Having seen both the Triple Crown horse races and Branson’s Legends in Concert show recently, I feel confident in stating that the Legends in Concert show is to tribute shows what “American Pharaoh” is to horse racing. It has the talent, glitz, glamour, and excitement of a Las Vegas production, and for good reason. It is owned and operated by On Stage Enterprises, LLC who started Legends in Concert in Las Vegas in 1983 where it, along with expanding to other venues such as Branson, has been performing continuously ever since.
The obvious stars of the show are the tribute artists which we will discuss later. Equally important, however, in terms of the wonderful time I had at the show, was the way the talents of each of the tribute artists was integrated with the talents of the dancers, vocalists and live band into a spectacular and unique entertainment experience that holds the audience’s interest from the beginning to end.
The Legend Dancers are Stephanie Drey – Dance Captain, Cindy Dardas, Jamie Curry, and Aaron LeMoine, with Kenya Wilhite and Desta Pritchett both dancing and providing backup vocals. Their considerable talents are demonstrated, one way or the other, during the majority of the numbers presented during the show as they accent the performance of the tribute artists and increase the audience’s overall enjoyment of the show. The very first number of the Brooks and Dunn set, “Boot Scootin Boogie,” dramatically illustrates this point.
The Legend Band, composed of Kevin Allen – Musical Director and lead guitar; Lyman Clark, keyboards; Brian Zerbe, bass guitar; and Bill Lowden, drums, did an outstanding job. These extremely talented musicians not only have to be ready for the styles of six different tribute artists and the stars they portray, but a vast variety of different types of music blended into those styles and, performer after performer and number after number, were they ever ready!
From the very beginning, the hallmark of Legends in Concert has been the quality of its tribute artists. Each performer “not only looks like the star they portray, but uses their own natural voice to pay homage to their iconic music counterpart.” The six legends portrayed in the show I saw were “Brooks and Dunn,” performed by Doug Brewin & Larry Turner; “Adele,” performed by J. C. Brando; the “Blues Brothers,” performed by Danny Zeligman and Chance Havens; “Michael Jackson,” performed by Michael Knight; “Taylor Swift,” performed by Elizabeth Scarborough; and “Elvis Presley,” performed by Jay Dupuis.
There’s always a danger when one designates a favorite part of anything because their favorite part might not be yours. Recognizing that, here are my favorite number from each set: Brooks and Dunn, “Only in America;” Adele, “Rolling in the Deep;” The Blues Brothers, “Shout;” Michael Jackson, “Thriller;” Taylor Swift, “Blank Space;” and Elvis Presley, “If I Can Dream.” The Thriller number and the shows Rocking Finale are two more perfect examples of why Legends in Concert is one of Branson’s most popular shows.
Each act was a wonderful mini-concert containing only the hits of the Legend being portrayed, and was presented with the expressions, moves, mannerisms, and sound that, to me, were about as close to the original as one can get. When those individual performances are combined with elaborate theatrical sets, magnificent costumes and full array of incredible special effects, including three dimensional multimedia and multimillion dollar, state-of-the-art lighting, laser and sound systems;” the live band, dancers, and vocalists, the result is a spectacular production that is not only unique, but unequalled on any stage in Branson. It is truly a Legendary Branson show that should not be missed!
For additional information or tickets for Legends in Concert please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, by calling 1-800-785-1550, or by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com .