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SHOWTIME IN BRANSON

Entertainment Overload

sunny 75 °F

(Thursday) After realizing the vast choice of shows offered here in Branson, I decided to choose 6 musicals to attend, 3 each day. Showtimes are 10 am, 2 pm, and 8 pm. Since I grew up in the era of the 50's & 60's my choices were just that. The Beach Boys, Hits of the 50's & 60's, John Denver remembered, and The Lettermen. For local Ozark Hillbilly flavor, I chose; The Baldknobbers, and Sons of Britches.

The morning show of the Beach Boys was performed by a quartette of 2 ladies and 2 men who came close to duplicating that unique Beach Boy sound. The amazing thing about the group was how they were able to span several decades with the California Surfin' theme of hot rods & pretty beach babes, all during the music upheaval of the transition from Rock & Roll, to the Beatles, and to the Rock scene. Their last #1 hit was well into the 90's. The show lasted an hour & 1/2 and was delightful. The funny part was that all the performers were born in the 1990's, the ages of children (or grandchildren) of the audience!
Afternoon showtime included an audience with 3 bus loads of seniors, older than me! I think 'Hits of the 50's & 60's' came after their teen years which was probably 'The Swing' years of the 40's. They really didn't get into the high energy of the songs of my youth. The cast included 6 talented singers & dancers, along with a 6 piece orchestra (band). They sang over 100 songs including, The Beatles, Motown, California Surfin', The Age of Aquarius, and dozens of tunes of this special period in my past. They had me clapping throughout! A great show!
The evening show was a bust. Called the Baldknobbers, a Country & Western variety show, it really did not appeal to my musical taste. There were a couple of good comedians, however. I left at Intermission.

(Friday) Today started with an invitation to breakfast from my neighbors, which I accepted. A nice middle-aged couple from Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN who travel in their pop-up trailer, they enjoy the camping scene roughing it a little more than me. Tracey (her name) prepared bacon, eggs, homefries, and toast over their Coleman stove. The weather was nice to sit on the picnic table so we all enjoyed it. After breakfast we both left for our respective 10 o'clock shows. My show was, 'A John Denver Tribute', performed by 4 talented musicians. The MC knew John Denver personally and was the lead singer & guitarist of the group. Among the 3 guitars that he played was a 12 string guitar instrument, very difficult to master, so we were told. The others were excellent musicians who played the Bass Violin, the violin/fiddle & mandolin, and percussionist (drum), respectively. The John Denver musical hits really brought back memories, and the personal stories of him made the experience special. My seat in the small theater was about 6-8' in front of the stage which allowed the audience to interact with the performers. They all truly love music and you can feel it as they played and sang.
The 2 o'clock show was a complete surprise for I had expected another Country & Western blowout like last night. Called, 'Sons of Britches' the trio of musicians; 2 guitarists, acoustic and bass, and a violinist/fiddler performed non-stop with comedy with excellent instrumental musical skills singing song after song from a wide variety of music. They opened up to audience requests, for their depth of music memory amazed us all. The performers had 53, 43, and 40 yrs. in professional music. They, too enjoyed every aspect of the music they played for us. It was another very nice experience.
The Lettermen Show was performed in the 2,000 seat Andy Williams theatre, a beautiful facility. There were only about 200 of us in the audience, however. The sound of the original Lettermen was accurate with the 3 part harmony which made them famous. Two of the 3 performers were later replacements but the lead was one of the original Lettermen. To be truthful, at 80 yrs. old he needs to retire. He constantly tried to croon to the old ladies in the first and second rows, probably like he did 50 years ago! The performance was mediocre in my view and I left at intermission. Oh, well! You can't win them all.
(Saturday) I am leaving Branson with a warm feeling and would like to return sometime. I consider this my first step toward going home to Estero. There will be a stop in Huntsville, AL to visit the huge NASA facility there, then on to Atlanta to visit the GA State Capitol. Then, from Atlanta it is only 2 days of travel to reach home.

Posted by dixter 07:46 Archived in USA Tagged musical variety

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