Branson The Live Entertainment Capitol of the World!
Hi again “Rancher Don” here. The name Branson is synonymous with Entertainment and it is well known to be the “Live Entertainment Capitol of the World” and that is exactly what it is. There are more theater seats in Branson than in the whole of New York City and that is a fact. There are aprx. 58,911 theater seats here in Branson. There were at my last figure 52 theaters and 106 shows here in Branson. Most of these shows run 5-6 days a week with the days off usually in midweek. Many of the theaters have a morning matinee at 10AM then a afternoon show at 2PM and a evening show either at 7 or 8PM.
I almost forgot to mention that every show in Branson is a family show that means there are no adult only stuff here but all just clean family Entertainment that you could take your Grand Mother to. Being this is known as the Bible belt they have kept all gambling casinos out of the area and that helps keep our Entertainment cleaner and more kid friendly. Another thing I should mention is that with the new Branson Landing and Fountain, Branson Convention Center in full operation and they are booking events year around the show season is getting a little longer each year. I see shows opening a few weeks earlier this year. This town is also trying to become more family oriented by adding stuff for the younger crowd. Years ago it was geared for the senior crowd to arrive by tour bus and stay a few days and then leave. Now they have added several water parks and another huge one under construction. They have added mini car tracts, mini golf cources, theaters, arcades, skating and of course the tons of dry rides and water rides at Silver Dollar City . With all the golf courses, fishing, swimming, camping and all kinds of stuff for the kids to do it is becoming a family Entertainment Capital almost year around.
I personally think one group deserves a lot more recognition and that is the stage musical instrument musicians or the band members. These folks are many of the nations best especially at Country Music. Even our church choir director, who is a musical instrument teacher at the College of the Ozarks, on occasions plays in different stage bands around Branson. He played with Bobby Vinton last fall for instance. These band members are mostly trying to earn a full time income as musicians and to do that they sometimes play in 2 or 3 shows a day 6-7 days a week. They may do the 10AM-2PM-7PM every day with a seldom day off. They are payed at a much lower wage than like players in other Entertainment Centers of the country.
My wife Marilyn and I volunteered at one of the local theaters (Hughes Brothers theater) for a small show with the star being Delene Andre. She had never had a formal music lesson but could sing Patsy Cline and Anne Murray that would bring tears to your eyes. Delene was a strict health student and had written books on the subject and she trained horses on her ranch here near Branson in the morning and then stared in her own show at 2 PM. Her husband Glen was from a small farming town (Barnum,MN) where I used to have a booth for my leather business at the county fair there and one of his relatives was even my Grandsons teacher. Glen did the MC work and helped us with ushering and even Comedian Harley Worthit loved to mix with the public in his street cloths and then come out later in costume. All the cast would gather out in the lobby and visit with the fans and sign autographs which is a normal event with most shows here in Branson.
Delene was diagnosed with a very fast growing brain tumor while they were on winter tour in Arizona and she passed away after just a few weeks in 2006. We were really shocked to hear of her passing. We went to a Memorial service for her and I worked out at their ranch getting all her horse tack cleaned, oiled and looking great and they had a silent auction of all her stage costumes, posters, and horse related items before a huge benefit that was put on by her friends in the industry. Jim Stafford very generously donated his theater for the event and every act in town was on stage for a couple numbers and the show had a full house and lasted for over 3 hours. Being they had no insurance (like many performers) they were able to raise a nice amount of money to help the family out. That is the way everyone here in Branson teams together to help each other out when in need. Marilyn and I haven’t worked for any show since we lost Delene. Here is a link to an announcement on the death of Delene.
Ok, it’s time to dig in the spurs and get on with all the Entertainment going on here in Branson. This page covers the show type of Entertainment and such other recreational subjects have their own page under the Recreation link.
One of the top ways folks entertain themselves, other than taking in shows that is, is playing golf. Golf is one of the nations favorite ways to entertain themselves and see some the areas best scenery while getting our much needed exercise. Branson has many record holding golf courses and I have a link here to take you to a special golf page.
As I mentioned on the home page there is a huge variety of Entertainment here in Branson. Most of the shows are in the many theaters and I will try to list them in one group. The outdoor Entertainment such as Silver Dollar City will be in another group. Indoors there even a great variety. There is straight music shows. Variety shows with comedy and music. There are several great magic shows and even animal shows. There are many different music shows you have country, 60’s at the hop, motown, Gospel, swing, big band, Irish, jazz, Broadway, rock and roll and instrumentals. There are a number of short run musicians that only come to town for a few days at a time and also the Christmas special shows that may run for a few weeks. I have not listed any of those. I will be updating these lists as soon as the new schedules come out.
I would also like to mention that this town is really gung ho about our Veterans and they are asked to stand and be honored at almost every show in town. There is even a Veteran Museum here in town and there are more get together and reunions here than probably any other place in the country.
Being I am in business to try make a few shekels I will have more information on some shows than others and that doesn’t mean they are better than the others but that they are paying for some advertising on our site. I will list the shows as I have them and when you click on their link it will take you to another page for their information.
For a listing of all the shows click on the link below to go to the Entertainment Page Two.