Friday, October 14, 2011

So many do you choose??

Branson is known as the 'Live Music Capitol of the World' with over 100 shows at 50 theaters...the choices are many.  There are shows that include rock & roll, bluegrass, gospel, comedy, cowboys, magicians, dancing and more!   Branson has a show for everyone - but how do you choose what to see?  Most people only have a few days in town and a limited budget so research before you go.  Over the years we have seen most of the shows, at least once, and are only rarely disappointed. 

If you go to Branson, PLEASE do not fall for the 'ticket outlets' that are everywhere.  These are timeshare sales and vacation clubs.  There is only one true half price ticket outlet - Branson 2 for 1 ( at 1100 West Hwy 76.  They don't offer all the shows, but quite a few and we have been using them for years.  Some shows are morning only or on certain days of the week.  Stop by when you get to town and pick up their schedule which is updated weekly and then decide what to see.  They will sell you a voucher that you take to the box office to exchange for your tickets.  Don't worry about getting good seats - Branson has more theater seats than Broadway so chances are you will be close to the action.  We also get tickets at local fundraisers, radio & TV sales and on Groupon.  Most of the shows have discount coupons in tourist information booklets/flyers which are available in restaurants, stores and hotels.

We love using trip advisor to research hotels and things to do - Branson included.  There is another website which has a great forum to get questions answered and read reviews of the area and attractions.  This trip we attended 3 shows - The Hughes Brothers, The Duttons and Clay Cooper.  All 3 are variety shows with live bands.  Just about all the shows in Branson will have a patriotic set (honoring all those who served in the armed forces) and also a gospel set (this is the bible belt).  In our experience the patriotic set is usually last - gets the audience to their feet and then out the door when it's over!   One thing that we like about Branson is the friendly interaction between the performers and the public.  They usually come out during intermission to sign autographs and take pictures and again at the end of the shows.  If you want to meet & greet those onstage, Branson is your place to be!  Most theaters allow and encourage pictures during the shows - just not video recording.  We have know performers to stop onstage and post for pictures while singing or playing an instrument.  In some theaters you may be brought onstage to be part of the show (especially if you are in the front row or an aisle close to the front).  Good to know if you are shy' or at a show when you called in sick to work!

The Hughes Brothers:  This show is known as the "World's Largest Performing Family" because the 5 Hughes brothers include their wives and children in the show.  Their website states 47 members...but there was another recent birth (the weekend before we were there) so maybe it should be 48?  The brothers entertain with great harmonies and have been in Branson for 13 of their 28 years performing together. 

The Hughes Brothers

Spanish guitar solo

What makes them the largest performing family in Branson

 The Duttons:  This show is a wonderful showcase of the family talents - the members all play numerous musical instruments, sing, dance and enjoy performing.  We happened to be in town for their 20th anniversary celebration!  The family offered tickets for $20, had a party with 20 kinds of cake before the show, door prizes including stays at their hotel and a show package for 20 people!  They included many of their most requested numbers in this performance.  This family was in the top 10 finalists in America's Got Talent and you will know why!  Upbeat and entertaining - this family loves what they do and it shows!

Duttons party in the parking lot before the show

The Dutton family

Comedy skit included playing the horns- funny!

The entire family

Clay Cooper:   This show has a little something for everyone.  In addition to Clay's singing and entertaining you will enjoy trick roper and gunslinger Johnny Lonestar, amazing dancers, a 6 piece band, a dynamic rhythm duo 'Buckets n Boards', great comedy and more!  This is Clay's first year in his newly renovated theater and we enjoyed the seating and side stages that put the action all around you.  Clay has been performing in Branson for 24 seasons and continues to bring in the crowds.

Clay Cooper

Ventriloquist act with Clay's son as the 'dummy'

Buckets n Boards - yes he is playing the recorder with his nose!

Presidental game show

These are just a few of the reasons why we keep returning to Branson.  Now to start planning our next trip there!

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