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Branson, MO

Just one visit to Branson, Missouri and you will discover the most amazing musical shows, positively entertaining. If your passion, like mine, is live theatre and you can’t get enough of it, Branson is one of the greatest entertainment destinations for family and fans. It features more than 100 live shows, both accessible and affordable.

Non-stop shows start early in the morning and go all day into the night, with music you haven’t heard in awhile. Think of Hollywood, movies, celebrities and celebrity tribute shows plus adventures, antics and lots of laughs; it’s all here.

Get ready for a nostalgia voyage and the magic of movies through favorite musicals of all time at “Hooray for Hollywood.” Wildly original, it’s considered the top show in Branson with scenes from movies we all know like “MyFair Lady,” “Mary Poppins,” “Singin’ In The Rain,”  “Les Miserables,” “The Lion King” and so many more.

As those film clips played on the big screen, talented singers and dancers presented a glittering salute and spectacular live performances from those great films. It was a must see for this movie buff and exhilarating to watch top notch dancers with routines from “Flash Dance,” “Footloose,” “Dirty Dancing” and “Fame.”

You can’t forget our musical legends, as you hear them up close and personal at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre. “Legends in Concert” is where celebrity lookalikes actually sound and perform as Diana Ross, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis, The Blues Brothers and Brooks & Dunn, with every familiar movement to the last detail.

A rotating line-up captures the very essence of the stars you love: Johnny Cash, Marilyn Monroe, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Cher and many more, with elaborate sets and effects. The lobby is a virtual museum of personal memorabilia belonging to these legends, including their clothing items, journals, photos and actual performance contracts. As an added pleasure at the end of the show, these performers meet the audience and pose for photos while engaging in friendly conversation.

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In just one day at The Little Opry Theatre, I enjoyed a funky and funny gospel musical comedy, “Smoke on the Mountain,” and remembrance “Tribute to John Denver,” starring his friend James Garrett, who shared anecdotes and songs of the late great singer. There was even time for “Patsy Cline Remembered,” starring C. J. Newson, and “Hank Williams Revisited,” starring Tim Hendler. Wow, what a day!

More than 50 years ago, Branson’s musical shows began with the Mabe family’s country music and clever comedy act. They entertained visitors by the lake as the Baldknobbers.   You can still see them today, with second and third generation family members carrying on the tradition still going strong. The legacy of the Baldnobbers Jamboree, since 1959, can be viewed in the Smithsonian Institute with their original costumes and instruments now a part of the permanent collection.

An awesome dozen guys are the “Twelve Irish Tenors,” who are actually Irish, singing those songs we all know, like “Danny Boy” and “When Irish Eyes are Smiling,” with a taste of Irish folk music and lively jigs. Next they break off into Broadway musicals, opera, dashing dances, solos and chorale songs. Every act aims to please and succeeds.

Whatever your pleasure, you’ll find it in Branson, from Dolly Parton’s “Dixie Stampede” to “Shanghai Circus,” “Pierce Arrow,” “Neil Diamond Tribute,” “Abba Tribute,” and the beat goes on with “The Hughes Brothers,” “The Duttons,” “IT,” and “Presley’s Country Jubilee.”

Daringly different is the dining show on the Showboat Branson Belle, an Americana paddle boat moving along Table Rock Lake with their new show “Made in the U.S.A.”  Master magician and comedian Christopher Jones, an intriguing Master of Ceremonies, is joined by aerial violinist Janice Martin and The Showmen singing group, enhanced by breathtaking exterior views of the Ozark Mountains. More adventures continue later at Silver Dollar City with fun, food and more entertainment.

Branson was a high for me, like a non-stop entertainment roller coaster. Visitors love to venture here for Summer and Christmas, too, Dining, shopping and recreation are additional pastimes in Branson, with diverse lodgings for all budgets. There’s always a deal, and showtime in Branson is quality pleasure with admiration for country and family.

Find out everything about Branson by contacting Branson Tourism Center or Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and CVB at 800-296-0463 or ExploreBranson.com.

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