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. 

Tony Orlando added to slate of shows at the Mansion Theatre    

The lineup of shows at the Mansion Theatre got a whole lot bigger last week as Tony Orlando announced he would return for a Nov. 9 date.

Orlando is a singer, songwriter, pr0ducer, music executive, and actor, best known for his hit tunes with the group Dawn, including “Candida,” “Knock Three Times,” “Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose,” and of course, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ‘Round the Ole Oak Tree.”

He also spent time as an actor, appearing on Broadway, as well as in TV shows and motion pictures. Orlando came to Ozark Mountain Country in the 1990s to perform, and eventually opened the Yellow Ribbon Theatre. It’s always a big deal when “Tony O” takes the stage in Branson, and I can’t wait for this one.

In addition to Orlando, the Mansion Theatre is also set to host The Oak Ridge Boys Sept. 23-24, 30, Oct. 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, and Nov. 4-5, 11-12,18-19, as well as Jimmy Fortune Sept. 24, Oct. 8 and 15, and Nov. 6 and 12. 

Dailey & Vincent return to the venue  Oct. 1 and 22, as well as Nov. 10 and 11.

One of my favorite Branson regulars, Neal McCoy, has shows slated for Oct. 9, as well as Nov. 4,5,18 and 19. The “Country’s Family Reunion” show will kick off Oct. 11 with the lineup of artists “to be announced soon.”

The fantastic Bellamy Brothers are back Oct. 16, followed by the equally awesome Gene Watson Oct. 23 and Nov. 7. 

More local favorites in the form of The Gatlin Brothers are back Oct. 24, and “Praisefest Branson Fall Retreat” featuring the Hoppers, the Isaacs, Greater Vision, Mark Lowry, Jim Cymbala, the Ball Brothers, the Perrys, Joseph Habedank, the Whisnants, Brian Free & Assurance, the Erwins, and the Nelons Oct. 26 through 28.

“The Gatlins: Country & Christmas” wraps the Mansion slate as its stands now Nov. 20. According to their website, another concert will be announced soon. Visit themansiontheatre.com.

‘CJ Newsom,’ ‘Noah,’ ‘Acrobats’ more open this week    

In addition to Silver Dollar City, which opened Saturday morning for season pass holders, Monday for everyone else, and several other shows and attractions are set to open over the next week or so.

Sunday night, the Americana Theatre’s “CJ Newsom’s Classic Country and Comedy” returns to the stage.

Starring Newsom and her “Re-Cliners Band,” as well as perennial comedian of the year Terry Wayne Sanders, this show features many of the greatest country hits of all time. Artists featured include Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and many more. Showtime is 8 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Visit americanatheatrebranson.com.

Monday and Tuesday morning finds Branson’s largest water park, White Water, open for season pass holders only. 

The general public will be able to visit beginning Wednesday, June 17. White Water is also set to have several guidelines in place.

Those include a contactless temperature scan prior to entry, reduced daily capacity limits, capacity adjustments for rides and restaurants and a requirement to wear a mask or face covering.

Visit silverdollarcity.com for more.

Monday night sees the debut of the Ruby Room Theatre & Lounge at the Majestic (see Page 1B).

Tuesday, one of Branson’s biggest and most anticipated shows, Sight & Sound’s “Noah,” their “first Biblical epic production,” is set to return.

The show itself features several dozen performers, more than 100 live, animatronic and puppeted animals, and a 40-foot-high Ark that is built right before our eyes. 

Visit sight-sound.com.

This is some late-breaking news I got just before deadline, but “Branson’s First Show on the Strip,” also known as the “Presleys’ Country Jubilee” show, will open for their 54th season entertaining fans in Ozark Mountain Country.

“We’re opening our 53rd season for the second time,” Eric Presley said with a laugh. 

The “Presleys” are always among the best of the best, and I can’t recommend them enough.

Visit presleys.com for more.

Also set for Friday night is the return of illusionist Rick Thomas and his “Mansion of Dreams” show at the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center & Theatre.

Thomas performed an extended run in Las Vegas for many years before relocating to Branson in 2014. 

Thomas has also been featured on numerous national TV specials, including “The World’s Greatest Magic” specials on NBC as well as his own special for ABC that aired in Asia. 

“Mansion of Dreams” is a sentimental, passionate and even emotional journey into the mind and heart of Thomas, and it really is a great show.

Visit andywilliamspac.com or rickthomas.com.

Finally, Friday night is the post-pandemic return of “Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai” at the Mickey Gilley Grand Shanghai Theatre.

As of press time, the only details I have are it will be their “biggest show ever.” 

Visit amazingacrobats.com.

Other shows set to open later this week include Showboat Branson Belle June 20, “Ozarks Gospel” at Grand Country June 21, “Legends in Concert” June 25 at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, then “Ozarks Country” June 28 at Grand Country.July 1 will see “Parrotville” return to the Jim Stafford Theatre, as well as  many shows at the Little Opry Theatre and the Branson Imax Entertainment Complex.

“The Sons of Britches” at the Little Opry Theatre. Branson’s Imax Entertainment Complex is also set to reopen July 1.

Wednesday, July 1, will see the Elite Theatre venue reopen at the Branson Imax Entertainment Complex with Tim Hadler starring in his “Hank Williams Revisited Show” at 9:30 a.m.

At 10 a.m. July 1, the Little Opry Theatre hosts mainstay James Garrett who returns with his “Tribute to John Denver” show. 

The noon slot sees Garrett return with “The Glen Campbell Songbook,” which sees him tell the story of Campbell by using his greatest hits and hidden gems.

Finally, “The Sons of Britches,” Earl Vaughan, Louis Darby and Randy Plummer, return at 5 p.m. July 1.

Thursday, July 2 at 9:30 a.m., sees the Elite Theatre return of local favorites George Geisser and his “George Jones and Friends Remembered.” 

Noon on July 2 sees Garrett’s newest show, “Neil Diamond Gold” debut. Showtimes for “Neil Diamond Gold” are noon Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, with the exception of three weeks in August.

Garrett’s slate of shows fully open with his “George Strait Country” show at 5 p.m. inside the Little Opry Theatre July 2. 

Friday night, July 3, at 8 p.m., the venue’s longest running show, “Smoke on the Mountain,” returns to the Little Opry Theatre.

The “Smoke” sequel, “Sanders Family Christmas,” opens Nov. 3.

Sunday morning, July 5, finds the “Good News Gospel” show at 9 a.m., followed by the “Ol’ Time Gospel Hour” at 11 a.m. These services are free to attend.

Monday, July 6 will see another new show debut in the form of “Rick McEwen’s Big Show” at 2:30 p.m. 

Tuesday, July 7 at 2:30 p.m., Little Opry Favorites The Petersen Family Bluegrass Band are back for the first of their 2020 shows, “The Petersens.” Wednesday sees “The Petersens Gospel” show debut at the Little Opry. 

Visit bransonimax.com.

One of my favorite entertainers ever, 2013 Ultimate Elvis Champion Dean Z will host a one night only show called “Dean Z|Elvis Unplugged” at 8 p.m. Friday, July 10.

Due to social distancing requirements, only a limited number of seats will be available for this show. 

Call 417-339-3003 for tickets.

“Six” is set to return to Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater July 13.

“Down Home Country” is slated to return Sept. 9

There are several shows and business which haven’t announced a return date, but as soon as they do, you can read all about it right here, or in Branson This Week, or at bransontrilakesnews.com.

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