Broadway has burst upon the Branson Strip in a spectacular new production, Broadway’s Greatest Hits. The show adds a unique new dimension to the scope of entertainment Branson’s live shows offer. It’s a show of “bests.” It’s Broadway’s “best” presented in one of Branson’s “best” productions by some of the “best” vocalists and dancers on any stage in Branson.
The shows vocalists and dancers are the lifeblood of the show. Their unbelievable talent, enthusiasm, and boundless energy is a joy to experience. Oh, the music and production is spectacular, but WOW, are those vocalists and dancers something! They are vocalists Ryan Walton; Vocal Captain; Maggie Moore-Cyr; Katie Mussler; and Robert Quibell and dancers Ollie Barrow, Dance Captain; Rebecca Hoffpauir; Sarah Hunter; Joey Kuba; Amy Morlang; Ruth Robertson; Dasha Ruden, Ballet; Kelvin Wright, Ballet; and Landy Saavedra.
Obviously, with a title of Broadway’s Greatest Hits the music comes from Broadway production shows. Most of the time, when these songs are performed outside of the production show itself the style of the performance is “park and bark.” That’s where someone stands there and performs the song “concert style.” Broadway’s Greatest Hits is different in that each number is a mini production.
Each segment has its own choreography, style, special effects, costuming, and more. The timelessness of the music, the interaction between the vocalists and dancers, their talent and energy, the many styles of dancing, colorful costuming and more, appeal to both adults and kids alike and have them waiting for what’s coming next.
Normally, one would not associate a music show, particularly one featuring Broadway music they might not be familiar with, as something kids would enjoy. That’s not the case with this show. During an interview, Maggie Moore, one of the vocalists, said, “There’s so much music in it that will directly appeal to them such as, ‘Mary Poppins,’ ‘Aladdin,’ and Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’. The constant action, interaction between performers, dancing, and colorful costume changes appeal to adults and kids alike.” In addition, an associate of mine took her 13-year-old daughter to see the show. She loved it and wants to go see it again!
The show starts with a high energy, and colorful performance of We’re In The Money” from “42nd Street” and a full cast performance of the Academy Award winning song, Lullaby of Broadway. What a wonderful and powerful way to prepare the audience for the wonderful musical journey through Broadway’s Greatest Hits that follows!
And do they ever! From “Westside Story” to “Oklahoma,” “Les Miserables,” “Aladin,” “Mary Poppins,” and many more; the journey travels seamlessly from one great show to another. As is my custom, I will highlight, from among many, three of my favorite highlights.
Katie Mussler’s singing of Memory from “Cats” was a joy. What talent! Simultaneously, with Katie’s singing, ballet dancers Dasha Ruden and Kevin Wright, were performing an exquisite ballet. OK, I’ll admit I don’t know the difference between a “pirouette” and a “two step,” but I do recognize a WOW moment. This was one!
The performance of One Day More from “Les Miserables,” involved both vocalists and dancers in an extremely entertaining and inspiring performance. WOW, what a way to end the first half! My third highlight would be the performance of Step In Time from “Mary Poppins.” It features Ryan Walton singing, a really unique dance routine, chimney sweep costuming, and a neat “chimney” set. What the dancers do during the number is so entertaining and amazing.
From beginning to end this show is a wonderful, high energy, and colorful journey through Broadway’s Greatest Hits. It’s a journey that ends all too soon.