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.
New shows up and running in Branson
The live show scene in Branson is getting more crowded every day, and three new shows have opened, or will open this week, so I wanted to keep my Loyal Reader(s) in the loop.
In addition to famous Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff, who will wrap his summer run with 8 p.m. shows Wednesday through Saturday before returning in October, the Yakov Smirnoff Theatre is also hosting “Comedy Hypnosis with Austin Singley” through Jan. 4, 2020.
According to his website, the show is “a non-stop 90 minute hypnotic spectacle of ‘Las Vegas Styled’ proportions ... accompanied by more than 500 intelligent lighting fixtures and 300-plus individual lighting and sound cues ... headlined by Singley, an award-winning entertainer and hypnotist.”
One of the most interesting aspects is Singley will alternate shows while headlining 350 performances at the venue. According to the website, he’ll either perform an “A” or a “B” show, depending on the day, at 3 and 7 p.m., and the “After Dark” show at 10:30 p.m. The “After Dark” show is for guests 18 years of age or older, unless supervised by an adult, but guests must be 18 years of age or older to participate in the show. Alcoholic beverages will also be available for purchase.
Even though Singley opened late last month, he won’t be back in Branson until Monday for the 3 p.m. show. Singley will perform three shows a day in July, with the exception of Sundays, as well as July 24-29, including “After Dark” shows.
Beginning August 1, showtimes will change for the “A” and “B” shows, and the “After Dark” show will move to Wednesday and Saturday nights only.
Also set to open this week at The White House Theatre is “The Story of Mulan,” which opens Wednesday, followed by “Acrobats on Ice,” which is slated to open Friday.
“The Story of Mulan” features more than 40 performers of all ages from the theatrical center of China, Hunan. The performance includes traditional Chinese puppetry, singing, dance, acrobatics and martial arts, and is accompanied by a live eight-piece orchestra playing traditional Chinese instruments.
Showtimes will be 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. through Aug. 10.
Friday will see “Acrobats on Ice,” which finds both acrobatics and figure skating from the Heilongjiang Ice Acrobatic Team, the first and only of its kind in China, take the stage. I’m awful interested to see this one.
“Acrobats on Ice” is set to open at 3 p.m. Friday, and will run for a limited time.
Visit thewhitehousetheatre.com, or call 417-365-5555 for more.
New acts added toMansion slate of shows
The month of October at the Mansion Theatre is shaping up to be one of the biggest and best of the year, as far as live entertainment goes.
In addition to a full slate of shows featuring Country Music Hall of Famers the Oak Ridge Boys Oct. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17 and 23-24, as well as Neal McCoy Oct. 11, Dailey & Vincent Oct. 17 and 24, Gene Watson Oct. 18, Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers Oct. 25, and the Bellamy Brothers Oct. 26, the Mansion Theatre has added two more shows spread across three dates.
First up is Country Music Hall of Famer Ronnie Milsap Oct. 19.
Due to a congenital disorder, as a baby, Milsap was left mostly blind at a young age, completely losing his sight as a young man. In December 1972, Milsap relocated to Nashville after a chance meeting with country music star Charley Pride, who was impressed with his singing. Milsap began working with Pride’s manager, signed with RCA Records the following year and released his first Top 10 hit, “I Hate You.”
Milsap followed that up with four more No. 1 country hits with “Pure Love,” “(I’d Be) A Legend In My Time,” “Daydreams About Night Things” and “Please Don’t Tell Me How the Story Ends,” for which he won his first Grammy. After several more massive hits in the late 1970s, Milsap’s “It Was Almost Like a Song” hit No. 7 on the Adult Contemporary Chart, paving the way for more success in the 1980s.
In fact, Milsap became one of the most successful and versatile country “crossover” singers of his time, appealing to both country and pop music markets with hit songs that incorporated pop, R&B, and rock and roll elements.
From 1980 until 1983, he scored a series of 11 No. 1 singles. “Smokey Mountain Rain” hit No. 1 on the country charts and became the first of two Milsap songs to reach No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Other crossover successes included “(There’s) No Gettin’ Over Me,” and two Top 20 songs in “I Wouldn’t Have Missed It For the World” and “Any Day Now.”
According to Billboard, Milsap tallied 35 No. 1 hits and 49 Top 10 hits. He was selected for induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2014.
Next up is “Country’s Family Reunion,” set for Oct. 21 and 22. Hosted by Larry Black from “Larry’s Country Diner,” along with country legend and hit songwriter “Whispering’” Bill Anderson, this show is set to feature “inside stories from many years in the business.” According to The Mansion Theatre’s website, Black and Anderson are set to be joined by Jeannie Seely, Mickey Gilley, Johnny Lee, T. Graham Brown, Teea Goans and The Malpass Brothers.