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. 

Everyone’s a winner at ‘Comedy Jamboree’  

Last week I got the pleasure of attending one of my favorite local shows, “Comedy Jamboree” at the Grand Country Music Hall. The new show is filled with hilarious skits, sketches and stories, as well as one of the most talented casts in town.

 

The show again features the Jamboree Singers, Matt Snow, Tiffany Sassanella and GiGi Hutchison, and they were awesome, as always. In addition to their vocal prowess being on full display on country, pop and rock, the Jamboree Singers also get in on the comedy side, showing off even more talent.

In fact, Sassanella and Hutchison partner for a very funny bit, while Snow shows off his comedy and rap chops by joining comedian Andy Parks for a hip hop version of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” 

That one must be seen to be believed.

Speaking of Parks, he and his “Jamboree” cohorts, Shannon “Apple Jack” Thomason and Justin “Stretch (Sketch) McCord” Sifford are clicking on all cylinders entering their fourth season as a team. Their timing and flow is fantastic, and as planned out as that show must be, their reactions are totally genuine, which tells me they’re having fun on that stage.

Their comedy spans the spectrum, and there is definitely something for everyone, from “The Grand Game” to a special new song from The Sweatermen. I had a great time, and I’m sure my Loyal Reader(s) will, too.

Speaking of greatness, the Rhinestone Mafia, also known as the Grand Band, featuring Wayne Massengale, Tracy Heaston, Chad Cathell, Rob Blackburn, and “The Living Legend” Larry Allred, are again along for the ride.  The guys in the band get their own time to shine, and without them, the show wouldn’t be nearly as cool, at least in my opinion. 

Overall, “Comedy Jamboree” is a great way to spend a few hours listening to fantastic music performed by awesome entertainers, and comedy that’s actually funny.

Showtime is 3 p.m. every day except Sunday and Thursday. 

Tommy James and the Shondells cancel Saturday show at Welk

A double-dose of bummers recently befell my friend Bob Cannella and Up Close Concerts. A week after Vicki Lawrence was forced to unexpectedly cancel a Mother’s Day show, Cannella recently announced Saturday night’s performance featuring Tommy James & the Shondells at the Welk Resort Theatre was canceled.

“Unfortunately we have to let you know the Tommy James show will need to be rescheduled,” Cannella said in a statement. “Tommy’s wife Lynda has been hit with some medical issues and Tommy needs to be with her during this difficult time. Please keep Lynda and Tommy in your prayers, and we will update you on the situation when we have more information. 

“The show will definitely be rescheduled, but until Tommy knows when he will be able to travel we do not have a date to announce.”

According to Cannella, the Welk Resort Theatre’s box office will be issuing full refunds for the show. 

“We will have extra staff on duty to call everyone, but we had a huge advance ticket sale for the show so it will take a little time to reach everyone,” Cannella said.

“We thank you for your patience and promise to work as quickly as possible.”

In addition to a refund, Up Close is also offering all Tommy James & The Shondells ticket holders a “buy one get one free” offer for Max Weinberg’s Jukebox on October 2 at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre. This special offer will be available through Saturday. 

“This is a super fun ‘all request’ show starring Rock and Roll Hall of Fame drummer Max Weinberg, who is Bruce Springsteen’s drummer and was also the bandleader on ‘The Conan O’Brian Show’ for many years,” Cannella said. “Because this show is at a different venue, you will need to call the Bandstand box office at 417-339-3003 to receive this offer. You refund will be processed by calling the Welk Resort box office separately. 

“We are sorry for making this a two step process, but the ticketing systems at each theater run independently of each other.”

Up Close Concerts will return to Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater Sept. 22 with a all ages show starring comedian Jim Breuer Sept. 22, followed by “Max Weinberg’s Jukebox Show” Oct. 2, the Platters Oct. 9, Gary Lewis and the Playboys and the original lead singer of the Buckinghams Dennis Tufano and The Crystal’s lead singer Lala Brooks Oct. 12, as well as Moe Bandy and Joe Stampley Oct. 16, Mel “Sonny Boy” Tillis Jr. Oct. 23, Lee Greenwood Nov. 10, T.G. Sheppard Nov. 13. 

Crystal Gayle will present her Christmas show Nov. 20, 2019, followed by a Greenwood Christmas show Dec. 4.

Peter Noon with Herman’s Hermits along with special guest Mitch Ryder  perform Oct. 18 at the Welk Resort Theatre.

Flying high with Janice Martin

One of Branson’s most entertaining, and unique performers, Janice Martin, is at it again, and this time, she’ll be flying high above the Branson “Strip” as she dangles from a crane on Memorial Day.

Next Monday, May 27, Martin will host a special event outside the Americana Theatre at 6:45 p.m., before she heads in for her special 7:30 p.m. show that evening. The festivities begin with free hot dogs in the parking lot, weather permitting, starting at 6:45 p.m. At 7 p.m., Martin will hang from a crane and play the “Star Spangled Banner” above the Americana Theatre sign at 7 p.m. sharp, followed by “a little singing and dancing up there.” Once she wraps up, folks will have plenty of time to head inside and catch the 7:30 p.m. show.

Tickets are available at the Americana Theatre box office. 

Martin is a Juilliard Music School and Indiana University graduate, a U.S. Army veteran, and she’s also the World’s only aerial acrobatic violinist. After appearing as a headlining act aboard the Showboat Branson Belle for many years,  Martin has been headlining “A Janice Martin Cirque Show” for the past few seasons.

The show features country, rock, pop, opera, classical, comedy, magic, and even some music from the biggest and best movie soundtracks of all time. Plus, she plays a spinning, upside down piano, which is pretty fantastic, and you never know what she’s going to do while suspended from the silks. Where else can you see something like that I ask you? This show continues to be a breath of fresh air in the live show scene, and I can’t wait to see what she’s got cooked up now.

“I’m very excited about the changes we have made with a totally new cast with pretty amazing dancing and singing, juggling, comedian and MC,” Martin said.

‘Legends’ unveils summer lineup  

Another of my favorite shows, “Legends in Concert” at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, a tribute show which features incredible look- and sound-alike artists performing the biggest hits of yesterday and today, debuts the summer lineup Thursday.

The summer lineup will see tributes to Alan Jackson, Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson joining Presley and Blues Brothers through May 31, then a special tribute to Lady Gaga beginning June 1 and running through the end of July. From Aug. 1 through the end of the summer run, Sept. 3, a Pat Benatar tribute artist will join the “Legends” lineup.

The fall season sees tributes to the Blues Brothers, the Temptations and Marilyn Monroe joining a two different tributes to Presley, one paying homage to the 60s, the other to the 70s. The fall lineup runs from Sept. 5 to Oct. 31.

The Christmas lineup, which runs from Nov. 1 to Jan. 1, features tributes to Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Stevie Wonder, the Blues Brothers and Elvis Presley.

Keep reading the Branson Tri-Lakes News, as well as Branson Live for a full story on the new lineup next month.

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