Category Archives: Branson Shows

BTC’s Best Branson Insider Highlights for September 2018

Weaving is just one of the many crafts displayed and demonstrated at Silver Dollar City’s National Harvest & Cowboy Festival  (Courtesy of Silver Dollar City).

September brings the start of fall activities and festivals, and, although weather dependent, the start of the Ozark’s Foliage Season. Every day, Branson offers a choice of exciting live entertainment, attractions, natural beauty, shopping, and exciting things to do that few, if any, other travel destinations can equal.

BTC’s Best Branson Insider Highlights, for September 2018, highlights limited engagement performances and major events taking place during the month that are in addition to all the other live shows, attractions, and everything else Branson offers on a daily basis. They are listed by category, sorted in order of starting date, and are preceded by our “Feature” show, Limited Engagement, and Event of the month.

 

The amazing Clay Cooper.

Featured Show of the Month: Clay Cooper’s Country Express combines the vocal talent and down-home crowd pleasing personality of one of Branson’s favorite entertainers, Clay Cooper, with the talents of over 20 other entertainers to take the audience on an entertainment “express ride” like no other. These include Clay’s multi-talented wife, Tina, who does the shows choreography and leads the show’s ten phenomenal dancers; the multi-talented Matt Gumm providing comedy and so much more; outstanding youth entertainers, Colt & Caden Cooper; the best six-piece band in Branson; and the trio, “Third Power,” with harmonies that are second to none! “It’s two hours of great music, dancing, fun, laughter, and variety that whisks adults and children alike, “down the tracks” on a delightful entertainment journey.”

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: Mickey Gilley & Johnny Lee – The Urban Cowboy Reunion is an incredible show featuring “Mickey Gilley” and “Johnny Lee,” two country music legends, in one show! Enjoy this wonderful entertainment experience as they share some of their chart topping songs complete with memories of the 1980 hit movie, “Urban Cowboy.” Gilley and Lee have earned an outstanding 38 Chart singles with 20 #1 hits including Gilley’s Room Full of Roses, Don’t the Girls all Get Prettier at Closing Time, and Lee’s Cherokee Fiddle and Lookin’ for Love.

 Featured Event of the Month: Silver Dollar City’s National Harvest & Cowboy Festival showcases the largest gathering of demonstrating craftsmen in the country as more than 125 visiting craftsmen, join over 100 of Silver Dollar City’s resident craftsmen, in showcasing their diverse array of talents along. The festival also features a “Salute to the Great American Cowboy” including Buck Taylor’s Cowboy Emporium; an old-fashioned barn dance; Kent Rollins chuck wagon cooking; the final year for the Buffalo Bill inspired Wild West Show; and much more. It was named “One Of The Nation’s Top 8 Fall Harvest Festivals” by U.S. News & World Report Travel, as well as “The Best Fall Festival in Missouri “by Travel & Leisure! And it’s all in addition to everything else this world class theme park offers on a daily basis.

 Limited Engagements (By Starting Date)

Sep 8: Stayin’ Alive: One Night of the Bee Gees
Sep 14: Tommy James & The Shondells
Sep 15: Ronnie Milsap
Sep 16-30: Mickey Gilley & Johnny Lee – The Urban Cowboy Reunion*
Sep 17: Larry’s Country Diner-Rhonda Vincent
Sep 18: Larry’s Country Diner-Jimmy Fortune
Sep 19-27: Oak Ridge Boys*
Sep 19: Larry’s Country Diner-The Malpass Brothers
Sep 20: Larry’s Country Diner-Gene Watson
Sep 21: David Spade
Sep 21: Larry’s Country Diner-T. Graham Brown
Sep 22: Jeff Foxworthy
Sep 22: Tanya Tucker
Sep 23: Michael Bolton
Sep 26-27: Dailey and Vincent

* On select dates during period. Please check schedules for exact dates.

Major Special Events (By Starting Date)

Sep 7-Sep 9: Country Music Weekend, Silver Dollar City
Sep 8: Fourth Annual Landing to Landing Canoe and Kayak Race
Sep 8-Sep 9: Bass Pro Shops’ Outdoor Days, Table Rock State Park
Sep 11: 9/11 Memorial Ceremony, Branson Landing
Sep 11: The Amazing Women on Titanic
Sep 12-Oct 27: National Crafts & Cowboy Festival, Silver Dollar City
Sep 13-Sep 15: 45th Autumn Daze in aHistoric Downtown Branson
Sep 14-Sep 15: Shepherd of the Hills Car Show
Sep 15: State of the Ozarks Festival
Sep 29: Tanger Fit for a Cure 5k Run/Walk

For more information, tickets or reservations on these or other Branson shows, attractions, events, or lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of almost 5 million Branson show and attraction tickets by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Jim Stafford show celebrating 28 years in Branson

Among his many talents, Jim Stafford is considered a “guitar virtuoso.”

Jim Stafford has been billed as the “consummate entertainer,” and for good reason. He’s been doing it all since the 1970s, singing; song writing; playing a variety of instruments, all self-taught, including the guitar, fiddle, banjo, and piano; and comedy. And doing it well!

He hit the entertainment scene on the heels of a number of hits including, among others, “Swamp Witch,” “My Girl Bill,” “Wildwood Weed,” and his most popular hit, “Spiders & Snakes,” which rose to “No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.” He came to Branson and started the Jim Stafford show in 1990. This year, the show is celebrating its 28th year of entertaining Branson audiences. With decades of material to draw from, his unique combination of talents, and ability to relate to his audience, it’s a celebration not to be missed!

Stafford says, ““I’ve got new vocals, new stories and new instrumentals I’m working on. There is one new instrumental piece I’ve been working on for the past 16 months, and the reason why is because it’s hard.”

He also points out that as he has added new elements to his show over the years that some really “good bits fall by the wayside.” For the celebration of his 28th year in Branson, Stafford says that in addition to the new material, he’s decided to bring back some of his favorites from the past that he hasn’t done in many years.

One person who saw the show recently summed thing up pretty well. They called him a “comedic genius” in terms of his style and timing, suggesting that his style is reminiscent  of the comedy styles of Tim Conway, Phyllis Diller, Rodney Dangerfield and Elmer Fudd. They went on to say that “Jim Stafford is the real deal. An extraordinary entertainer.”

Stafford points out that in addition to his show, that the Jim Stafford Theatre is home to three more great shows offering a variety of live entertainment choices including:

Heartland Country a brand new classical country music show. It brings two of Branson’s long time favorites, Splinter Middleton and Casey Ellison, back to the stage along with Kailey Adams and Logan Allen and a great live band.

Parrottville, a tribute show covering the 40 years of all the great hits of the amazing Jimmy Buffet. It’s all presented by singers and a band with the talent to “make the magic happen,” amidst a show full of family fun, entertainment, and surprises.

The Magic and Comedy of Taylor Reed will keep you on the edge of your seat and wondering, “How did he do that?” This master of comedy and illusion has almost 40 years of experience entertaining audiences with his world class magic. Enhanced by fun story lines, wonderful sets, colorful costumes, and music, this high energy magical show will be enjoyed by the whole family.

For more information, tickets or reservations on any of these shows please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of almost 5 million Branson show and attraction tickets by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

BTC’s Best Branson Insider Highlights for August 2018

The Erwins, just one of the amazing groups performing for SDC’s South Gospel Picnic; The Haygoods; Branson Fiddle Festival, and Daniel O’Donnell.

August brings the winding down of family summer activities and the start of school, but there’s still time for one more family “summer fling,” and what better place to do it than in Branson, Missouri! Day in and Day out, Branson offers a choice of exciting live entertainment, attractions, natural beauty, shopping, and exciting things to do that few, if any, travel destinations can equal.

BTC’s Best Branson Insider Highlights, for August of 2018, highlights performances and major events taking place during the month of August that are in addition to everything else that Branson offers on a daily basis. They are listed by category, sorted in order of starting date, and are preceded by our “Featured” Show, Limited Engagement, and Event of the Month, as appropriate.

Featured Show of the Month: The Haygoods are celebrating their 26th year of entertaining Branson Audiences in 2018 and there’s good reason for it. From the beginning to the end, it’s an exciting musical “adventure’ for the family to share together. An adventure filling the senses with great music, energy, excitement, color, and action, the likes of which will not be seen on any other Branson stage. Whether it’s back flips, fire canons, high-energy mountain tap dancing, or something else, you’re always anticipating what’s coming next as they entertain both children and adults, simultaneously and to similar levels of enjoyment. If you are looking for a show with great music, excitement, action, special effects, and energy that will entertain the whole family, then The Haygoods is the show for you!

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: Although there are no Limited Engagements scheduled for August, this gives us a chance to share that Daniel O’Donnell will present his Christmas With Daniel at the Welk Resort Theatre during the Christmas season. He will be performing only 20 shows between November 1 and December 1, 2018.

Although Daniel has been performing Limited Engagements in Branson for years, this will be a first with his Christmas show. With the limited number of performances, the interest in his new Branson Christmas show, and the way many of Daniel’s shows sell out in advance, it is suggested that those wanting to see his show make advance reservations to ensure both availability and the best seating.

Featured Event of the Month: Branson’s 30th Annual Fiddle Festival & Mid-America Fiddlers Championship will be held at the Grand Country Water Park Resort, August 24-26. The fun starts in the Grand Country Parking Lot at 6:30 PM on August 24 with the “Anything Goes Contest” and a free concert starring Melody Hart and a live band. The Mid-America Fiddlers Championship starts on the morning of August 25. Six Divisions, from Pee-Wee to Senior and Open, will compete for thousands of dollars in prizes and the coveted title of the “Mid-America Fiddle Champion.” The title will be decided in a Round Robin Play Off at 4:00 PM on August 26. The actual competition will be conducted in the Grand Country Music Hall, the home of all Grand Country’s shows, and will be hosted by noted Branson Fiddler Wayne Massengale.

Major Special Events (By Starting Date)

Aug 1-5: Moonlight Madness at Silver Dollar City
Aug 1-3: Ballparks of America – Boys of Summer Classic (12U)
Aug 3-5: Tanger Style Missouri State Tax Free Holiday Shopping
Aug 3-11: Cal Ripken Major/70 World Series
Aug 23-Sep 3: Southern Gospel Picnic at Silver Dollar City
Aug 24-26: 30th Annual Branson Fiddle Festival/Mid American Fiddlers Championship
Aug 31: Tanger Outlet Labor day shopping

For more information, tickets or reservations on these or other Branson shows, attractions or lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of almost 5 million Branson show and attraction tickets by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Experience the amazing story of the Million Dollar Quartet

Among the greatest jam sessions in rock n’ roll history was a spur of the moment jam session of four young recording legends-to-be, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis, that took place inside the Memphis storefront recording studio of Sun Records on December 4, 1956. Even more remarkable is that, except for a single newspaper article and its accompanying photo, dubbing the four “The Million Dollar Quartet,” the jam session went unnoticed for decades until a recording of it was discovered in the Sun Records library and released in Europe in 1981. That jam session and recording became the inspiration for the Tony Award winning musical Million Dollar Quartet.The show shares the music, spontaneity, and drama of what took place that December day when these four legends performed together for their first and only time.

For over three decades, I’ve seen Branson shows of all types, but in all of that time I have never seen a show like the Million Dollar Quartet. Its outstanding cast; timeless music that just about everybody knows; and a| wonderful storyline combines with its unique set into an extraordinary entertainment experience that the entire family will enjoy.

Some might ask, “Will my kids like it; it was over 50 years ago, by performers, some of whom my kids might not recognize, and is a genre of music that is not popular with today’s kids?” In a recent interview, with Ryan Pelton, the extremely talented Elvis Presley Tribute Artist currently appearing in the Branson’s Legends in Concert show, was asked, “Why would kids like this show [Legends in Concert]? He replied, “Kids might not know who some of these stars are, but good music is just good music and kids appreciate that. Bruno Mars started as an Elvis impersonator and he’s one of the most popular stars today.” More to the point, “Carol C,” who recently attended the Million Dollar Quartet, with her husband and 14 year old daughter said that her daughter just loved the show with its music and the dramatic interplay between the characters.

Clearly, with four recording stars represented in the lead roles, plus the iconic music being performed, it requires some extremely talented entertainers to do it all justice. Tyler K. Hunter as Elvis Presley, Cliff Wright as Johnny Cash, John Countryman as Jerry Lee Lewis, and Brad Waters as Carl Perkins do an outstanding job with hits including “Matchbox,” “That’s All Right,” “I Walk The Line,” “Ghost Riders in the Sky,” “Hound Dog,” “Peace in the Valley,” “Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” and many more. From among them, two of my personal musical highlights are “Ghost Riders In The Sky,” sung by Johnny Cash| and “Peace in the Valley,” not simply because| of the way it was sung, but how the storyline integrated a personal memory from each of the performers seamlessly into its performance. It was a special moment.

As amazing as the music is, it’s the storyline, the historical moment it describes that’s so expertly woven in to the musical tapestry surrounding it that makes this such an entertaining show. Matt Joyce as Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records, the man many call the “Father of rock n’ roll,” and the person who essentially set the circumstances in motion that ultimately lead to the jam session, does an excellent job of telling the story in a manner that ties all its diverse elements together and holds the audience’s interest throughout.

And what a story it is! Filled with fascinating historical facts and antidotes about not just simply what happened that day, but the stars themselves, a hint of romance, the mechanics of how the record business worked in those early years, and beginning history of rock n’ roll. This includes the part Sam Phillips played in bringing the four together that day; the answer to the question on everyone’s mind at the time, “Why did Phillips sell Elvis Presley’s contract to RCA for $40,000 in 1955?” the angst Carl Perkins, the old man in the group at age 24, felt towards Elvis Presley over Blue Suede Shoes; why Johnny Cash was leaving Sun Records for Columbia Records; the jealousy some felt regarding the emphasis Phillips had placed on Elvis Presley, and much more. Watching the connection between Jerry Lee Lewis, the not so bashful rookie in the group ,evolve is as interesting as it is entertaining.

Lindsey Perenchio as “Dyanna,” does an awesome job, not only in her role as the girl Elvis was with that night, but in interacting with the four musical icons and Sam Phillips and adding a dramatic element with a hint of romance and “commonsense” to the show. Her performance of “Fever” also demonstrates her considerable vocal talents and is yet another example of how she enhances the shows overall entertainment experience. Daniel Dossey plays the drummer, W.S. Fluke Holland, with Austin Wilson rounding out the cast as Jay Perkins, the bass player and brother of Carl Perkins.

How a simple recording session by Carl Perkins, with his brother and a drummer, evolved into what is perhaps history’s greatest  rock n’ roll jam session, as presented in the Million Dollar Quartet, is as wonderfully entertaining as it was unlikely to have occurred in the first place. From beginning to end its nonstop music, fun, drama, and entertainment with no intermission. Oh, and when you think the show’s over, hold onto your seat and remember the old Yogi Berra saying, “It ain’t over| till it’s over.” We don’t desire to spoil the surprise, so just “Wait for it!” It’s a grand ending to a totally delightful and absolutely entertaining show!

For more information or tickets for the Million Dollar Quartet please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s biggest and most respected vacation planning services, by calling 1-800-785-1550, or going to www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Branson Tourism Center’s Best Branson Insider Highlights for July 2018

Just one of the many “cool” things to do at Silver Dollar City during its Star-Spangled Summer Festival.

On a daily basis, Branson offers a variety of live entertainment, attractions, shopping, and exciting fun things to do that few, if any other, travel destinations can equal. They are further enhanced with the addition of Limited Engagement performances by national touring stars and special events.

The primary purpose of the Branson Tourism Center’s Best Branson Insider Highlights is to highlight those performances and major events taking place during the month that are in addition to the live shows and attractions that Branson offers on a daily basis. It will also highlight a Featured Show, Limited Engagement, and Event for the month. All Limited Engagements and events are listed in order of starting date.

Featured Show of the Month: Branson’s Comedy Jamboree is an exciting mix of music, comedy, and fun. This clean-humored high-spirited afternoon show, has everything; a cast of lovable and eclectic comedic characters, talented vocalists, and a live band that just loves to make people laugh and have a great time. It’s one of those shows that truly does have something for everyone and, whether it’s the great music, the comedy, or a mixture of both, will entertain young and old simultaneously. If you’re hungry after the show, its just a few steps to one of Branson’s best buffets, “The Grand Country Buffet.”

Dennis Quaid.

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: “Dennis Quaid,” most recognized for his roles on television and in movies, will be appearing in Branson for the only time this year on July 28. Dennis Quaid & The Sharks enjoy great popularity for their rock ‘n’ roll / country-soul sound and perform many original songs as well as covers like Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire,” that Quaid performed in the 1989 movie of the same name.

Featured Event of the Month: Silver Dollar City’s Star-Spangled Summer Festival running through July 22, offers family fun and entertainment you won’t find anywhere else. See your favorite cartoon characters, Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience, Rockapella, Championship Cloggers, and much more! And that’s beside everything else Silver Dollar City offers. The 1880s styled theme park has over 40 thrilling rides and attractions. New this year is the $26 million “Time Traveler,” the world’s fastest, steepest, and tallest Spinning Coaster. It’s a world-record-breaking Spinning Coaster from many different aspects including a top speed of 50.3 miles per hour, making it the fastest with its immediate out-of-the-station 10 story, 90 degree vertical drop”… straight down the Ozark mountain side!

Limited Engagements (By Starting Date)

6-7 July: Yakov, Famous Russian Comedian
15 July: Bruce in the USA: World’s #1 Tribute to The Boss & the E Street Band
22 July: Satisfaction: The International Rolling Stones Show
28 July: Dennis Quaid & The Sharks
28-29 July: Kidz Roc – Talent on Parade

Major Special Events (By Starting Date)

1-22 July: Silver Dollar City Star-Spangled Summer Festival
1-2 July: Hometown Heroes Salute – Ballparks of America
1-4 July: 4th of July Weekend Sale at Tanger Outlet Mall
3 July: Branson Landing’s 11 Annual Liberty Light up Concert & Fireworks!
4 July: Château on the Lake 4th of July Celebration
4 July: Independence Day Celebration at Big Cedar Lodge and Top of the Rock
4-6 July: Stars & Stripes Showdown – Ballparks of America
7-13 July: Ballparks of America – Mid-Summer Classic (11U-12U)
14-20 July: Ballparks of America – Show Me Shootout (12U)
21-27 July: Ballparks of America – Missouri Heat Classic (12U-13U)
22 July-Aug 5: Moonlight Madness at Silver Dollar City
23-25 July: B2 Cheer and Dance
28 July-3 Aug: Ballparks of America – Boys of Summer Classic (12U)

For more information, tickets or reservations on these or other Branson shows, attractions or lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services and sellers of almost 5 million Branson show and attraction tickets by calling 1-800-785-1550 or through their website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

Branson Tourism Center’s Best Branson Insider Highlights for June 2018

Some of the cuddly stars of “Amazing Pets.”

From great live shows to exciting attractions and its beautiful Ozarks hills and lakes, Branson offers a variety of entertainment and fun things to do on a daily basis that few, if any, travel destinations can equal. Those daily activities are further enhanced with the addition of Limited Engagement performances by national touring stars and special events. The primary purpose of the Best Branson Insider Highlights is to highlight those performances and major events taking place during the month.

We will also highlight a Featured Show, Limited Engagement, and Event for the month. All Limited Engagements and events are listed in order of starting date.

Featured Show of the Month: Amazing Pets features delightful circus-like acts performed by a most unusual cast! Cats galore, cuddly canines, and even brilliantly colored exotic birds put on a show sure to delight “kids” of all ages! It’s a magical touch of mayhem and furry frivolity and fun for the whole family to enjoy!

The Texas Tenors.

Featured Limited Engagement of the Month: Since their national debut on NBC’s hit prime time show America’s Got Talent in 2009, The Texas Tenors have become one of the most popular singing groups in America. In addition, to a full concert schedule and many hit recordings, they have filmed two PBS Specials, “You Should Dream” and, just recently their newest, “Rise.” The show is in concert format containing many covers and original music including country, classical, gospel, Broadway, and more. From their first number to the last, the power, beauty, and intensity of each totals up to an unforgettable entertainment experience that should not be missed!

Just one of the many fun things families can do together at Silver Dollar City during its “Star-Spangled Summer Festival.”

Featured Event of the Month: Silver Dollar City’s Star-Spangled Summer Festival offers family fun and entertainment you won’t find anywhere else. See your favorite cartoon characters, Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience, Rockapella, Championship Cloggers, and much more!  And that’s beside everything else Silver Dollar City offers. The 1880s styled them park has over 40 thrilling rides and attractions. New this year is the $26 million “Time Traveler,” the world’s fastest, steepest, and tallest Spinning Coaster. It’s a world-record-breaking Spinning Coaster from many different aspects including a top speed of 50.3 miles per hour, making it the fastest with its immediate out-of-the-station 10 story, 90 degree vertical drop”… straight down the Ozark mountain side!

Limited Engagements (By Starting Date)

8 June: Marshall Tucker Band
15 June: Home Free
17 June: Vicki Lawrence & Mama: A Two Woman Show
28-30 June: The Texas Tenors

Major Special Events (By Starting Date)

5-8 June: Ballparks of America – Sum. Kickoff Tournament 12U-13U
7-10 June: 2018 Classics Cruisin’ Table Rock Lake
9 June: Run for a Vet; 5K & Half Marathon
9-15 June: Ballparks of America – Branson City Lights Classic (12U)
9-16 June: Law Enforcement Week
9 June-22 July: Silver Dollar City’s Star-Spangled Summer
11 June: Branson Skaggs Classic Golf Tournament
14-16 June: Ozark Mountain Thunder Motorcycle Rally
16-22 June: Ballparks of America – Father’s Day Classic (12U-13U)
18-23 June: StageOne National Dance Competitions
21-24 June: USSSA Ozark Classic NIT
23-29 June: Ballparks of America – Bring the Lumber (11U-13U)
24 June: College of the Ozarks Honor America Celebration
29 June: Summer Bopomapalooza (Branson Ferris Wheel)
30 June: Fireburst (Fireworks Display Kimberling City)
30 June-2 July: Hometown Heroes Salute – Ballparks of America

For additional information on these events, or 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 visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com, or calling 1-800-785-1550.

Up-Close and Personal with Elvis Presley tribute artist Ryan Pelton

Ryan Pelton

Recently, Ryan Pelton (RP), an internationally known Elvis Presley tribute artist, currently performing in Branson’s Legends in Concert show was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to do an interview for a Branson – Up Close and Personal, a service of the Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services.

It’s intended to provide an “up close and personal look” at a Branson star or personality and uses a “Question and Answer” format.

BTC: Outside of Elvis Presley, if you could meet and perform with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?
RP: Well there are three, Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper. [Jiles Perry Richardson, Jr.] If I have to pick one it would be Buddy Holly because he was so talented, both as a song writer and singer. I’ve always been a Buddy Holly fan and his songs are catchy even today. He had a different sound, combining a little bit of Texas Swing, rockabilly, rock and roll and country.

BTC: What do you like most about performing the Elvis Tribute in the 2018 edition of Branson’s Legends in Concert?
RP: Splitting up the Elvis set of the show into two mini concerts reflecting two different eras of Elvis’ life. I open the show wearing a military uniform and doing a patriotic tribute to the movie  “GI Blues,” and our Veterans. I just love that era and honoring our Veterans! It’s done without sideburns because Elvis did not have them in the movie and or while in the military. During the second half of the show, I close the set with the 70’s era Elvis, complete with white jump suit and sideburns.

BTC: Whether you’re in it or not, what’s your favorite part of the this year’s Branson Legends in Concert Show?
RP: ­­Absolutely the Veteran’s tribute and singing “America the Beautiful” to open the show.

BTC: Why should someone coming to Branson plan to see the Legends in Concert?
RP: To see one of the most unique and entertaining musical shows they will ever see. Unbelievably talented entertainers pay tribute to entertainment legends. Not only do they sing like the stars they pay tribute to, but they have the look and mannerisms too. It’s five miniature concerts letting the audience experience the realism of the legend getting the tribute. And if that’s not enough, its done amid a full scale choregraphed production with dancers, singers, a live band, colorful costumes and special effects providing a spectacular entertainment experience.

BTC: Why would kids like this show?
RP: Kids might not know who some of these stars are, but good music is just good music and kids appreciate that. Bruno Mars started as an Elvis impersonator and he’s one of the most popular stars today.[Click here to see when!]

BTC: Where were you born?
RP: State College, Pennsylvania overlooking Beaver Stadium.

BTC: When?
RP: January 12, 1973.

BTC: Do you have any formal musical training?
RP: Zero.

BTC: What was your profession before you started performing as an Elvis Tribute Artist?
RP: I owned my own website development firm when the internet first started gaining prominence in the early 1990s.

BTC: Just have to ask this, “Do you have a web site and did you design it?
RP: Yes and Yes,  RyanPelton.Com

BTC: It is said that you sometimes refer to yourself as “The Forest Gump of the Elvis Tribute Artists (ETA) World.” Is that true and if it is, what’s the story behind it?
RP: Yes. In the movie Forest Gump, Forest just goes through life living it as best he can, and things just happen to him because he’s at the right place at the right time. I have been very blessed to be able to do what I do, I take it very seriously, and have been blessed to be in the right place at the right time many times.

BTC: When did you first become interested in Elvis Presley and why?
RP: I had zero Elvis influence growing up, except for some people saying I looked like Elvis. Had no interest in Elvis, or music through high school, my stint in the U.S Marine Corps and college. Then one day, out of no-where, my mom faxed over an entry form for a local Elvis Contest and said, “I dare you to do this.” I saw it and thought, “She sent that thinking I’m not going to do it. She’s just having some fun with me because people say I look like Elvis.”

Even though I knew nothing about Elvis, I took the dare. A week later I competed in the contest. The guitar didn’t have strings on it and I taped the lyrics to it because I didn’t even know the words to the songs. I sang “Stuck on You,” “I Need Your Love Tonight,” and “Love Me” in the preliminaries, “Jail House Rock” in the finals, and won the contest. I rented a VHS video called “Elvis 56” from Blockbuster Video. It was all I had and I went from there.

I had no costume for the finals because I didn’t expect to get that far. I was singing Jail House Rock so I went to K-Mart and got a black jeans jacket and sprayed white t shirt with black stripes. I didn’t know the music so I wrote clues to all the verses on my hand. It was hot out and it melted so I ended up singing one verse five times, but I ended up winning.

BTC: What impact did winning the contest have on your future?
RP: Prior to that point I was not sure what I wanted to do, and sure did not plan on being an Elvis Presley tribute artist. Within a week I was performing in Philadelphia, had offers from all over  and made the decision that, “If I am doing this I need to do it.” I sold my internet business and went full time into a production show called “Pure Gold,” down on the Louisiana coast. It was a tiny version of what Legends in Concert is and was a cool experience. In addition to Elvis I got to  perform others such as “Buddy Holly,” “Elwood” in the “Blues Brothers,” the Indian in the “Village People.” I did two shows a night, six nights a week and wasn’t making much money, but it was worth its weight in gold in terms of becoming an entertainer.

BTC: How did you end up with Legends in Concert?
RP: In about 2000, after “Pure Gold,” I had a live audition for Legends in Concert during one of their shows in Las Vegas and worked with them until 2009.

BTC: What happened in  2009?
RP: I wanted to go out on my own, so I started my own band “Ryan Pelton & the Difference.” We toured extensively performing a combination of Elvis and my own music.

BTC: Were you also in a movie?
RP: Yes, using the screen name “Blake Rayne,” I starred with Ray Liotta, Ashley Judd, and Seth Green in the 2014 movie, “The Identical.”

BTC: How did that come about?
RP: My band and I were rehearsing original music in the studio in Nashville. By chance I met the executive producer of the movie and the result was a role in the movie.

BTC: What did you do after that?
RP: Went back on the road performing over 280 dates per year until I re-established my relationship with Legends in Concert.

BTC: What is your favorite Elvis Period to perform?
RP: The “Black Leather 68 Comeback.”

BTC: Whether you sing it in the Legends of Concert show or not, what is your favorite Elvis Presley song and why?
RP: I have to give you two for that one. My favorite Elvis Presley song is a song called “Pieces of My Life.” Nobody knows it. It is in so many ways the sadder part of my life’s story and some of the things I had to go through. Performance wise it’s “Poke Salad Annie” because of its energy and the response you get from the crowd.

BTC: What’s your favorite genre of music?
RP: I listen to and appreciate all genres of music, but my favorite is “Soundscape.” It’s hard to describe what it is specifically, but it’s just calming and relaxing.

BTC: Elvis Presley or not, what’s your favorite song?
RP: The Spanish version of Hallelujah sung by Il Divo. It’s just so beautiful. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzB8xC_CwH8]

BTC: If you could influence someone to remember one thing about Elvis Presley or his music, what would it be?
RP: Elvis Presley was just a man with a very specific vision. He wanted to be a singer and against all the odds he created his own world and made it happen. You can do the same thing.

BTC: When was your first time in Branson?
RP: 2001 when I filled in for Tony Roi.

BTC: What was your first impression of Branson?
RP: There was a sense of community and the friendliness of the people.

BTC: Do you have a favorite hobby or activity?
RP: I have a wood shop in my garage and love woodworking on things like furniture., I’m still a computer geek to this day and love video editing.

BTC: What else would you like our readers to know?
RP: I like to learn. I feel that when you are through learning you are through. Everyday I wake up and think, “What can I learn today?”

For more information on Branson’s Legends in Concert show and other amazing Branson shows, attractions, or lodging, please call one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Travel Planners at 1-800-875-1550. They will be delighted to answer any questions you might have about Branson, its shows, hotels, or attractions and assist you with reservations to help ensure that you obtain the best available seating at shows and the accommodations you desire. There is no charge for this service and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM.

Why is Amazing Pets a must see Branson show for kids?

The “Amazing Pets” in action.

Branson, Missouri has a variety of amazing shows that would be the envy of most other major tourist destinations. From biblical super heroes, amazing acrobats, and magicians, to music shows with a million dollar quartet, pure country or just about any other genre of music, it can truly be said that there is a show for every age.  However, even in Branson, where all shows are suitable for kids, there are very few shows capable of holding their interest throughout most of the show. Grand Country’s Amazing Pets show is one of those amazing shows.

Amazing Pets is designed for kids

This show, although it will also be entertaining to adults, has been designed to appeal to kids. The dogs, cats, and beautiful flying birds in the show, as well as the interactions between the show’s host, the affable “Apple Jack,” played “from the heart” by Shannon Thomason, and the audience are filled with things appealing to kids. Does it work? If the reactions of my three year old great grandson, and other kids that I saw enjoying the show, are any indication the answer is “Absolutely.”

Kids just naturally love the cuddly stars of Amazing Pets

What kid doesn’t relate to and love dogs and cats? Trainer Valery Tsoraev has combined the antics of his well-trained cats and dogs, with costuming, and choreography into a unique unbeatable entertainment experience that kids, as well as the adults that brought them, just love. It’s even more special because over 80 of the dogs and cats in the show were recused by Valery and his family from shelters.

Kids are amazed at the things these dogs and cats can do

It’s a joy to see the excitement and expectation on the faces of the kids as they see dogs and cats perform amazing feats that most never even imagined they could. I don’t want to spoil the surprise but here’s one example of what to expect. In the movie “Big Fish” there’s a scene where a cat is put on a platform and raised high above the audience. It then jumps from its perch and plummets down into a pillow held by its trainer. As amazing as it was to see in the movie, it’s even more so in real life.

The bird act gets real close and personal!

During an interview, Valery said that the birds in the show were hardest to train. Be that as may, it was well worth the effort because of the color and change of pace they add to the show. It’s an amazing experience to witness these magnificent birds flyout out over the audience. It gets even more so as Valery and his daughter, Olga, come down from the stage and have the bird fly down the rows close enough to where you can feel the beat of their wings. When I asked my great grandson what his favorite part of the show was he said, “The birds flying by!”

The theatre is located in the same building as, and just a few steps away from, the Grand Country Buffet making it the perfect place to eat breakfast before the show or enjoy lunch afterwards. Amazing Pets is a morning show and is a great way for a family to start an amazing day of fun and excitement in Branson.

The Branson Tourism Center is pleased to provide a special buy one, get one half off offer for Amazing Pets. Just buy one Adult ticket and get one Adult ticket for half price! For tickets or more information on Amazing Pets, or any of Branson’s other shows, attractions or lodging please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling its toll free number, 1-800-785-1550, or through its website https://www.bransontourismcenter.com.

 

 

Branson Up Close and Personal with the Million Dollar Quartet’s “fun girl,” Lindsey Perenchio

Lindsey Perenchio, “Dyanne in the Branson production of “Million Dollar Quartet.”

The smash hit show Million Dollar Quartet, at the Welk Resort Theatre in Branson, tells the story of a unique, impromptu, one time jam session consisting of four young recording legends-to-be: Carl Perkins, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis. The events of what took place in the storefront recording studio of Sun Records on December 4, 1956, come to life on the Branson stage in the awesome musical production of this Tony Award winning show.

Accompanying Elvis Presley that night was a young Las Vegas dancer. Although, she all but disappeared from any public mention with him after that night, her presence, that night, is the basis for the character “Dyanne” in the show. In this edition of ” Branson Up Close and Personal,” the fun loving Lindsey Perenchio (LP), an accomplished vocalist, dancer, and choreographer, who plays the part of “Dyanne” in this unique “ground shaking,” Branson entertainment experience, is going to share with us.

“Branson – Up Close and Personal” is a service of Branson Tourism Center (BTC), one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. It uses a “Question and Answer” format to provide readers with an up close and personal look at a Branson star or personality. The interviews are conducted for the Branson Tourism Center by Gary Groman, a 32 year resident of the Branson area, local columnist, and freelance writer.

BTC: If you could perform or meet with any entertainer (living or deceased) who would it be and why?
LP: Janice Joplin because I think she was an amazing entertainer who died too early. She was the epitome of a rock star and had awesome musicality.

BTC: In your career, of all the performances you have made and you have been in, no matter how big or small, which one personally meant the most to you and why?
LP: When I was 19, I was hired to be a singer for the touring company of the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Show, which I performed in Branson. It has special meaning because I learned so much about the business while performing with them.

BTC: What’s the story on Lindsey Perenchcio’s 2015 Choreography Reel on U Tube?
LP: I love doing choreography. When I was in college I majored in musical theatre and minored in dance and graduated from Milliken University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in musical theatre and a minor in dance. I have always been a dancer and was a choreographer for many years and that’s what inspired that video.

BTC: Are you a singer, dancer choreographer or all of the above?
LP: All the above.

BTC: What do you like most about playing “Dyanne” in the Million Dollar Quartet?
LP: Getting to perform with this great cast! They are so talented and so much fun to be around.

 BTC: Whether you’re in it or not what’s your favorite part of the show?
LP: I’m not in it, but I love the performance of the gospel song, “Down By the Riverside”, by the guys. They seem to be having a really good time and the audience enjoys it so much.

BTC: What’s your favorite part of the show that you perform in, no matter how major or minor the role?
LP: My first song in the show, “Fever.”

BTC: Why should someone coming to Branson plan to see the Million Dollar Quartet?
LP: It’s different than most shows in Branson. It’s a Tony Award nominated Broadway musical with characters and dramatic roles and music that everyone knows and loves. It provides a wonderful total entertainment experience.

BTC: What is your favorite Elvis Presley song?
LP: His performance of the Don Gibson hit, I Can’t Stop Loving You.

BTC: Where were you born?
LP: I was born in a hospital in Janesville, WI, just over the Wisconsin border from Harvard, Illinois, which was where I grew up.

BTC: Was there something special about your childhood that you think our readers would be interested in?
LP: How awesome my Mom was! She passed away when I was 20, but my childhood was very much inspired by her. She was a pretty phenomenal lady, a teacher and an inspiration to our whole community, but especially to me.

BTC: When did you realize that you wanted to sing professionally?
LP: I started dancing when I was six. My first public performance was a tap dance in Delevan, Wisconsin where I took dance when I was little and I have been dancing and singing ever since. When I was in dance ensemble in college they asked me to choreograph a piece. It was then I realized that I really liked doing it and it has been a passion of mine eversince.

 BTC: What is choreography?
LP: It’s the conceptualization of the whole creative look on stage. You have to think of levels, what you can work with, how many people you have, and the energy and style of the song. Essentially, it’s the entire energy of the piece.

BTC: Do you have any formal vocal, dancing or acting training
LP: Yes, all of the above. I have been taking dance since I was six, voice lessons since I was in high school, and got my college degree in musical theatre and dance.

BTC: Where was your last gig before the Million Dollar Quartet
LP: I had been working out at Silver Dollar City in various shows the last 13 years during which time I also performed and choreographed, the Red, Hot and Blue Show, and worked as the understudy in Million Dollar Quartet.

BTC: When was the first time you visited Branson?
LP: In 1999 when I performed at the Grand Palace in the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Show.

BTC: What was your first impression of Branson?
LP: I thought it was really interesting, unique, and unlike any other place I had ever been before.

BTC: What do you like most about Branson?
LP: I love the outdoor aspect of it. I love hiking, boating and the beauty of the area.

BTC: What do you like most about performing in Branson?
LP: The audiences. I like that you get to meet and greet them. Many come back repeatedly and it means so much to us to see them siting in the audience.

BTC: What’s your favorite thing to do in Branson when you are not performing?
LP: I like to be out in our boat on Table Rock Lake.

BTC: What made you decide to audition for the part of “Dyanne” in Million Dollar Quartet?
LP: When it first opened in Branson, one of the people I worked with at Silver Dollar told me they were looking for an understudy for the roll of Dyanne. I applied and got it, and was able to do both until deciding to leave Silver Dollar City for the Million Dollar Quarter

BTC: Do you have a “little known” fact about yourself that you think our readers would like to know?
LP: Even though I am a performer, I have a fear of public speaking

BTC: Married…Children?
LP: Yes, to a Branson Fireman. We have two boys ages 12 and 4.

For additional information or tickets for the Million Dollar Quartet, or any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging, please contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550, or by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

A “Bakers Dozen” of things in Branson your kids would absolutely love doing!

Silver Dollar City’s record setting spinning coaster, “Time Traveler,” Sight and Sound’s spectacular “Samson,” “Reza Edge of Illusion, and “Main Street Lake Cruises Lake Queen” are just a few of the exciting things kids, will enjoy in Branson.

There’s so much to see and do in Branson that it’s sometimes hard to focus in on the particular things that you might want to see and do. That’s true whether you’re an adult or child. From among many, here’s a “Baker’s Dozen” of items that we believe most kids will enjoy doing.

It is in a “check list” form so that items of interest can be checked off for further consideration. The links will take you to additional information on the item such as scheduling, pricing and, in many cases, pictures and videos. The information is provided by the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services:

1.  Experience the “walls coming down at Sight and Sound’s amazing biblical production of Samson. This spectacular production is  presented on a 300 foot surround stage and features live animals on stage and coming down the aisles. You can enhance the fun and excitement of seeing Samson by taking a Samson Behind the Scenes Tour to see the animals, and what goes on behind the scenes, up close and personal.

2.  Ride one of Silver Dollar City’s over 40 rides. From the new world record setting spinning coaster “Time Traveler” to rides for the smallest member of the family there’s fun and excitement around every turn.

3.  Watch a dog peddle a bicycle, cats jump through hoops, and see pets, many rescued from animal shelters,Watch a dog peddle a perform amazing feats at the Amazing Pets show.

4.  From big dazzling illusions to charming sleight-of-hand trickery, thrill to the magic of one of the hottest artists in the world of magic today, Reza, in the Reza Edge of Illusion show.

5.   Take a train ride on Branson Scenic Railway‘s historic vintage railroad cars through the beautiful Ozark Mountains.

6.  See the horses in their stalls at Dolly Parton’s Stampede then experience the fun and excitement of the “funnest place in Branson to eat.”

7.   Walk amid 1000s of live butterflies and through mirror mazes in the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure.

8.  Play mini golf on one of Branson’s many themed mini golf courses such as Fun Spot Farms Mini Golf.

9.  Sit in a lifeboat, touch an iceberg, or enjoy one of the other exciting interactive activities as part of your “voyage” at the Titanic Museum Attraction.

10. Splash, play, slide and “plummet” in 2 million gallons of watery fun at southwest Missouri’s largest outdoor water park, White Water.

11. Experience the “big splashdown” while riding “Ride The Ducks.”

12. Be amazed by the Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai where you’ll see acrobatic feats so phenomenal you won’t believe your eyes!

13. Experience the unique thrill, relaxation, and family togetherness of a cruise on Lake Taneycomo aboard Main Street Lake Cruises Lake Queen. Narrated by your U.S. Coast Guard licensed Captain, you’ll experience scenic vistas and see things that most of the millions of Branson visitors never get to see including the largest Great Blue Heron rookeries in Missouri and areas inhabited by Bald Eagles where you’ll frequently get to see these incredible creatures perched in the trees or soaring above the water.

In terms of all exciting and fun things for kids to see and do in Branson, this list is just the “tip of an iceberg.” For additional information on anything in this article or for information on “anything Branson,” please feel free to call 1-800-785-1550 and talk with one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Travel Planners who will be delighted assist you in any way they can.