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.
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Now, let’s get to it.
‘Million Dollar Quartet’ back at the Welk
One of Branson’s coolest shows, “Million Dollar Quartet,”returned to the Welk Resort Theatre for a fall run last week.
“Million Dollar Quartet” is a Tony-award winning Broadway musical that tells the story of “the father of Rock ‘n’ Roll” Sam Phillips secretly recording an impromptu jam session at the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll, Sun Records. On Dec. 4, 1956, music icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins all found themselves in the studio through fate and circumstance. As they began singing and playing, Phillips slipped into the control room and started recording something he knew was special.
The cast is a perfect blend of stellar acting chops and fantastic musical ability, and the production team at the Welk Resort Theatre is one of the best in town.
It’s one of Branson’s most unique shows, and it gets better every time I see it.
Shows at Grand Country Music Hall return
After a well-deserved vacation last week, the shows at the Grand Country Music Hall returned last week.
The “Grand Jubilee” show is back in its 7:30 p.m. timeslot, “Branson Country USA” is back Fridays at 10:30 p.m., and “Comedy Jamboree” and “New South Gospel” return to their 2 p.m. time slots.
Wednesday morning, one of my favorites shows in town, “Down Home Country,” is back for the first time since the spring. The “Down Home Country“ show, serves as a way for Grand Country Music Hall General Manager and Producer Mike Patrick and his production staff to pay tribute to the biggest names in country music history.
The show is fronted by Jamie Haage, who gets to shed his “Jim Dandy” alter ego and just be himself, featured female vocalist Melody Hart, who has a “powerhouse voice” and can also play the fiddle, and comedian Jarrett Dougherty.
The “Rhinestone Mafia,” a.k.a. the Grand Band, also perform as part of “Down Home Country.”
Visit grandcountry.com for more information.
‘Matt Gumm & Company’ Monday night at Clay Cooper’s
Labor Day will see one of Ozark Mountain Country’s most popular entertainers as “Clay Cooper Country Express” standout Matt Gumm will host “Matt Gumm & Company,” a special variety show featuring himself, Thom “Gabby,” Sandy and Jamie Gumm, Travis Spratt, and the Country Express Band Monday night.
According to Gumm, this will be an “over-the-top, all-ages, family-friendly, variety show” featuring two hours of comedy, impersonations, and “power-house vocals” backed by Branson’s most talented band from Clay Cooper’s Country Express.
Showtime is Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Clay Cooper Theatre.
Tickets available by calling the Clay Cooper Theatre box office at 417-332-2529, and there are also special rates for locals.
Labor Day at Silver Dollar City
Labor Day weekend at Silver Dollar City will see the park stay open until 10 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday night. With extended hours until 10 p.m. during the holiday weekend, this is the last opportunity for families to experience the awesomeness that comes along with night rides this summer, as well as take advantage of the Southern Gospel Picnic, which wraps Monday.
There aren’t many thrills as awesome as riding WildFire of Powder Keg under the cover of night, so if you’ve never done it, consider it a must.
Once the holiday weekend is in the books, the park will continue “The year of Shows and Festivals” with Country Music Days events, set for Sept. 6-22. During “Country Music Days,” the park will feature country music entertainers at several venues, a special presentation of “Billy Yates’ Hit Songwriters in the Round,” and three “big name” concert events at Echo Hollow Amphitheatre, starting with hitmaker Steve Wariner Sept. 7, followed by Shenendoah Sept. 14, then Sawyer Brown Sept. 21.
In addition to Yates and the big names at Echo Hollow, the park will see some of my favorite local acts taking the Silver Dollar City stages throughout the park with Missouri Plowboys, Eastern Heights, Makenna and Brock, Matt Gumm, Next of Kin, Renata and Justin Terry. For a full schedule of events, visit silverdollarcity.com.
Congrats to Brydon and Mina Brett
Earlier this month, Prince Ivan co-founder, Branson entertainer and one of the stars of “The Bretts,” Brydon Brett, and his fiancée Mina Thomas were married in a ceremony in Montgomery, New York.
I’ve known Brydon since he was a teenager, and I’m extremely happy for the newlyweds. Congratulations guys, and may your union be as awesome as you.
‘Steel Magnolias’ at the Owen Theatre
The folks at the Branson Regional Arts Council will debut “Steel Magnolias” at the Historic Owen Theatre in downtown Branson with shows Aug. 29 through Sept. 1.
“Steel Magnolias” is a comedy-drama about the bond among a group of Southern women set primarily in Truvy’s Beauty Salon in Chinquapin, Louisiana, where a tight-knit group of ladies come to have their hair done. Their conversations are both hilarious an heartbreaking as the realizations of the love, family, life and death hit home.
Showtimes are 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and a 2 p.m. show Sunday.