Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It's Show Time!

As part of attending the sales pitch for the vacation villas this week, we were given the opportunity to purchase tickets to two shows at a very inexpensive price. Then after purchasing our share of a village home, we were given the gift of another pair of tickets by our salesman. Denny and I had picked the shows "Six" and the "New Shanghai Circus" and were given tickets to the salesman's favorite show "Pierce Arrow".

Many of the shows in town haven't even opened yet, so those we actually wanted to see weren't options. Those that are currently in production usually run twice a day; a matinee at 2:30 or 3PM and an evening show starting at 7:30 or 8PM. The shows we attended lasted around two hours which included a 15 minute intermission, giving you time for a restroom break or, more importantly to the shows, a chance to hit the gift/souvenir shops. All shows touted their merchandise before or during the show, including tee shirts, hats, light up jewelry and other baubles, etc. All of the performers were available for autographs if you purchased merchandise there and there were meet and greet opportunities after the shows.

As for the shows, starting in the order in which we saw them: my favorite was Six. Six brothers who sing a cappella and deliver a big sound. For Denny (and me at times) it was too loud--certainly the sound system could have been turned down a notch or two and we would have enjoyed the show even more. I thoroughly enjoyed this show since there was humor, singing and choreography involved. Denny didn't get into the music as much since he didn't recognize a lot of the songs (he's stuck in the 50s). We attended the afternoon show and I feel we got full value for the matinee performance.

The second show we attended was the one chosen for us; Pierce Arrow. This was a Friday evening performance and we had great seats in the center of the second row. We sat next to a young couple in their early thirties who had just gotten married in town that morning, taking advantage of a free hotel room, shows and meals offered by one of the time share selling outfits in town. The young man and I chatted before the show and before long several of the couples around us joined in. I have to admit Branson is a friendly place. The comedian of the set, Jarrett Dougherty, is goofily (is that a word?) funny and throws in enough ad libs that he was cracking up his straight man. Pierce Arrow is actually the name of the four member group of men who sing a variety of gospel and country songs (yeah, they lost me right there) and there are two young women singers who also entertain individually and together. The show is family oriented, gospel slanted and very clean. They (and the members of the show Six) recognize all veterans during their show. This particular show just was not my cup of tea, although I noticed Denny doing a lot of toe tapping during many of the numbers. And when one of the young ladies sang a Janice Joplin song while channeling Debbie Boone, well, I was done. Apparently this is one of the highest rated shows in Branson. Certainly the audience around me appreciated it.

Yesterday afternoon we attended our last show, the Acrobats of China at the New Shanghai Circus. These young Chinese acrobats work seven days a week, unlike the other shows that close on Sundays. According to the emcee, they don't speak a lot of English, so you are taught the Mandarin words for "hello" and "thanks" to be able to communicate with them when they stand outside to greet you after the show. This is a very talented group of young people who juggle, perform acrobatic acts and do amazing things with their bodies. And during the show I was very, very angry because of the mostly senior members of the audience who sat in their seats like lumps and didn't applaud the acts. I probably embarrassed Denny since most of the time I was the only one applauding some very difficult moves during the performance (instead of waiting until the entire performance of those acrobats was over), but dang it, those kids were working hard and doing some incredible things. After intermission, half the people in our row and the row behind didn't even come back. I don't know if they were expecting the Cirque du Soleil or what, but certainly this show was attended by a lot of people showing very little class.

There are many, many different types of shows available during the main tourist season and anyone should be able to find a show they would enjoy here. There were several Denny and I would love to see but they simply weren't open this early in the season. But hey, we have a reason to come back--we have a Cape Cod house to stay in!


SkippyMom said...

It sounds like a great time [with the exception of the curmudgeons - dang them] and something you can look forward to when you return next year.

It is nice to see you excited about something. So happy for you.

Arkansas Patti said...

With your darling cottage, you will have the unique challange of seeing all Branson has to offer. That is a daunting but should be pleasant task.

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