It’s nearly impossible to mention Branson in a conversation without boasting about the wide variety of entertainment shows at the disposal of vacationers to the city. One show that certainly fits the bill for being entertaining and just good, old-fashioned family fun would be Pierce Arrow. This show has everything you could want from music and comedy to flashing lights and intricate costume designs.
Pierce Arrow is one of the most popular shows in Branson and you’d be hard-pressed to drive around town and not see a billboard with their faces on it. The show features a four man vocal group accompanied by two guitarists and a drummer. There’s also a comedian and a female singer who goes on stage to give the four men a break and allow them time to change outfits. The group performs most days at 3 and 8 p.m., but occasionally only perform in the evening.
The show normally starts with comedian James Sibley, who goes by Gene Pool throughout the performance, interacting with the crowd and guitarists in the band. Sibley is well known as being a fan-favorite performer aboard Carnival Cruise lines. He’s also made appearances on TV shows such as “My Name is Earl” and “The Gilmore Girls” and the movie “Mr. Woodcock.” Sibley gets the crowd going early by introducing the performers and mixing in punch lines while doing so. He also makes appearances throughout the show, introducing artists and emceeing between performances.
Once Sibley and the band has had their fun with the crowd, Pierce Arrow makes their way to the stage. Each member of the four man group brings their own level of vocals to make each song pitch perfect. The show starts off with the playing of songs such as “American Made” by the Oak Ridge Boys and some gospel music and hymns such as “Leaning on the Everlasting Love.” After a few songs together, singer Travis Spratt takes center stage and puts on a stunning performance of the MercyMe song, “I Can Only Imagine,” with the other three serving as backup vocals.
During the afternoon performance, each member of Pierce Arrow has the chance to take center stage and be the main vocalist for a song. The group even gives way to female singer Shonna Bonds, who performed classic songs such as “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston and “I Want You Back” by Jackson 5. Shonna has performed for various celebrities and has been the opening act for artists such as Rick Springfield and Third Eye Blind but has called Branson and the Pierce Arrow Theater home since 2013.
Apart from Shonna and Travis, the lead singer in the group, the rest of Pierce Arrow is made up of Scott Fraker, the baritone and co-lead singer who is a licensed minister and has performed on “The Today Show,” “Good Morning America” and “CBS Morning Show,” Tony Turner, the tenor who has opened for big name musical artists such as Ray Charles and Michael McDonald, and Dan Britton, the bass singer who once held the Guinness World Record for lowest note ever recorded. Together the vocal group puts on a show roughly two hours long full of excitement and entertainment.
Perhaps one of the most entertaining parts of the afternoon show was when tenor Tony Turner went head-to-head with comedian James Sibley to see who the best Elvis impersonator was. Both dressed as the King of Rock and Roll, each sang and danced an Elvis tune before performing “Burnin’ Love” together.
The show comes to a close with the group singing several popular country music songs such as “Love Somebody Like You” by Keith Urban and having all the performers on stage for an encore. This particular afternoon show took time out of the schedule of performances to honor veterans of the United States military by having them sit while everyone else stood to applaud them and shake their hands.
Overall, Pierce Arrow put on a must-see performance that is highly recommended for anyone visiting Branson. The theater isn’t overly large so you don’t get the feeling of being lost in a crowd or being too far away from the action. There’s great music, clean, family-friendly comedy and even snacks and souvenirs for those that are interested. A wide display of lights and colors really brings out the excitement during the show and any trip to the musical paradise of Branson wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Pierce Arrow Theater.