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Brydon Brett, left, and Aaron Ellsworth, also known as Prince Ivan, released their new album “The Preface” earlier this week.

Greetings my Loyal Reader(s), and welcome to the latest edition of the Branson Beat, your home for all the news on the Branson entertainment scene.

As always, feel free to drop me a line at jclark@bransontrilakesnews.com, or send me a message via our Branson Tri-Lakes News Facebook page.

Now, let’s get to it. 

‘The Miracle of Christmas’ 

With Christmas Day a little more than a handful of days away, I decided it was high time to get fully immersed in the holiday spirit and catch “The Miracle of Christmas” at Sight & Sound Theatre.

First things first, there aren’t too many places in the world that offer the experience one gets at Sight & Sound Theatres. As awesome as the venue and staff at Sight & Sound are, that pales in comparison to what we see on stage. 

The script and music for “The Miracle of Christmas” was written by the Sight & Sound producing group and is based on the Biblical account taken from the biblical books of Matthew and Luke. This original take on “The Greatest Story Ever Told” follows Mary and Joseph from their betrothal in Nazareth, to Mary’s immaculate conception, and finally to birth of baby Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem. 

“The Miracle of Christmas” uses original songs, a cast of more than 45 actors, dozens of live and animatronic animals, including camels, horses and a even a llama, as well as some of the largest sets anywhere in the world.

All your favorite parts of the Christmas story are present, from the angels in heaven to the shepherds watching their flocks, and the show is not only a feast for the senses, it’s a great way to fill your heart and soul during this time of year.

I truly can’t recommend it enough.

“The Miracle of Christmas” will wrap Dec. 28.

Next season, Sight & Sound Theatre in Branson will host the return of “Noah,” for one season only.

In this longtime favorite show, guests are taken on a journey as Noah and his family face hardships, ridicule and betrayal as they do God’s will of building a huge floating vessel and filling it with two of every kind of animal.

“Noah” features several dozen performers, hundreds of live and animatronic animals, and a 40-foot-high Ark being built right before your eyes. Trust me Loyal Reader(s), seeing that Ark on stage along with all the animals is most assuredly worth the price of admission.

Visit sight-sound.com for showtimes and more information.

Prince Ivan releases ‘The Preface’

After more than a year in the making, local group Prince Ivan, featuring Brydon Brett and Aaron Ellsworth, finally released their new album, “The Preface,” Friday through several online music services, as well as through princeivan.com.

“This whole process of recording and writing has taken about 18 months,” Brett said. 

“We wrote some of the songs with a  Grammy award-winning songwriter and worked with engineers and producers in L.A. Plus it was a major process for us to figure out our sound, moving from a trio to a duo (Brydon’s brother Garon was an original member of the group). 

“At one point, we almost quit completely (laughs). But we stuck with it, turned it around, and we’re very proud of the music, and the project. It’s pretty cool.”

According to Brett, “The Preface” is by far the most collaborative effort they have been a part of since forming the group several years back.

“Some of these songs have five or six co-writers on them, which is crazy,” Brett said. “At first, we were insecure and knew a whole lot less than we do now, so we fought hard in the beginning. But at some point, you have to be more concerned with winning than being right, and we wanted our stuff to be the best it could be.

“So we decided to get in a room where the writers and producers were better than us, so they could help manifest the vision we had for this. 

“We knew we had great ideas, but we lacked the ability by ourselves to get there, and we wanted our songs to be the best they could.”

According to Brett, the album will include all five singles the group has previously released, as well as seven new songs and four interludes for a total of 16 tracks.

“This album is a snapshot of where we are creatively right now,” Brett said. “It definitely represents our best work, so far, and we had to collaborate to make that happen.”

Brett said the next step is building their digital and social media presence.

“We’re focusing on growing an actual fanbase, and we’re booking dates now for next year,” he said. “It’s tough because the album isn’t out yet, but we believe it’s a game changer.”

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