

Duttons

George Dyer

Good Ole Boys

Grand Jubilee

Hamner Barber Variety Show

Haygoods

Jim Stafford

Joseph

Magnificent Seven

Mike Walker

New South Gospel

Ozark Mountain Jubilee

Ozark Murder Mysteries

Paul Harris & The Cleverly’s

Pierce Arrow

Presleys’ Country Jubilee

Rankin Brothers

Red Skelton – A Tribute by Tom Mullica

Red, Hot & Blue

Rock Roll and Reminisce

Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead Tour

Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Play

Shoji Tabuchi

Sons of the Pioneers

Sunday Gospel Jubilee

The Statler Brothers Revisited

Titanic Museum Attraction

Todd Oliver & Friends

Tony Roi’s Elvis and More

Wade Landry’s Cajun & Country

Johnson points out that not all Branson shows offer Family Passes and that the list, although current as of the date of this piece, is subject to change. For additional information on Family Passes, the packaging of Branson shows, attractions and lodging to save money or any other information on Branson’s other shows and attractions or for lodging arrangements please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling their toll free number 1-800-785-1550.