Grand Jubilee featuring New South keeps folks coming back time and time again

By Administrator on Friday, 6th June, 2014

New South Quartet performs nightly at Grand Jubilee. (Photo by Michael Frost)

By Michael J. Frost

For many people, a trip to Branson wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Grand Country Resort. While the entertainment complex offers a wide variety of activities, restaurants, and shows, it is the evening show, Grand Jubilee, that keeps many folks coming back time and time again. For those coming to Branson for the first time and seeking the most popular shows in town, they often find themselves being directed toward the Grand Jubilee.

The show has a history of consistently providing quality entertainment to audiences in Branson, and has earned a reputation as a top-notch, award-winning production by showcasing talented singers, musicians, and comedians.

The cast of Grand Jubilee features Emcee and Producer, Mike Patrick; Comedian, Jamie Haage; Vocalist, Jackie Brown; and a live band that includes Rob Blackburn, Gene Mulvaney, Wayne Massengale, Larry Allred, Michael W. Davis and Matt Hanshaw. New South Quartet rounds out the cast, featuring Jon Drockelman on tenor, Jason Robinson on lead, David Price on Baritone, and Mark McCauley on bass.

Robinson, in addition to performing with New South, also serves as marketing representative for the complex.

Several shows appear at the Grand Country Music Hall, including The Ozark Mountain Jubilee and the Sunday Gospel Jubilee, starring the Bacon Family Singers. These shows have been playing there for 23 seasons, according to Robinson.

“Grand Jubilee is our flagship show,” he said. “It is in its 12th season here in Branson and is the second longest running show at Grand Country Music Hall.”

Robinson attributes the success of the Grand Jubilee to mutiple factors.

“First, the show runs literally all year and is the only Branson show that operates like this. This gives us the opportunity to entertain guests at all times and even have a captive audience if travelers want to catch a show in the ‘off season.’ When those travelers return to Branson, we seem to be able to draw them back in. However, the greater reason is the quality of entertainment within the show,” Robinson said.

Year in and year out, the Grand Jubilee strives to offer top-notch entertainment for all ages, he explained.

“From the award winning Grand Band to the frontline cast, the show has no weak link in it and appeals to everyone. We are proud to say that the Grand Jubilee was voted 2013 Show of the Year here in Branson,” he added.

Robinson is also proud to be a part of the the Jubilee’s featured quartet, New South. This season, the quartet underwent a change with the addition of a new member.

“I switched from singing tenor the last 3 years to singing lead, and Jonny Drockleman, formerly of the Comedy Jamboree, has joined the group as our new tenor. In my opinion, the blend of the quartet has never been better,” Robinson said.

Performing every night with the guys of New South has helped them form a brotherly bond that is apparent on stage.

“The group came together through the efforts of show producer Mike Patrick. Over the years Mike has assembled, through painstaking efforts at times, a group of guys that not only love singing, but love being in a quartet. In order to perform together six days a week, 50 weeks a year, egos have to be checked at the door. I am proud to say that our quartet is a like a brotherhood, lacking animosity and centered on fun. That is both a testament to Mike’s efforts and the quality of guys that have joined New South. Work is a blast.”

Folks coming back to see the guys in 2014 will have the opportunity to hear some different material, as Robinson said they have added many new songs this season, as well as new comedy routines.

What else helps set this show apart from other productions in the area? It’s the live band — known as The Grand Band, Robinson said.

“They are three time winners of Branson’s Band of the Year and are simply the best band in this town. They are a six piece band that use no stacks, tracks or pre-recordings. Everything you hear on our stage is 100% live and the band is always spot on. With a band like that laying a foundation for the Grand Jubilee, it is hard to walk away from this show without tappin’ your toes,” he said.

The show is also proud to have long-standing cast members. “We have two original cast members of the Grand Jubilee still with us: Mark McCaulley, New South Bass Singer, is an original member of the show, as well as piano player, Michael W. Davis.”

One of the perks of being a part of the Jubilee is seeing a lot of repeat audience members, Robinson explained.

“Actually, we have over 1,600 season pass holders, many of whom attend multiple times a week. We call our pass holders ‘The Wild Bunch’ and believe me, they have earned that nickname,” he said.

“We not only have hundreds of repeat audience members, but we have developed friendships through this group. We look forward to seeing our regulars,” he added.

Is there anyone who stands out in that group?

“Yes! We have nicknames for some of our favorite stand outs. The group has to unanimously agree on a nickname before the nickname can officially be given — but as of right now we have nicknames for approximately 57 regulars,” he told.

Robinson said as for himself, he is blessed to be a part of the Grand Jubilee and New South Quartet – something he had wanted for a long time.

“I have been in Branson shows for almost 15 years. I waited a long time for the opportunity to be a part of this cast. I wanted to join the Grand Jubilee because of the reputation of the people in the show and due to the show’s quality. After working here for four years, I can say with confidence that everything I thought about this place is true. The show is awesome, the cast is composed of quality people, who happen to be great entertainers, and there is not a more entertaining show in this town,” he said.

“If you have attended the show multiple times and are not a season pass holder, you need to look into it. The benefits on the rest of the property are worth it alone,” he added.

For more information on Grand Jubilee, Grand Country Resort and all its shows and attractions, visit, or call 1-888-514-1088.

Here’s what others are saying about Grand Jubilee:

I have seen this show several times. They have won all kinds of awards. The quartet is great with each guy very capable of doing a great solo as well as harmonize. The band is exceptional—talented and entertaining. Jackie is the best female vocalist I’ve heard in Branson. Jim Dandy and Mike Patrick are very funny. If I had to choose 5 shows in Branson, this would be one of them. I especially like their gospel, 50s, and Elvis songs! — Jan M.

Grand Jubilee is my favorite show at Grand Country. The best band in Branson, and one of the best female vocalist. If you want to you can go up to everybody in the cast and meet them. The comedian Jim Dandy is so funny. — Dana S.

This was the second time we’ve seen this show and it has only gotten better. New South is an excellent quartet and the band is about as perfect as one can get. We went back for the Thursday Gospel show and were even more impressed. All the performers sit on the edge of the stage during intermission, shake hands, sign autographs and visit with the guests. — Ted T.

New South was amazing! One of the best I’ve heard in a while! We come to Branson often and usually end up doing the same things over and over. With the recommendation from our concierge we went with this show. So glad we did! Very entertaining. Loved the comedian! We see again! I recommend seeing this show! — Ronda M.

My husband and I have been coming to Branson for the past eight years. We have been Season Pass holders for this show for four years. This show only gets better every year. New South can’t be beat for close harmonies, high energy and splendid stage appearance. Mike Patrick and Jamie Haage keep you laughing throughout the show and Jackie Brown is one of the most beautiful and talented female vocalist I’ve heard. The Grand Band is just that, “GRAND”. This show is a must see when visiting Branson, Mo. — Kathy S.


Evening at Grand Country combines all elements of family entertainment

By Administrator on Thursday, 5th June, 2014

Highlights from the Grand Country Jubilee (from top left): New South Quartet; Comedian Jim Dandy and Emcee, Mike Patrick; Vocalist, Jackie Brown; a tribute to the 70’s; Patrick on the keys. (Photos by Michael Frost)

By Michael J. Frost

All the elements of fun and entertainment combined to make a memorable evening out at Grand Country Resort, particularly for a daddy-daughter date.

In fact, a lot of families and their little ones could be seen enjoying food at Papa Grand’s Pizza or Grand Country Buffet, playing mini golf, or playing arcade games at the Fun Spot, just before the main show in the Grand Country Music Hall.

While it was my main goal to catch the evening show, it was my daughter’s priority to get in as much time as possible at the Fun Spot. Somehow we compromised, and both of us found the evening equally enjoyable.

My daughter and I began our evening at Papa Grand’s Pizza, which offers a full salad bar and a hot pizza buffet bar. Children under 4 years old eat free with a paying adult.

Then, we headed over to the Fun Spot to burn some calories among the many games and activities. The Grand Country Fun Spot features black-light mini-golf, mini-bowling, spin-zone bumper cars, a laser maze, a video arcade, and more. The “Ballocity” Play Area is where kids appeared to spend the most time. It is an interactive play arena with multi-level platforms and a variety of fun features including blasters, vacuums, cannons and buckets that shoot and dump soft foam balls throughout the play area.

The biggest surprise at The Fun Spot was to come later in the evening after the main show over at the music hall — but first, it was showtime!

We made our way over to the Grand Country Music Hall for the 7:30 p.m. performance. I had heard great things about the show, and I have to say I was not disappointed.

Indeed, the talent was strong, the vocals were on pitch, the comedy was on its mark, and the musicians were on their game. It was good to be at a show where every sound was produced live, with no supporting stacks, click tracks, or canned vocals. The production value was sharp and the lighting design was clean, and The Grand Jubilee made it a point to put the performers front and center, as it should.

The talented cast of the Grand Jubilee features Mike Patrick as Emcee and Producer, Comedian Jamie Haage, New South Quartet, Vocalist Jackie Brown, and a kickin’ band that includes Rob Blackburn, Gene Mulvaney, Wayne Massengale, Larry Allred, Michael W. Davis and Matt Hanshaw.

Patrick’s emcee skills and comedic timing kept the show moving along at an even pace. He and Haage effortlessly bounced comedic routines off one another.

Haage, in character as “Jim Dandy,” stole the show with his onstage antics, particularly with comedic impressions of Dolly Parton and Michael Jackson. In addition to bringing out the laughs, Haage later wowed the audience when he shed the character costume and showcased his skills as a musician on several different instruments. Haage has been entertaining audiences in Branson for more than 30 years.

The audience also fell in love with New South Quartet, featuring Jon Drockelman on lead, Jason Robinson on tenor, David Price on Baritone, and Mark McCauley on bass. The quartet shined on classic and contemporary covers, from the Oak Ridge Boys and the Statler Brothers, to the Zac Brown Band. The quartet was dynamic and energized as they presented a harmonious, hand-clapping gospel section, giving McCauley an opportunity to please the crowd with low notes that seemed to shake the building.

Brown, the show’s featured female vocalist, was given the spotlight on several occasions throughout the evening, much to the audience’s delight. Presenting a variety of favorites, Brown’s vocal floated with a country lilt on Parton’s “Tennessee Homesick Blues,” and later a full-on belt with tunes such as “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” and a Whitney Houston cover. Brown carried out the money notes that the audience expected to hear with grace and beauty. She is married to band member, Matt Henshaw.

While the first half of the show featured country, gospel, and comedy, it was the second half that put the audience in cheering mode with covers of 60s, 70s and 80s pop tunes, from The Village People’s “Y.M.C.A.” to “Ghostbusters,” complete with full costume, and even an appearance by the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man. The second half also perked the attention of my 3-year-old, who was captivated by the fun costumes, wigs, comedy, special effects, and the overall energy that filled the Grand Music Hall.

In proper form, the show concluded with an upbeat tribute to veterans.

According to Patrick, the Jubilee and its cast members are winners of several Branson awards, including “Show of the Year,” “Branson’s Best Variety Show,” “Quartet of the Year,” “Band of the Year,” “Comedian of the Year,” “Emcee of the Year,” “Piano Player of the Year,” “Fiddle Player of the Year,” “Bass Guitar Player of the Year,” “Guitar Player of the Year,” “Drummer of the Year,” “Instrumentalist of the Year,” and “Steel Guitar Player of the Year.”

Indeed, it’s easy to see and hear why. Grand Jubilee is performed every evening at 7:30 p.m., January through December, at Grand Country Music Hall.

After the show, as promised, I took my daughter back to the Fun Spot where we were in for quite a surprise. High above our heads, more than 300 balloons were waiting to be dropped. The Fun Spot quickly filled up with hundreds of kids ready for the 11:00 p.m. drop — and when it happened, it was an absolute party for these youngsters.

Overall, the evening was a successful and memorable daddy-daughter date.

In addition to the Fun Spot and Grand Jubilee, Grand Country Resort is also home to attractions such as a lodge and a water park, and also several different shows that can be seen at various times throughout the week.

For more information, visit, or call 1-888-514-1088.

Shindig Shuffle hits sidewalks of 76 this Saturday night

By Administrator on Friday, 30th May, 2014

A scene from the making of the “Shindig Shuffle” music video which can be seen on YouTube and other outlets. (Photo courtesy of The League of Branson Theatre Owners & Show Producers)

By Michael J. Frost

“It’s the Shindig Shuffle and we party all the time… It’s the Shindig Shuffle and we do it in a line…”

The Ozark Mountain Shindig wraps up two months of springtime events this Saturday night when the “Shindig Shuffle” hits the sidewalks of 76 Boulevard in an attempt to set the world’s largest line dance record — and everyone is invited to participate.

The League of Branson Theatre Owners & Show Producers, also known as the Branson Show League, is behind The Ozark Mountain Shindig celebration, which was designed specifically to promote events and attractions in the Branson area in an effort to bring more visitors during spring months.

The springtime celebration culminates into a block party on May 31 at 10:30 p.m. when the sidewalks of Highway 76 become the scene of the “Shindig Shuffle.” The line dance, along with an original song, has been written and choreographed by the Hughes family (“it” at the Hughes Brothers Theater) and the Cole family (AYO starring Voices of Glory).

Cindy Merry serves as marketing chair for the League of Branson Theatre Owners and Show Producers. Merry explained the inspiration behind creating the “Shindig Shuffle.”

“The inspiration started with the Branson Show League focusing on increasing visitors in April and May by creating a two-month event called the Ozark Mountain Shindig – A Springtastic Celebration. During that time, individual businesses were asked to create compelling reasons for visitors to be here. From that, Lena Hughes of the Hughes Brothers Theatre came up with the idea of doing a line dance on Hwy 76 – a Shindig Shuffle. She then asked her family and the Cole family to create, write, perform, and produce both the song and the dance,” Merry explained.

The idea caught on quickly. Throughout April and May, guests at these shows were able to learn the dance, and lessons were held throughout the week for anyone who wanted to learn.

Members of the Hughes Family and the Cole Family, who created the original song “Shindig Shuffle,” also choreographed the special dance number that includes moves called the shindig, the jig, and more.

Lena Hughes, co-owner of the Hughes Brothers Theatre and the visionary behind the line dance said, “Anyone wishing to participate on the night of May 31 is invited to lineup on the sidewalks along Hwy 76 from Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theatre to the corner of Hwy 76 and Shepherd of the Hills Expressway. If you’re representing a particular business or organization, or just yourself, we encourage you to bring banners, signs, and to wear-t-shirts.”

That night, folks are asked to tune their car radios and outside speakers to My 100.1 Radio. The song will first play at 10:30 p.m., and play again at 10:35 p.m. and at 10:40 p.m.

Those interested in being a part of the attempt to set the world’s record are invited to learn the dance by visiting to view an instructional video. They may also attend a special 6:00 p.m. lesson on Friday, May 30 at The Hughes Brothers Theater.

In addition to the instructional video, a special music video of the Shindig Shuffle is now featured on YouTube and other websites. Various shows, individuals, and Branson businesses participated in the making of the video, including: The Duttons; Acrobats of China featuring the New Shanghai Circus; 70’s Music Celebration starring Barry Williams; Barbara Fairchild and her husband Roy Morris; wait staff and customers of the Golden Corral Branson; Kayak Branson; Andy’s Custard; Purple Heart Recipients; Kanakuk Kamp Counselors; Baldknobbers Jamboree; Buck Trent Country Music Show, and more. The video was sponsored by the Vacation Channel and produced and co-directed by Jason Hughes.

According to Merry, there has been great response to the Shindig Shuffle and the music video has helped generate even more interest.

“As far as who will show up on Saturday night, that we don’t know — but we posted the video on YouTube on Thursday of last week, and by yesterday there had already been over 1,400 views, so that is a good sign,” Merry said.

The event will be big on fun no matter what, she added.

“I expect it to be fun no matter how big. Also, we want to encourage people that have businesses off the strip to come to Hwy 76 and dance with us. If we keep growing this, maybe someday it will be all over Branson,” Merry said.

“This isn’t just any old song and dance,” she added, “it’s something fun for all ages with a unique combination of musical genres that really reflects the dynamic and diverse nature of Branson’s musical scene while still paying homage to the musical roots of the Ozarks.”

The finale is an attempt to set a world’s record for the largest line dance. As far as an official way of setting the world record, “We’re checking on what exactly we have to do,” Merry added.

“I do know that between the Hughes Family, the Dutton Family, and the Cole Family alone we’ll do a pretty good job of filling up their end of the strip. There will be TV crews and of course KOMC – 100.1 is actually playing the music, so we encourage everyone to turn their dial to the station and hear the song – and turn up that radio,” Merry said.

Branson entertainers, area employees, residents, family, friends, and visitors are invited to join together in the Shindig Shuffle. Merry encourages everyone to come and be a part of what very well could become a big night in Branson history.

“We’re not dancing in the streets — although we’d love to. We’re line dancing on the sidewalks. One of the reasons line dancing is so popular is because you’re with people that are doing the same thing, so you can blend in if you want or step out and do your own thing if you’d like. And really this isn’t a ‘dance’ as much as a social event. Remember – party all the time!”

Here is a link to the Shindig Shuffle instructional video:

Here is a link to the Shindig Shuffle music video:

Visit, and also their Facebook page,

Historic Owen Theatre presents variety of entertainment options to honor Owen legacy

By Administrator on Friday, 30th May, 2014

(Photo courtesy of Owen Theatre.)


By Michael J. Frost


Branson’s first theatre, The Owen Theatre in downtown, is now a bustling hub of activity and entertainment, with unique shows and special events planned throughout 2014 — and it still stands in honor of its creator, Mayor Jim Owen (1903 – 1972).

The Owen Theatre was the first operating theatre in Branson, Missouri. Diana Allynn, theater spokesperson, is part of the team who helped renovate and revitalize the historical building in downtown Branson earlier this year.

Built by Mayor Owen in 1936, it became a social hub for locals, socialites, and celebrities to interact after taking one of Owen’s famous float trips down the White River.

Today the historical Owen has been revitalized and also serves as “Branson’s House of Comedy,” as well as offering a variety of shows including “A Neil Diamond Tribute with Keith Allynn” and the “Pure Comedy Show.”

Diana Allynn is very enthusiastic about bringing quality entertainment to “the place where it all started.”

“Built in 1936, it literally is Branson’s first theater,” she said, noting that Jim Owen originally constructed the building as a movie house.

“When we came in, we added a state-of-the-art screen and projector to show classic movies so that we could honor the history of the theater,” Allynn explained. Movies such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Gone With the Wind have already appeared on the big screen.

This Sunday, the theatre is partnering with local promoter DJ Kolmega, along with “Game of Pawns” star Justin Tranchita, for a unique movie experience called “Mega Sunday Cinema,” an event to be held once a month, Allynn explained.

Sunday’s movie experience, beginning at 8:00 p.m., will feature classic 80’s films, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and Back to the Future. During intermission, a replica of the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future will be on display, Allynn said.

The admission price also includes a late showing of “Laser Floyd — Dark Side of the Moon,” which usually shows on Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30 p.m. The Laser Floyd spectacle is set to the entire Dark Side of The Moon album.

“This is the original Laser Floyd. We have $250,000 of lasers provided by Tim Walsh, the number one laser jockey in the world. He loved this theater because it’s like playing in a cave —this theater is all built in stone,” she said.

Noting the original stone still in place, Allynn spoke of the theatre’s historical significance to Branson and the tourism industry.

“James Mason ‘Jim’ Owen is the gentlemen who built the theater. He came to the area to help his father run a drug store. He was a marketing genius and actually started a lot of the tourism that Branson is known for today,” she said.

Owen is indeed credited with Branson’s first theater, which proved to be only the beginning of things to come. Owen’s theater on Commercial Street in downtown Branson was originally called the “Hillbilly Theater” when the movie house was expanded to provide additional entertainment for the fishermen he took out for float trips on the White River. Owen had established a very successful Ozark float fishing operation that sparked national attention, giving area tourism a big boost.

“He had a big connection with Hollywood,” Allynn said, “and he would bring in a lot of performers — people like John Wayne, Gene Autry and Charlton Heston. When Jim built this, he also had these hillbilly characters that he created. He invited a gentleman named Paul Henning, who came to love Jim’s hillbilly characters so much that he went back to Hollywood and created a series called The Beverly Hillbillies,” she said.

That show, of course, became a national television success. Henning went on to write and produce Pettycoat Junction and Green Acres as well.

“It all started with our own Jim Owen,” Allynn added.

Allynn said she believes it is important to keep shows and entertainment options alive in the theatre to honor Owen and the theatre’s legacy of entertaining folks in a variety of ways.

“So we came in this year and completely renovated it, and added state-of-the-art lights and sound. We have 260 seats and it’s a comfortable place. We have our tributes, variety shows, and at 7:00 p.m. every single night, we become Branson’s House of Comedy. We screen all of our comedians. Everything is 100 percent comedy, 100 percent clean,” Allynn said.

Along with comedy and classic movies, the theatre is home to a variety of additional shows, including The UFOs Branson Show, World’s Greatest Love Songs, Neil Diamond Tribute starring Keith Allynn, and Kevin Underwood & The Mighty Farfisa.

On Wednesday and Thursday, The Pure Comedy stand-up show features the writing of Emmy-award winner, Gene Perret, who wrote for the very famous Carol Burnett Show, Allynn explained.

“Gene Perret, who we all call Mr. Hollywood, came out of retirement to help write Pure Comedy,” she said. “When you come to Pure Comedy it’s just like going to Carol Burnett or Laugh-In. Just like with Jim Owen, Gene Autry, and Paul Henning, Mr. Hollywood himself has now left his footprint in Branson with Pure Comedy,” Allynn said. The 2014 Pure Comedy show stars Keith Allynn, Debi Diamond, Johnny Pinney, Andrew Lund, and Ed and Karen Underwood.

Allynn said she hopes that people will rediscover the significance of the Owen Theatre to Branson. She encourages locals and tourists to not only support the shows, but also to help keep the theater’s history alive.

“Everybody needs to come and see the theater and enjoy its history. This is Branson’s first theater — and we cannot lose our history. It’s our foundation. It’s who we are and why we’re here. We also give free historical tours all day long to honor Jim Owen for what he started in Branson,” she added.

Check out all of the entertainment options at The Owen Theatre, located at 205 South Commercial St. Branson, MO 65616, and stop in to take a tour. For more information, call 417-464-8945.

Follow the smoke to Doc’s Hickory Roadhouse for authentic flavors

By Administrator on Tuesday, 27th May, 2014

Doc’s Hickory Roadhouse serves up flavorful, smoked meats. (Photo by Michael Frost).

By Michael J. Frost

With Memorial Day here and summertime just around the corner, it’s the time of year that marks the beginning of the grilling and BBQ season — and the folks at Doc’s Hickory Roadhouse in Branson are already geared up to prepare all the flavors and fixins’ — in an authentic way.

Straight from Doc’s smoker, guests of Doc’s Hickory Roadhouse can choose from Slow Smoked Hickory Barbeque Ribs, Brisket, Pork, Chicken or Turkey. Flavor it up even more with a bit of Doc’s Barbeque Sauce, rated one of the Top Ten Best Barbeque Sauces in the Midwest.

“We do all our own smoking and prep in-house with my signature rubs,” according to Chef and General Manager, Mikey Burow.

“All of our meats are smoked in Doc’s smoker, and our ribs are never served with a knife — they are tender and fall off the bone good,” Burow said.

Meredith Meadows serves as Doc’s Hickory Roadhouse Marketing & Group Sales Manager.

According to Meadows, “All the meats arrive fresh. We inspect them before they even make it into our cooler. We also do all our own rubs. We have our own sauce, and our own smoker. Everyday we smoke meats fresh, 8 to 10 hours a day. Hickory is the only wood we use. The flavor is awesome, competition-style. Our barbecue sauce is #10 out of 200 in the Kansas City Food Show.”

This authentic way of preparation is also why Doc’s has earned the reputation of serving up the best ribs in Branson.

Indeed, a visit to Doc’s is very pleasing to the palate and satisfying to the appetite.

Real estate mogul Jerry Franklin is owner of the property, formerly occupied by a Shorty Smalls franchisee, which has since moved to the 76 Strip.

About a year and 1/2 ago, Franklin established Doc’s Hickory Roadhouse at the property. Franklin operates J.W. Franklin Co., and is a Broker, Owner & Developer of income producing properties, shopping centers, office buildings, and commercial sites in Missouri and Arkansas. He has several other properties in Branson as well, including Wild World.

“Mr. Franklin is one of the best people I’ve ever met,” Meadows said.

The restaurant’s namesake, “Doc,” is a tribute to Franklin’s father, she explained.

“Mr. Franklin served in the Army as a medic. He actually went over during Korea. His father was in the Navy on a ship in WWI, and in the medical field as well. He became a doctor when he came back.”

As the story goes, in 1916 Franklin’s father was aboard the U.S.S. Memphis on a peace-keeping mission in the Caribbean Sea when a Tsunami challenged the crew to maneuver their boat ashore. They lost 40 men during the storm, and many were badly injured — including Franklin’s father. He was reassigned to a medical unit for care, and there he took an interest in the medical field, where after helping wounded veterans he became affectionately known as “Doc.”

After serving his duties, Doc returned to the Ozarks, where he married and continued to care for local folks as well. Doc’s Hickory Roadhouse was established in the spirit of Doc, and also as a memorial to all the men and women who served our great country, Meadows added.

“His dad always had fish fries and barbecues when he was growing up, and he had a passion for doing it right. He took on that passion — he is big on making it right. He bought a huge smoker and went back to he authentic barbecue that his dad used to make. Doc’s is old-school barbecue,” she said.

In addition to preparing flavorful food, the restaurant also sets out to honor local history and heritage with its themed décor and memorabilia on display from Branson performers.

“Our theme is reviving the spirit of Branson and honoring those who helped build it. We’ve been contacting different shows, and we’re getting memorabilia from The Baldknobbers, The Presleys, and others as well. Branson is built on faith, family values, togetherness and community. It’s time we pull all that together again,” she said.

Meadows said she also hopes those values are reflected in the atmosphere of Doc’s and in the careful way that food is prepared and served.

“Our hope is that you enjoy a wonderful meal and favorite beverage with your loved ones.”

A few of Doc’s featured menu items include Doc’s Roadhouse Nachos, served with fresh tortilla chips, and a choice of pulled pork or grilled chicken, piled high and smothered with cheese and salsa. There’s also Doc’s Hickory Garden Salad, served with a choice of smoked brisket, turkey breast, pulled pork, or grilled chicken breast on a bed of salad greens, topped with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and dressing.

Then, there’s Doc’s “Heart Stopper.” This mammoth sandwich is served with a half pound of smoked turkey, a half pound of pulled pork, and a half pound of beef brisket, piled on three slices of Texas toast, and delivered alongside ¾ pound of fries.

Of course, there are delicious hickory-smoked dinners with choices that include a full rack or a ½ rack of ribs, pulled pork, turkey, brisket, and more, all served with Texas toast and two sides.

For those with a sweet tooth, Doc’s offers cobbler and Cheesecake Factory Desserts and “the world’s best chocolate cake.” There’s also a full bar perfect for large parties.

Doc’s also offers a lunch menu, to-go options, meat by the pound, special group prices, customized menu options, and catering.

Watch for the restaurant to soon to be featured on the television program, Ozarks Live With Tom Trtan and Joy Roberts, on KOLR 10.

Doc’s Hickory Roadhouse is located behind Sonic on Hwy 165 at 3270 Yellow Ribbon Road, Branson, Missouri 65616. Call 417-334-8172 and visit them online at

Revollusionists wow capacity crowds at Branson’s Music City Center

By Administrator on Tuesday, 27th May, 2014

The Revollusionists (from top left): Brett Daniels performs an act of levitation; Daniels puts an audience member in the guillotine; Kid Kadabra and Luka captivate the crowd with intricate restoration tricks and sleight of hand; Reza stuns the room by predicting the thoughts of audiences members. (Photos by Michael J. Frost)

By Michael J. Frost

Everyone gave a collective gasp when the guillotine dropped on an audience member who was secured in the frame of the apparatus — with his neck directly below the weighted blade.

No one was condemned to die, of course, but the illusion was absolutely thrilling as just seconds earlier, the blade had made salad out of a head of lettuce.

The guillotine act was just one of several memorable, exciting illusions presented by the team known as “The Revollusionists” in a new show at Music City Centre that is creating quite a buzz in Branson.

Lots of gasps, followed by even more applause, were heard throughout the evening as an ensemble of illusionists took the stage to create seemingly impossible feats. The team staged several large-scale illusions featuring the effects of levitation, escape, transformation, mind reading, vanishing and more. At one point, an illusionist rode a motorcycle onto a platform which was lifted high above the stage, when suddenly the bottom dropped out — and a second later the same rider came racing down the aisle from the back of the house. The audience was amazed.

The fast-paced production features a few familiar tricks along with several new, original illusions as well, all showcased within a modern, edgy presentation that sets it apart from standard magic shows.

The show was much more than smoke and mirrors. While the large-scale effects were certainly crowd-pleasers, the talents of The Revollusionists really shined with slick, ‘sleight-of-hand’ manipulations with just paper, cloth or coins. A cameraman gave the audience live, close-up views of the performers at work, shown on a large center screen and two side screens. At one point, the illusionists gathered at a table and each presented their own spin on the “cups and balls” routine, using a combination of effects.

No doubt, these impressive tricks only come with years of practice and devotion to the art form of stage magic — and the crowd appreciated every minute of it.

Speaking of the audience, there were several times throughout the show where an audience member was asked to participate. Many were eager to take part in the act, and a few of the tricks especially catered to children who were delighted to join these cool creators of illusion on stage.

Since debuting May 14 at Music City Center in Branson, the show has welcomed capacity crowds and people of all ages as well.

“We’ve had a tremendous audience response so far with overwhelmingly positive feedback. The crowds have completely filled the main level, having to open the balcony on several occasions, as well as being completely sold out — all within the first week,” according the theater representative, Christa Kemnitz.

The show is billed as “the next generation of world-class ensemble illusionary theatrics,” and is produced by renowned magician Brett Daniels, along with Inderjit Grewal as co-producer, Kevin Bliss as associate producer, and ‘Starr’ as art director.

The show features internationally known magicians working as an ensemble, and includes Daniels, Reza, Luka and Kid Kadabra, in addition to a supporting cast of dancers, technicians, and a few exotic birds as well.

Daniels said he is very excited to be returning to Branson after 10 years. He had performed as a solo artist during the 2004 and 2005 seasons at The Grand Palace, presenting large-scale illusions to amazed audiences.

He gained worldwide notoriety as co-creator, co-producer, director, and onstage front-man for a touring show called “The Illusionists,” which premiered at the Sydney Opera House in January 2012. The show became an international hit and enjoyed a widely successful tour around the world.

Daniels said the new show, “The Revollusionists,” goes beyond anything he’s done before.

“The Revollusionists will be what I had always hoped the ‘Illusionists’ could achieve, but this time we’re ramping it up, breaking all barriers, and presenting authentic theatrical illusionary art on a level never before seen on planet Earth,” he said.

“This show is an ensemble show, and I’m far more excited about it. This project is more clever, challenging, and a more theatrical performance,” he added.

Daniels said the “The Revollusionists” sets out to be more than the standard magic show, following its tagline of being hip, bold, edgy and family-friendly.

“We are five world-class magicians presenting our very best material, all within a cohesive ensemble presentation where we are interacting with each other throughout the show. We also have a cast of five dancers. It’s a multi-million dollar production, which has evolved out of shows I’ve done for 35 years. I think it will be the hottest thing here.”

Like Daniels, Reza is also returning to Branson after performing at venues all over the globe.

“I love Branson. I had my first ‘big break’ here at the age of 14, so it feels great to have the opportunity to return,” he said.

One particularly crowd-pleasing moment was when Reza lowered a locked box from the ceiling, that had been in view all evening, and opened it up to reveal a large sheet of paper that reproduced the thoughts of random audience members who had written them down while on stage.

“One of the things I enjoy most about the show is the diverse spectrum of audience members I get to meet on stage each night. The prediction I do, for example, involves randomly selected volunteers chosen simply by throwing an object into the crowd. There is absolutely no way for me to have any impact on who will be chosen, which always makes things interesting! It’s a very powerful piece involving my prediction, which is hanging in full view the entire evening, perfectly matching people’s thoughts later in the show. I love watching the audience react and sometimes literally lose their minds over the impossibility of what takes place.”

It was a mind-blowing act, indeed. So many elements throughout the show left the audience amazed, whether it was Reza’s mind reading, the razor-swallowing, restoration skills of the kooky Kid Kadabra, or the awe-inspiring spectacle of watching Luka pull objects out of thin air.

Reza said he is also very pleased with audience reactions and the response the show has received so far.

“The response to the show has been incredible! I think it’s such a cool thing, especially in Branson, to draw in audiences of all ages and have the show equally entertain every demographic. We are planning new effects to introduce throughout the season, so this is definitely a show to come back to see again and again.”

Daniels emphasizes that the show is family-friendly, despite it’s bold and edgy image.

“It’s a perfect family show that is good for kids. It’s charming, clever, and dramatic, yet a six-year-old child could enjoy it with their grandparents, whereas a 22-year-old couple could enjoy it as well. That’s the thing about magic. We are trying to make it a cool magic show, but it’s not so far out there that there’s going to be anything that would put people off. It has a very edgy image because we’re trying to differentiate ourselves, and we’re doing that in the show as well — but I guarantee that families will love it,” he added.

Music City Center is located at 1835 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson. Tickets for the show are now on sale. Call 417-544-9075 for more information. Visit for ticket prices and showtimes.

Legends in Concert announces new tributes to Kenny Chesney, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, more

By Administrator on Friday, 23rd May, 2014

Todd Bradshaw will appear as country singer, Kenny Chesney. (Photo courtesy of Legends in Concert).

By Michael J. Frost
To help kick off Memorial weekend, Legends in Concert at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater has announced its summer cast of entertainers, featuring new tributes to stars like Katy Perry, Whitney Houston, Justin Timberlake, Kenny Chesney and more.

“We’ve got a sizzlin’ summer lineup coming to Legends in Concert in Branson,” according to Jill Heppner, ambassador for the Branson show.

The new production, which opened Thursday night, showcases several multi-talented “legends” that includes Scott Jordan as Justin Timberlake, and Todd Bradshaw as Kenny Chesney.

“We’re excited to announce that we’ve extended the dates of Tina Turner through June 6th,” Heppner added.

Two different performers will portray Whitney Houston this summer. The tribute to Houston is set to hit the stage on June 7th.

“As always, The Blues Brothers and Elvis complete the perfect summer cast. In addition, we’ve added a smokin’ hot tribute to Katy Perry, July 1st through September 2nd. We’re so excited about this summer lineup. There is truly something for everybody this summer at Legends in Concert,” Heppner said.

Scott Jordan as Justin Timberlake will perform #1 hits such as “Bye Bye Bye”, ”Dirty Pop”, and more. Heppner said Jordan has been with the company, OnStage Productions / Legends in Concert, for nearly 4 years.

“This is his first time to perform in Branson, and our first time to have a Justin Timberlake tribute. Scott has performed many times for Legends in Concert in Las Vegas and Myrtle Beach,” she said.

Todd Bradshaw is a Branson local who will be portraying Kenny Chesney at Legends for the first time. Heppner said he already draws a huge following on his own merit, as himself.

“I believe he spent several years at Grand Country performing there. He auditioned through Legends to perform as Kenny Chesney, and he is amazing! We are thrilled to have him make his debut as Kenny Chesney right here in his hometown at Legends in Concert. His contract with Legends will take him to our other theaters as well,” she explained.

Heppner said she is also very excited about the upcoming tribute to Whitney Houston. “We have two performers portraying Whitney Houston this summer. Ginai will be performing as Whitney June 7-30, and Cynthia Minx will be here as Whitney July 1 – Sept 2. Both women are great performers and have been with the company for several years,” she said.

Legends in Concert wouldn’t be complete without its regular tributes to Elvis, as well as The Blues Brothers.

“Our Elvis here at Legends has been Dean Z. After winning the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest in Memphis last year, he is under contract through Elvis Presley Enterprises to do several performances for them, so this year we are working with a few tribute artists as Elvis. Dean Z is here for a little over half of the rest of the year. When he is unable to be here, we have Bill Cherry, the 2009 Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist, and also Tony Roi. Tony used to be the Legends in Concert Elvis full time. Several years ago he left to open his own show,” Heppner said.

“Our crazy high energy Blues Brothers are locals, Justin Clark and Bucky Heard. Everyone loves the Blues Brothers and their crazy antics,” she added.

Legends in Concert has been a part of the Branson entertainment scene for 18 years. All vocals by the tribute artists are presented live, and each performance is brought to life with background singers, dancers and live musicians.

“I believe Legends in Concert’s appeal is that we give people the opportunity to experience an amazing re-enactment of some of their favorite, most loved performers. We produce a top quality concert, and at reasonable prices. Also, our theater, The Dick Clark American Bandstand Theater, is full of original memorabilia from Dick Clark Productions,” Heppner said.

“Our stage is a state-of-the-art stage set. The set was created by All Access Staging and Productions, Inc., a set construction company specializing in staging for touring, film & television, and special events such as movie premiers, festivals and even the Super Bowl Half,” she added.

Legends guests can enjoy dinner and cocktail service provided by Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Grill in the VIP overlook while enjoying the show. Legends in Concert is also offering a special rate for kids, ages 4-12 for $6.95 plus tax, all summer. Show times are 3:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. For more information, call 417-335-STAR or visit

Legends in Concert is presented at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, located at 1600 W Hwy 76, Branson, MO 65616.

About Legends in Concert

Celebrating its 30th year, “Legends in Concert” is a live musical celebration featuring the world’s greatest celebrity tribute artists. The product is owned and operated by Las Vegas based On Stage Entertainment, Inc. Widely recognized in the entertainment industry as the original celebrity tribute show, “Legends in Concert” has not only performed throughout the United States, but the show has traveled to 15 countries on five continents, entertaining more than 25 million fans. It currently operates numerous fixed-based, touring, limited-term and private engagements of “Legends” throughout the world. In addition to Las Vegas, “Legends” is presented year-round in numerous cities including Myrtle Beach, S.C., Branson, MO, Atlantic City, N.J., Foxwoods, CT; Waikiki, HI and on the high seas onboard the Norwegian EPIC.


When it comes to entertaining, Haygoods fire on all cylinders

By Administrator on Thursday, 22nd May, 2014

The Haygoods in action, presenting their show for 2014 at The Clay Cooper Theater. (Photos by Michael Frost)

By Michael J. Frost

Skilled musicians, strong vocalists, energetic dancers, innovative thinkers – these are a few of the phrases that might define the six siblings that make up one of Branson’s most popular performing families, The Haygoods.

Currently at The Clay Cooper Theater, it’s easy to see why this talented team has earned a reputation of putting on one of the best shows in Branson. They are obviously devoted to their craft, putting in multiple hours of rehearsals, and keeping their show as fresh and exciting as possible for their audience members, many of whom return to see them time and time again.

How do six siblings seamlessly work together to bring on such a slick and shiny production that equally features the talents of each one of them?

“We work together well because we figured out years and years ago to put all problems aside when we work. No family stuff comes up. We are just there to work,” explained Michael Haygood, who is on the electric guitar, acoustic guitar, violin, and vocals. Michael also serves as the lighting and special effects designer. Oh — and he does a backflip onstage while rocking out on that electric guitar.

From backflips to beach balls, from fire to fiddles, from a sax to a harp — and just a little bit of banjo — the Haygoods incorporate many elements into their multi-faceted, electrifying performances.

Their talents are not only present on stage, but apparent behind the scenes as well. Michael said the family is involved in almost every aspect of putting the show together.

“We always try to technically be as far ahead of any other show as possible. I design all the special effects for our show. And honestly I just don’t think anybody in Branson knows what’s available out there to use as far as special effects goes,” Michael said.

Indeed, their presentation is a step ahead, showcasing a mesmerizing lighting display, and also plugging in costumes and musical instruments that light up the stage in ways few have seen before.

“I think ultimately when you design your own show you’ll be more happy with the finished result, rather than trusting somebody else to get your idea across,” he added.

The same goes for their set list and musical arrangements. The siblings have made it a point to include various styles of music into their show, ranging from classics to current Top 40 radio hits, adding their own musical touch to each cover.

“We figure out our set list,” Michael said, and then they design their show around it. The beauty in their musical selections comes from the diversity that each sibling delivers in the song choices, whether it’s a soaring tenor voice on “You Were Always On My Mind,” a moving harp solo during “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” or a rocking fiddle and banjo duel to the tune of “Devil Went Down To Georgia.”

Their energy is infectious as they romp, stomp, sing and pick their way through their high-tech show, filled with musical influences from backwoods country music, to modern rock and pop, with harmonies that only siblings can produce — and the audiences love every minute of it.

The Haygoods, all in their 20s and 30s, consists of five brothers and one sister. They are: Timothy (mandolin, acoustic guitar, violin, vocals); Patrick (piano, drums, vocals); Dominic (sax, violin, vocals); Michael (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, violin, vocals); Matthew (bass, vocals); and Catherine (harp, violin, sax, piano, vocals).

According to their website bio, The Haygoods grew up in Boerne, Texas, and as children, they would take their musical act to festivals and fairs across the United States. In 1993, the family moved to Branson and began performing daily shows at Silver Dollar City. For eight years, the family performed five shows a day, five days a week, while taking music and dance lessons, in addition to completing schoolwork. The Haygoods performed more than 10,000 shows during their time at Silver Dollar City, their website states.

Then in 2001, the Haygoods took a leap of faith and opened their own show on the Branson strip. The three oldest brothers took creative and financial control of the show, which soon began to make its mark on the local entertainment scene. They became known for taking classic songs and adding their own musical spin, updating them with modern dance moves and tight, family harmonies.

The Haygoods set out to create their own original music and released their first album, “Leaving It All Behind,” in 2010. Then, in the fall of 2011, The Haygoods teamed up with the RFD-TV network, a cable channel distributed to more than 50 million homes in the USA and worldwide, to create a reality television show. The TV show, called “Adventures of The Haygoods,” did well on the network. Suddenly, the group was in the national spotlight. Word has it that an even larger network is interested in developing a new reality show featuring the family.

Even with national exposure, Michael said what keeps the group grounded here is simply because it’s home to them.

“What keeps us here in Branson is our home. We are always working on outside projects, but Branson will always be our home base,” he said.

Today, the siblings’ hard work has accumulated into 21-plus years of playing music together and 10,000 concerts for more than 5,000,000 people. The show is now billed as the longest running, most successful first-generation show in Branson.

This year, The Haygoods have partnered with the Clay Cooper Theatre to present a brand new show that is currently playing three nights a week to enthusiastic crowds.

“For anybody considering coming to our show I would say — words can’t describe the show. You simply must just experience it to understand. You won’t be disappointed,” Michael added.

The Haygoods are currently offering area appreciation discounts from May 25 through June 14. Tickets are $10 plus tax for residents of surrounding counties. Buyers must show a valid photo ID. Call 417-339-4663 for reservations, or visit for more information.

Here’s what others are saying about The Haygoods:

“I have been to Branson probably 12 or more times in the last 25 years. I have seen a lot of great shows but the Haygoods are a cut above the rest. There are 5 brothers and 1 sister. They are all very talented & fantastic singers / harmonizers! The show is full of energy from beginning to end. This show is one of the best (if not the best) ever! A must see for people of all ages. The theater was sold out on a Tuesday night!” — Randy H.

“We catch this show each time we are in Branson; this fantastic family group gets better each time we see them. Warning: This show sells out now that it is at the Clay Cooper Theater. We purchased tickets a couple days before show and almost didn’t get in. Even though there are many great shows in Branson, being a frequent Branson traveler, I rank this show as the best of Branson. Young people would also love this show. The Haygoods are a very talented family. We have already purchased tickets for two more visits we have planned in 2014.” — Helen H.

“This was one of the best family entertainment groups we saw during our weeklong visit to Branson! The range of talent was awe inspiring! Name an instrument and this group can probably play it well! Dancing? No problem! Lighting effects? No problem! Range of musical variety? No problem! What a show! All the women in our group especially loved the tap/clogging routine! I was impressed by the production value throughout!” — Don M.

‘The Price is Right’ hosted by Jerry Springer at Moon River Theater; ‘Le Grand Cirque’ at King’s Castle Theater

By Administrator on Wednesday, 21st May, 2014
Jerry Springer will host The Price is Right Live. (Photo courtesy of Moon River Theater).

(Image courtesy of King’s Castle Theater).

By Michael J. Frost
Two big shows are set to open Friday, May 23rd in Branson. Le Grande Cirque will make its debut at King’s Castle Theater. The Price Is Right Live, hosted by television personality Jerry Springer, will open at Andy Williams Moon River Theater.

Le Grand Cirque is a new production hitting Branson that has already been seen by millions of people around the world and has set box office records in 15 different countries, according to a press release from King’s Castle Theater.

Le Grand Cirque originated at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, where it reportedly became the biggest selling show in the venue’s history.

“It features a jaw dropping visual feast of magnificent acrobatics and white knuckle extreme stunts that will leave you breathless,” as stated in the press release. “For the first time ever, the ‘Wheel of Death’ comes to Branson — where two daredevil stunt men hurl themselves around the wheel of death within an inch of their lives. As if this isn’t enough, the show then presents two full size motorcycles screaming inside a globe at speeds of up to 60 miles an hour.”

The show is also billed as more than extreme stunts as it promises to deliver comedy and entertainment for the entire family.

Le Grand Cirque is set to run May 23 through Aug. 17. For more information, show times and tickets, visit

“The Price is Right Live™” Stage Show is set to open at the Andy Williams Moon River Theatre on Friday.

Theater representatives have announced the return of television personality Jerry Springer to Branson for a limited engagement as host of the show from May 23rd through June 29th and also July 23rd through August 3rd.

“I am thrilled to be coming back to beautiful Branson and to be hosting ‘The Price is Right’ Live,” said Springer in a press release issued by Moon River Theater representatives. “We all had so much fun last year I wouldn’t miss the chance to once again invite people to ‘come on down’ and play for money and prizes. What could be better than that?”

Springer is mostly known as host of “The Jerry Springer Show,” now in its 24th year. He has served as the mayor of Cincinnati, and he is also an Emmy® Award-winning newscaster, game show host, country recording artist, international emcee and TV personality. Springer has been featured in movies and on Broadway, and also appeared on the third season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Currently, Springer is hosting “Baggage,” on the Game Show Network.

“We’re thrilled to have Jerry Springer joining us as celebrity host for The Price is Right Live,” said Jimmy Osmond, in a statement on behalf of the Moon River Theatre. “Audiences are in for a real treat this summer. And when you add in all the cash and prizes available each show, everyone in Branson will want to experience the only game in town.”

Direct from the producers of “The Price Is Right” TV show, each 90-minute performance will follow nearly the same format as the popular television show and include such fan-favorite games such as “Plinko,” “Cliffhangers,” the “Big Wheel” and “Showcase Showdown.” The show gives audience members a chance to play for thousands of dollars in cash and prizes. Contestants, selected by a random drawing, will be called to ‘come on down’ and compete in the famous bidding game. The winner of the initial game will then have the opportunity to win prizes in a selection of games mostly known from the TV show. For a chance to be called on stage, simply register at the box office before the show.

“There are more than 50 winners in every show,” according to Jenn Evans, Sales and Marketing representative with Andy Williams Moon River Theatre.

“Just like our television show, we have cash, appliances, cruises, vacations, and big ticket items, too. This is our third season in Branson. ‘Come on Down’ to win cash, prizes and a chance to spin the Big Wheel,” Evans said.

From July 2nd through July 20th, the show will be hosted by TV personality JD Roberto. JD had the honor of kicking off Season 39 of The Price is Right with Drew Carey as guest announcer. TV viewers may also remember him from the long-running game show “Shop ‘Til You Drop,” the competition cooking show “Food Fight” on the Food Network, and as a regular guest host for “E! News Live.” He is currently co-host on the nationally syndicated lifestyle show “Better.”

The Price is Right is the longest running game show in television history. Now in its 42nd year, the show airs weekday mornings on CBS.

Since 2006, The Price is Right Live Stage Show has been allowing fans to become a part of the tradition in cities across the country, including Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and now Branson, Missouri.

The show is set to run May 23rd through August 3rd, Wednesday through Sunday, at 8:00 p.m. Kids 12 and under are admitted free accompanied by a parent or guardian. For complete rules & regulations, including eligibility requirements, visit