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.

Splinter and the Missouri Plowboys get old school at Bucket List

Not a week goes by that I don’t get asked, “Hey Josh, where can we go hear some good, old-school country music, have an adult beverage and maybe even do a little dancing in a late-night setting?” 

Well friends and neighbors, the search is over.

Each Monday night at the Bucket List, located in the Shoppes at Branson Meadows, Splinter Middleton and the Missouri Plowboys take the stage to share the best country music ever recorded.

The group is fronted by longtime local favorite Splinter Middleton, who helped create and headline the “Down Home Country” show many years ago at Grand Country. Not only does Middleton possess a vast knowledge of country music, he also has a great voice, and the crowds love him.

Speaking of things the crowds love, the Missouri Plowboys consists of some of the best pickers west of the Mississippi River. The awesome Dino Strunk tackles lead guitar while “The Living Legend” Larry Allred strums the bass and Robbie Springfield shows his mastery of the steel guitar. The Massengale boys, Wayne on fiddle and Garrett on drums, round out the Plowboys, and I assure you, they’re flat-out awesome.

As far as musical selection goes, they truly cover the gambit, jamming out on classic from Bob Wills to Lynyrd Skynyrd, and everything between.

Plus, another cool aspect of catching the Plowboys is the fact you never really know who may show up to sing a tune or two. It’s a surprise waiting to happen every week, and, there’s even room for some dancing in front of the stage. 

The boys told me spending the evening with Splinter Middleton and the Missouri Plowboys is like spending a night out in Branson “the way it used to be,” and that’s a perfect way to describe it.

Splinter Middleton and the Missouri Plowboys take the stage at 10:30 p.m. every Monday night at the Bucket List Branson.

Mansion Theatre houses AJ 

McLean’s Tuesday video shoot  

Tuesday afternoon, the Mansion Theatre will host a video shoot for Dynamite Music Group’s new project, ATCK, (All The Cool Kids), which features Backstreet Boy AJ McLean.

“This is a video shoot to promote a project AJ and I have together, we’re a remix team,” said musician, songwriter, head engineer at the Mansion Studio Brandon Mashburn. “So I did the Backstreet Boys remix for ‘Chances,’ and we did an Ariana Grande song and some others, so we’ve got several remixes we collaborated on and we’ve sort of fashioned it into a live show. A lot of DJs go out and spin their remixes live, but what we though would be much cooler, since we’re both musicians, to perform those remixes live. 

So we’re playing keys and drums, and we have a drummer and a guitar player, so we’re recreating this live ... with like, LED walls, CO2 blasts, pyro and all that. 

The doors are set to open at 4:30 p.m., and the show will begin at 5 p.m. Admission is free, but only the first 500 folks who show up are guaranteed to get in.

“We decided to open it up to about 500 people, and we’ll run through the set three times, and the video crew will kind of do their thing, and it’ll just be a lot of fun.”

Even though this is an “all ages” show, organizers said “mature audiences are suggested.” 

While McLean made his name in the music business with the Backstreet Boys, he’s also done several solo projects, as well as a hit collaboration with Florida Georgia Line, “God, Your Mama, and Me.” Last year, he released the single “Back Porch Bottle Service,” as well as “Night Visions,” which was recorded at the Mansion Studios.

“You know, this will be the first time AJ’s actually performed here,” Mashburn said. “So, it’s kind of interesting for AJ to come in, and for people who wouldn’t normally get to see him here.” 

Sounds pretty cool to me.

Visit facebook.com/TheMansionTheatre for more information.

‘Into the Woods’ at the Owen Thursday  

Forte Theatre Productions and the Branson Regional Arts Council are again combining forces for the second musical production of the 2019 season with “Into the Woods,” set to open Thursday at the Historic Owen Theatre in downtown. Performances are set for April 4,7,8,11,14 and 15, all shows at 7:30 p.m.

“Forte brings a new level of theatrical entertainment to the Ozarks,” said BRAC Executive Director Jim Barber. “They are a highly talented and dedicated troupe of professional actors and directors, and the Branson Regional Arts Council is honored to collaborate with them on a regular basis. Whether a full stage musical, Shakespeare in the Park, or a themed Cabaret show, a Forte production is guaranteed to entertain, educate, and inspire.”

“Into the Woods” features James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s takes on everyone’s favorite storybook characters, as they come together for “a timeless, yet relevant, piece … and a rare modern classic.” The Tony Award-winning book follows a colorful cast of characters, including a baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. 

When the Baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a Witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results.

Also, a heads-up to my Loyal Reader(s), “Into the Woods” a rated PG13 show.

Advance reserve tickets are $16.95 for adults 18 and older, and $11.45 for youth 4-17, and are available at BransonArts.org/tix or by calling 417-336-4255. Proceeds benefit the community theatre program at the Historic Owen Theatre.

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