Chance “Oscar Madison” Havens, left, and Robert A. “Felix Unger” Montgomery star in “The Odd Couple” next week at the Historic Owen Theatre.

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. 

‘The Odd Couple’ opens Thursday at the Historic Owen Theatre 

The Branson Regional Arts Council will present “The Odd Couple by Neil Simon” next week at the Historic Owen Theatre in downtown Branson. 

The five performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 19-21, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 21 and 22.

Directed by local show producer Jody Madaras, “The Odd Couple” is a “classic comedy” centering on the relationship between messy sports writer Oscar Madison, played by Chance Havens, and the neurotic neat-freak Felix Unger, played by Robert A. Montgomery. Eventually, the clean freak and the slob decide to room together with “hilarious” results.

In addition to Havens and Montgomery, additional cast members include Cory Hensen as Murray, Deron Wolfe as Roy, Mark Peper as Vinnie, Dylan Pratt as Speed, J.C. Clinton and Abby Reeve as the vivacious Pigeon sisters. The production is directed by Madaras, in cooperation with Assistant Director and Branson Regional Arts Council mainstay Sean Neil Myers.

“An American comedy, ‘The Odd Couple,’ delivers biting zingers and the ingredients that laughs are made of,” Madaras said. “Our BRAC production comes complete with a boat load of laughs, and a heart-warming ending that is sure to please.”

“The Odd Couple” is being produced by Kim Hale, Lisa Murphy and Karie Dykeman, along with Artistic Advisor Justin Ables, Lighting Director Pamela Meadows, and Set Design and Sound Technician Mac Hill. Marshall Meadows is handling the photography, while Jim Barber serves as BRAC Executive Director and Marketing.

As an added bonus, those attending the shows are invited to visit the Rock Room Gallery inside the theatre for the new “Cityscapes & New York Nights” exhibition featuring artwork from a variety of local area artists. All works displayed will be available for sale by the artists. 

Artists interested in placing a work in the exhibit are asked to contact the Arts Council at info@bransonarts.org.

Tickets are $16.95 for adults 18 and over, and $11.45 for youth ages 4-17.  Proceeds will benefit the work of the Arts Council on behalf of our community. Advance reserved seat tickets available now at BransonArts.org/tix or by calling 417-336-4255.

‘Famous Impressions’ set showcase at Hughes

Organizers at the Hughes Brothers Theatre recently announced a special showcase, set for March 25, featuring a show called “Famous Impressions.”

The group, consisting of Doug Stiel, Cindy B and Mark Sander, began entertaining crowds in the Las Vegas area almost two decades ago, their “blend of vocal and singing impressions, along with impromptu humor, is unique and sets them apart” from other entertainers. 

The group will perform everything from rock ‘n’ roll to Motown, legendary country and old time gospel, as well as famous Hollywood personalities

“With our impromptu comedy you will never see the same show twice,” Mark Sander said. “We are excited to announce our Branson showcase performance at the world famous Hughes Brothers Theatre in Branson.”

Showtime is 8 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the Hughes Brothers Theatre box office by calling 417-334-0076, or All Access Branson at 866-810-3477. Children 17 and under are free with a paid adult.

Visit famousimpressions.com.

More shows opening

Well Loyal Reader(s), the show season in Branson is off to a breakneck pace, and more than a handful of shows will open over the next few days.

Monday finds illusionist Rick Thomas back at the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center & Theatre with his “Mansion of Dreams” show. For most of his career, Thomas has built his shows around the theme of his dreams, as well as the art of dreaming. During “Mansion of Dreams,” Thomas uses massive and beautiful sets, as well as modern and ballroom dancing, as he invites the audience into a show that took him several years to complete.

Visit andywilliamspac.com or rickthomas.com.

Also set to open Monday is “Pierce Arrow Decades” at the Pierce Arrow Theatre. Fronted by the Pierce Arrow Quartet, Tony Turner, Scott Fraker and show producer Dan Britton, the first half of “Decades” features some of the biggest hits of the 1950s and 1960s, from rock ‘n’ roll to rockabilly, pop and more. 

The second half highlights the biggest and best from the 1970s and 1980s, from soul and R&B, to disco, contemporary country, and of course, hair bands. As always, comedian James Sibley and a full band will also be a part of the show.

Tuesday night at the Pierce Arrow Theatre, “Pierce Arrow Gold” opens. Again fronted by the Pierce Arrow Quartet, Sibley and the band, “Gold” includes new hits, clean comedy and family fun. Musical selections include popular country, classic rock, gospel favorites and patriotic melodies.

Visit piercearrow.com.

Tuesday also sees “The Blackwoods” debut at their new digs inside the Americana Theatre at 10 a.m.

The Blackwood name dates back more 75 years, starting with the Blackwood Brothers Quartet in 1934 with James, Roy, Doyle and Roy’s son R.W. Blackwood, Sr. In 1954, R.W Blackwood Sr., Bill Lyles and Johnny Ogburn died in a plane crash. J.D. Sumner then joined the Blackwood Brothers Quartet as the bass singer.

Today, the Blackwood family legacy is carried on today by R.W. Blackwood Jr. and his wife Donna. In all, the Blackwood Singers have been awarded eight Grammys, 27 Dove Awards, five All-American Music Awards, the Publishers Choice Diamond Award, and the coveted Living Legend Award in Gospel Music.

Visit theblackwoods.com.

At 2 p.m. Tuesday afternoon,, the “#1 Hits of the 60s” show opens for the 2020 season at the Clay Cooper Theatre. The husband and wife duo of Matt Muhoberac and Amber Campbell, who also serve as owners, producers and stars, join a cast of five more singers and dancers, as well as a full band, highlighting more than a hundred songs, in rapid-fire fashion. Tunes range from the 1950s, 60s and 70s, from “bubble gum” to Elvis Presley and the Beatles, and everything between.

Visit 1hitsofthe60s.com.

Keep reading Branson This Week for more show openings and special events next week.

Yates delays ‘Songwriters’ debut until April 

Entertainer Billy Yates took to social media late last week to announce the opening of his “Hit Songwriters in the Round” show at the Shepherd of the Hills’ Playhouse Theatre will be delayed until April.

“After much consideration, we have decided to postpone our opening series of ‘Hit Songwriters in the Round’ shows, originally scheduled for March 17, 18, and 19, at our new home at The Shepherd of the Hills Playhouse Theatre,” the post from Yates stated. “We typically never open in March due to the fact that the demographic in Branson during spring break is not ideal for our songwriter show. 

“We had decided to do three shows in March to accommodate a couple of groups that wanted to attend. Those groups have asked to reschedule for later in the year, thus our decision to delay our opening.”

According to Yates, the new opening dates will be April 14, 15, and 16, and will feature songwriters Wil Nance and Bobby Tomberlin. Nance’s hits include “Round About Way” for George Strait, “She’s Everything” for Brad Paisley, “Cool To Be A Fool” for Joe Nichols, and more. Tomberlin is responsible for hits “One More Day” by Diamond Rio, “A Good Day To Run” for Darryl Worley, “Country” for Mo Pitney, and more.

Folks who were set on seeing next week’s lineup of Trent Tomlinson and Mark McGuinn can “rest assured that we are working to reschedule these amazing artists/writers as soon as we can.”

“We do apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” Yates said. “If you’ve already purchased tickets, those will be refunded.”

Visit HitSongwritersInTheRound.com or call the Shepherd of the Hills box office at 417-334-4191 for additional information.

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