Greetings my Loyal Reader(s), and welcome to the latest edition of the Branson Beat, your home for all the news on Branson’s entertainment scene.
More opening dates for shows and attractions
It’s been a little more than a week since Branson’s city leaders voted to begin reopening the town implementing Phase 1 of Missouri’s “Show Me Strong Reopening” plan, and many shows and attractions have announced tentative reopening dates for the 2020 season.
As always, this is best information I have as of press time, and again, I recommend visiting websites and social media to confirm the operating hours of any and all businesses before you load up the family truckster and head out. Also, to the best of my knowledge, all shows and attractions who are reopening will be abiding by “social distancing guidelines,” and the like.
Thursday afternoon, Choices Concert Hall will host their first show featuring Melody Hart Family & Friends taking the stage at 5:30 p.m. Melody and the rest of her family, Wayne, Dillon and Garrett Massengale, as well as the band always put on a fantastic show.
Call 417-320-6242 for reservations as this is a ticketed event.
Friday night, Choices is hosting another local band, Eastern Heights, who are perfect for a fun Friday night out on the town. Eastern Heights will begin jamming at 10:30 p.m. Saturday, the What Four? band takes the stage at Choices at 5:30 p.m.
One of Branson’s most popular shows, “The Duttons,” return to the stage at the Dutton Family Theatre Saturday night. Visit theduttons.com.
Saturday also sees the Americana Theatre’s slate of shows begin opening as the new show “Rock ‘N’ Roll Royalty” debuts at 2 p.m., followed by “Raiding the Country Vault” at 8 p.m.
The new “Rock ‘N’ Roll Royalty” show is said to be “a musical tribute like no other, with tributes to Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elton John” and more.
Also, the Outback Pub is hosting local entertainer Brad Williams, a personal favorite of mine, for some “unplugged” live music from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, May 16.
Sunday at 2 p.m., “The Johnson Strings” will open their first season of shows at the Americana. According to the Americana Theatre website, “From Broadway to Buble starring George Dyer” will open May 19, followed by “The Blackwoods” June 4.
Sunday morning, Jerry Presley’s God & Country Theatres will again host Cowboy Church at 10:30 a.m.
With next weekend being the Memorial Day holiday weekend, several more shows are also getting ready to open.
The evening of May 22 will see the Branson Ferris Wheel reopen at the Tracks Family Fun Parks.
According to their website, not all Tracks “locations/attractions will be open from the start,” but ownership hopes “for our more standard operating schedule in the days and weeks to come.”
Late last week, one of the area’s bigger stars, Russian comedian Yakov Smirnoff, announced he would be opening his new 2020 show at 2 p.m. May 22, but he’d be doing it at a new venue, the Caravelle Theatre.
Smirnoff said he’d perform “about 100 shows” in the 2 p.m. timeslot at the Caravelle Theatre over the remainder of the season. Visit yakov.com.
Memorial Day Weekend will also see one of Branson’s oldest attractions, the Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead and Adventure Park, open two shows. The “WhoDunnit Hoedown – A Murder Mystery Dinner Show” at the Shepherd of the Hills’ Playhouse Theatre returns May 22, followed by the “Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama” May 23, which kicks off the 60th anniversary of the “Outdoor Drama” being performed on the property.
Ventriloquist Todd Oliver returns May 31. Inspiration Tower and the Shepherd’s Mill Restaurant are currently open. Visit theshepherdofthehills.com.
May 22 will see the return of the “Pierce Arrow Decades” show at the Pierce Arrow Theatre, followed by “Pierce Arrow Gold” May 23.
At the Hamner Variety Theatre, the “Hamners Unbelievable Variety Show” is set to return May 23, followed by “Thank You For the Music: A Modern Tribute to Abba,” as well as the “Beach Boys California Dreamin’” shows May 26. Visit hamnersunbelievable.com.
The Branson Central Theatre’s new show “Escape Reality Magic Illusion Dinner Show” will debut in Branson Friday afternoon. Dinner is served promptly at 5 p.m., followed by the show at 5:45 p.m. This show stars Garry and Janine Carson, who headlined shows at the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas.
“The Comedy & Music of Steve Moris Lunch Show” opens June 5. Call 417-231-4112 for more.
Many more shows have also announced return dates past the holiday weekend. May 29 will see “Amazing Pets” return, followed by “#1 Hits of the 60s” June 2, “Parrotville” June 3, “Branson’s Famous Baldknobbers” and “Clay Cooper’s Country Express” June 5, “The Haygoods” June 6, “Grand Jubilee” June 10, “New South Gospel” June 11, and “Branson Country USA” June 12.