Legendary super stars abound in Branson’s ultimate tribute show

Johnny Cash

BRANSON, Mo., June 22, 2013 – Legends in Concert is to tribute shows what the Indianapolis 500 is to auto racing and has been presenting the ultimate tribute shows for over three decades in Las Vegas and at different venues throughout the world. I had the chance to see the Branson Legends in Concert show on June 17 and was again amazed at the variety and quality of not only the legendary super stars who performed, but the production itself. It is the perfect illustration of why Legends in Concert has been around for 30 years and has millions of fans.

The “Hallmark” of Legends in Concert since its inception has been celebrity impersonators recreating legendary superstar performers. Each recreation incorporates the looks, voice and mannerisms of the star being recreated into a performance that is about as close to that given by the super star being recreated that most people will ever experience. Where else, except Legends in Concert, can a person go and see recreations of Johnny Cash, Celine Dion, The Blues Brothers, The Temptations, and Elvis Presley of this quality in one exciting entertaining show?

The “Legends” being recreated are obviously the stars of the show, but the shows band, dancers and vocalists are an inherent part of why Legends in Concert is such an enjoyable entertainment experience. The Legends in Concert Band is composed of Kevin Allen, Guitar/Band Leader; Lyman Clark, Keyboard; Eddie Howard, Drums and Brian Zerbee, Bass Guitar. The Legends in Concert Dancers are Dance Captain Stephanie Drey, Elisha Conner, Jamie Curry, Cindy Dardas, Larry Miller, and Stephanie Richardson. Conner and Richardson also provide the vocal backup for many of the shows numbers.

The amazing thing is the way that these talented performers seamlessly enhance the performance of each of the super star recreations being performed whether it’s a performance of Johnny Cash or The Temptations. One of my favorites, from among many, was the way it all came together during the Blues Brothers performance of “Land of A Thousand Dances.”

Celine Dion

Each of the performing Superstars does a set of four or five numbers covering some of their biggest hits. Rather than give a list of the songs each sang, and realizing that your favorite might be different from mine, while briefly describing each performance I will take the liberty of mentioning my one “favorite” number from the set. The first three Johnny Cash, Celine Dion and The Temptations were “guest” stars. The last two are a staple part of each Branson Legends in Concerts show, perennial favorites The Blues Brothers and Elvis.

Johnny Cash was performed by Paul Eve and his rendition of “Ring of Fire,” which was co-written by June Carter Cash, was outstanding. I had an opportunity to hear Johnny Cash while he was appearing in Branson years ago and Paul Eve did a remarkable job of recreating the “Man in Black.”

Celine Dion was performed by Brigitte Valdez. From her stunning vocals, to her Celine Dion look, energy and interaction with the audience her whole performance just blew me away. Her beautiful clear powerful voice was a delight especially as she sang, “My Heart Will Go On.” The shows dancers and astute use of videos with footage from the movie “Titanic” combined with her superb performance is yet another example of the production values that make this show such a wonderful entertainment experience.

The Temptations, performed by Tal Pearsol, Doc Hutchinson, Greg Laster, Greg Finley, and Frederick Berry opened the second half dressed in the flashy cool style they were known for and performed a nine number set of the R&B and blues hits that made them famous. I just loved their performance of “My Girl.”

The Temptations

The Blues Brothers performed by Justin Clark as Elwood Blues and Bucky Heard as Jake Blues was the high energy act of show. How do you top these guys? I personally do not recall ever seeing a performance of the Blues Brothers until I saw them in the Branson Legends of Concert show years ago so these guys are the “Blues Brothers” to me. From their first number to the last they are nothing, but pure energy and entertainment and a joy to see and hear. My favorite number from their set was “Shout” which combines the talents of the two Blue Brothers with the dancers into another wonderful production number. Jakes “long note” start of the song is really impressive.

The last set of the Show is Elvis performed by Dean Z. As would be expected he does a number of “The King’s” greatest hits and performs them ever so well. What is not expected however, is the “Jam Session” when he and the band set up at the front of the stage and take live requests from the audience. It was neat and included “Kentucky Rain” among others. The song “If I Can Dream,” from the 1968 “Elvis ‘Comeback’ Special” was a wonderful way to end the set and had special personal meaning for me that day.

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 the superstars the show becomes an outstanding entertainment production and experience.

For additional information or tickets for Legends in Concert or any of Branson’s other shows, attractions and activities 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.




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