Less than a week after announcing they’d be renaming, revamping and rebranding their show, members of the Mabe family announced they’d be calling the venue formerly known as the New Shanghai Theatre, located on Missouri 165, home this season.
“We will be renaming the theater to the Branson Famous Theatre,” said the show’s general manager, emcee and third-generation member of the Mabe family, Brandon Mabe. “‘Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers’ opening night is scheduled for April 1 at 8 p.m., with a pre-show starting at 7:15 p.m.”
The Branson Famous Theatre will also be home to Branson’s longest-running morning show, “The Buck Trent Country Music Show,” which is slated to open at 10 a.m. April 20.
Mabe also said the original Baldknobbers Theatre will hit the market with an asking price of $3.5 million.
After calling the same venue home for nearly 50 years, the decision to move on was made by ownership, according to an interview last week with Mabe.
“I can’t speak on anything other than the bottom line, which is my grandmother is the sole owner of Baldknobbers, Inc. and this season would be 58 years she’s been running the ‘Baldknobbers,’” Mabe told the Branson Tri-Lakes News last week.
“She’s tired, and she doesn’t really want to be in the show business industry any more. So she wanted to put the theater up for sale and move on.
“I’m more interested in securing and continuing the legacy of what this family has done over the last 58 years, whether it’s at the venue that has been our home for the past 47 years, or at a new place, where we can start fresh. A house does not make a home, the people you share these amazing experiences with do.”
Once the decision was made, the family began to explore other options, which resulted in the remaining Mabes partnering with a group of investors to keep the show going in another venue.
“My dad (Tim Mabe) and I talked, and we got an investment group and decided that we’re going to continue this Mabe family legacy that we’re so proud of,” he said. “With my dad and I partnering with this investment group, we’ve got some people who believe in what we’ve done, and what we’ve brought to the Ozarks, and that’s what we want to focus on.”
Mabe and company also felt a rebranding of the show would be in order, even though they have permission to use the “Baldknobber” name in the show. The new name, “Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers,” will not only help pay homage to the family legacy, but also highlight a new direction for the show.
“The Baldknobbers are the Mabe family, and the Mabe family are the Baldknobbers, and you really can’t mention one without the other,” he said. “However, now we will live on as ‘Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers.’ This will be a brand new entity, a brand new show. We have refaced our own legacy, for the better, I feel. You know I’ve loved any show my family has ever put on, but I feel the show we’re preparing for this new movement is new, fresh, fun, exciting, fast-paced, energetic and has that grit we’re trying to encompass by featuring that outlaw, red dirt image we’re moving forward with.
“I think we’re going to make a lot of noise in Branson this year.”
In addition to “Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers,” the new venue will also feature the return of “The Buck Trent Country Music Show,” which was originally slated to be the morning show at the Baldknobbers Theatre.
The “Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers” cast are currently in rehearsals, and are scheduled to open April 1.
Visit baldknobbers.com for more information.