Backstage Pass: Model Victoria Henley highlights Branson ‘must sees’ that are twice as nice


Twice is nice.

During my return trip to Branson, Mo., I loved these shows so much when I went in April I had to check them out a second time this fall.



Featuring five incredible shows and an absurdly skilled cast of triple-threat performers, many hailing from various regions of Ireland, King’s Castle Theatre is a premiere destination for Broadway-caliber song and dance entertainment.

Here are a couple shows you “must see” on your next visit to the theater.


One of the theater’s headlining attractions, Anthems of Rock features the greatest rock hits of all time from Queen, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Led Zeppelin, Journey, and Aerosmith accompanied by intricate, high-octane choreography and edgy, rock ‘n roll costumes.

Exceptional live guitar is brought to the stage by the multi-award recipient of Branson’s “Guitarist of the Year” as well as wonderful tributes to some of the greatest rock and roll films of all time, including Elton John’s “Rocket Man” and the Academy Award winning Queen movie, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” You’ll want to rock and roll all night with the biggest rock party in Branson, with a cool edge and throwback feel, sure to excite both the younger and older members of your group.


An immersive celebration of Irish song, dance, style, and culture, Dublin’s Irish Tenors and Celtic Ladies featuring Irish Dance Stars is also a variety show of sorts, featuring more expected acts like Celtic dance and unexpected portions of the show, including opera (performed exquisitely by the theater’s resident soprano), jazz, swing and lots of good old fashioned Irish back-stories and colloquialisms. Songs include “Danny Boy,” “It’s a Great Day for the Irish,” “Scarborough Fair,” “Whiskey in the Jar,” and “Cockles and Mussels.” Jay McManus (executing an otherworldly pirouette ability, while hitting pitch perfect high notes) and the entire cast carry the show beautifully while paying touching tribute through song and dance to the Irish immigrants who came before them.


PHONE: (417) 334-2500


This world-famous orchestra of human voices welcomes their younger brother, Charles (who, rounding out the group, officially makes them “six” after a period during which only five brothers performed). Charles (a veteran himself), dressed in full military regalia, performed a stirring solo of “The American Soldier,” while paying homage to all active-duty military and veterans in the audience.

This vocal band comprised of the talented Knudsen brothers, truly staples of the Branson entertainment scene, are one of the most famous and widely acclaimed a cappella bands in the world, serving as pioneers of the “vocal band” genre, bringing signature flair and finesse to the wide varieties of genres they perform. The group utilizes their extraordinary vocal talents to comprise the rhythmic bass, pounding drums, driving beatbox style percussion and shockingly realistic sound of traditional instruments, which all seamlessly blend to rival the palpable energy of any “big band.”

A few of the many standout numbers include a tribute to Queen with a rousing rendition of the notoriously vocally complex “Bohemian Rhapsody;” a movie soundtrack segment, where the troupe vocally illustrates everything from famous cinematic car chases to the infamous “cougar scene” in “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.”

Come see for yourself why this powerhouse band of brothers has garnered repeated awards including, “Best Show”, “Entertainers of the Year”, and “Vocal Group of the Year.”


PHONE: (417) 339-3003


Located in Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater, “Legends in Concert” is part of the, well, legendary franchise tha has cemented its status as the pioneer of tribute shows, throughout the show’s decorated 37-year history.

Top international media outlets from around the globe have praised “Legends” for its painstaking attention to detail, from the exquisite costumes, state of the art lighting, world class live band, talented back up dancers, and of course, the headlining performers, who utilize both their appearance and natural, live voices to pay homage to some of the most iconic singers and performers who ever lived.

“Legends” features a rotating, and ever-changing line up of performers; therefore, if you visit numerous times, you’ll be getting a unique and different experience at each concert.

During our previous visit in April, we witnessed the talents of George Michael, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, and Waylon Jennings, and the newest tribute artists, including Frank Sinatra, and one very gifted performer, portraying both Pat Benatar and Martina McBride, as well as recurring favorites: The Blues Brothers and Elvis.

Each performer sings an array of the most popular and beloved hits by the artists they portray, accompanied by massive video screens playing the songs’ respective music videos, and the dancers take each number to a whole new level with tight choreography and complex routines.

Be sure to follow this top-notch tribute show on all major social media platforms and give the box office a call to see when your favorite “celebrity” might be taking the stage next.


PHONE: (417) 339-3003


Take in three world class shows, all under one roof at Branson’s Famous Theater, home of the legendary Baldknobbers, and two of Branson’s brightest stars, Doug Gabriel and Reza.



A visit to Doug Gabriel’s morning show, filled with beautiful original music, covers of chart topping hits in the genres of pop, country, gospel and more, hilarious comedy, audience interaction, dazzling costumes and much more, will leave you mesmerized and in agreement that Gabriel deserves every piece of hardware that has earned him the well-deserved title of “most awarded entertainer in Branson.” The show features his beautiful and talented wife Cheryl and daughter Jasmine (who also headlines her own band) as well as his hilarious son, Jordan (multi award winner  of “ Top Comedian”), whose style is reminiscent of a Jerry Lewis/Jim Carrey hybrid. Doug Gabriel brings to the stage powerhouse vocals, otherworldly instrumental ability, and a sincerity and humble spirit that truly reflects his offstage persona as well.

Gabriel performs haunting renditions of “The Thunder Rolls” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and lighter show moments include a side splitting video montage of “failed movie auditions” for blockbusters including “ET,” “Titanic” and “Rocky” starring Doug and his wife as well as show’s headliner playing his world-famous “Mufftar”, a guitar made from a 1969 Thunderbird muffler that has made more than a few media headlines of its own!


PHONE: (417) 337-8300


One of the world’s pioneering young illusionists , who has skyrocketed to the top of the magic scene, using his charismatic stage presence, creative grand scale illusions, and noir “rock star” aesthetic, garnering visibility on top television networks along the way, including Penn and Teller’s “Fool Us” on the CW, “Duck Dynasty” on A&E, as well as top media outlets including MTV, Fox News, and many more.

Aptly described by the Chicago Tribune as a “Rock Concert Meets a Magic Show,” just a few of Reza’s wildly unique and extraordinary feats include self-levitation, mind bending sensory illusion, the real-time teleportation of unsuspecting audience members, making a helicopter seemingly appear out of thin air, and, of course, his world famous “Oreo trick,” during which he nearly triples the creamy filling of an Oreo cookie right before your eyes.

Revered heavily as a modern-day magic icon by the younger generation of magic fans, Reza is highly active on all social media platforms, where you can follow his Branson residency and world tours daily.

Fans are also given the opportunity for an up close and personal post show meet and greet with the headliner himself, where you can become the envy of all your friends by scoring exclusive Reza photos ops and signed merchandise!


PHONE: (417) 231-4999


Full of ethos, groundbreaking, emotionally charged acting rarely seen in theatrical productions, soul stirring original music and a message at its heart that will leave your spirit recharged, “Jesus” achieves the impossible feat of illustrating the story of the most significant life ever lived.

The story begins with Jesus’ recruitment of apostles and disciples as they embark on a journey to spread the Good News, healing the blind, raising the dead and casting out demons along the way.

Engaging from start to finish, Jesus’ highly pivotal moments include the woman at the well, the turning of the tables at the temple, the haunting crucifixion, and the edifying resurrection, all beautifully portrayed by the acclaimed cast. Featuring a cast of over 50 tremendously talented triple threat performers, live animals, and impossibly massive sets, the greatest rescue story of all time is brought to life like never before by the visionary team at Sight and Sound Theater, a world-famous faith-driven production company that began 45 years ago, stemming from the artistic goals of a talented couple in Lancaster, Penn. Now, what started decades ago as a traveling multimedia show has evolved into a “Must See” show destination, having dazzled and inspired well over 25 million people to date. A visit to the gorgeous Sight and Sound theater is an experience in and of itself, with a castle-like presence, gorgeous interior layout, exterior and photo ops, including the famous “Lion and Lamb” statue outside at the fountain.

Be sure to curb your sweet tooth by picking up some delicious cinnamon toasted nuts, which are made on-site and fill the grand venue with an enticing aroma.

Once you have enjoyed “Jesus,” be sure to return for the award-winning Christmas production as well as the exciting roster of uplifting shows planned for the 2022 season.


PHONE: (800) 337-1277


Located inside the Grand Country Resort, a premier family fun destination, which also includes a full country cooking buffet, a pizza buffet, a frozen custard shoppe, an arcade and a waterpark onsite, the Grand Country Theater is a one-stop shop for top notch entertainment, offering 10 shows, performing nearly 1,000 shows annually. Some of my favorite shows are:


BRANSON COUNTRY USA (also known as “the late show”)

Performed in front of a live and television /radio audience every Friday night at 10:30 p.m. (for syndicated shows including  KHBZ 102.9 and Branson’s Classic Country 98.1 FM), the grandest late night party in Branson features a weekly line up of celebrity guest stars, ranging from Rhonda Vincent and Colin Raye to the brightest upcoming stars of tomorrow such as Dillon Massengale (who recently performed at the Grand Ole Opry and regularly performs with his family, The Melody Hart Band, also principal cast members of the Grand Country shows).

Emceed by Grand Country superstars, Jamie Haage as Jim Dandy and Mike Patrick, the show also highlights the vocal talents of Jackie Brown and Gospel Group, New South, along with bass player Larry Allred’s always-hilarious “Joke of the Week.”

The special guest during our episode of attendance was Doug Gabriel, who entertained with numerous hit songs that highlighted his signature charm and booming vocal prowess.

Be sure to order your very own DVD copy to take the evening’s memories home for all your friends and family to enjoy, and not to worry if you cannot attend in person each Friday, as the show video can be watched and downloaded by visiting


Winner of “Branson’s Best Comedy Show” time and time again, “The Comedy Jamboree” features a roller coaster of hysterical hijinks, paddies, impressions, outlandish characters, and outrageous comedy antics by the show’s stars, comedians Applejack, Stretch McCord and Andy Parks.

The jamboree singers bring their own brand of comedy, killer choreography and powerhouse vocals to the show, while the Jamboree’s award-winning masterclass pianist, Tracy Heaston accompanies on piano with a great ferocity that steals the show.

One of very few Branson shows that feature improvisation, hilarity ensues as audience members are brought up onstage for interactive segments, creating spur of the moment entertainment that is different and unique from one show to the next.

Visit “The Comedy Jamboree” often as each show will offer new and exciting laughs and entertainment, sure to tickle the funny bone of everyone in your family.


PHONE: 1 (888) 505-4094

Victoria Henley can be heard on IHeart Radio / FCB Radio Network. She is a regular contributor to CTFashionMag.