by VICTORIA HENLEY
One of the premiere destinations for top-quality, award-winning entertainment in the city of Branson, the Americana Theater — which recently took home an impressive array of trophies in top categories at the Branson Terry Awards (one of the most prestigious awards shows in town) — features a stellar line up of world class shows in a variety of genres, sure to entertain, excite and delight everyone in your group.
Since its inception in 1973 by Rosie and Darrell Plummer as the Plummer Family Theater, this legendary establishment was the third live country music theater established on Branson’s iconic Highway 76 strip. It created a foundation for the lasting legacy and ardent dedication to fine quality variety entertainment that was to follow.
Now owned and operated by the tremendously talented multi-time “Female Vocalist of the Year”, CJ Newsom (who also stars in the theater’s widely acclaimed signature show) and her husband, Chris, this dynamic venue owns and produces seven signature grand scale shows: CJ Newsom’s Classic Country and Comedy, Awesome 80’s, British Invasion, Broadway to Buble: Starting George Dyer, and two thrilling brand new shows, “Elvis: Story of a King” and “America’s Top Country Hits.”
Serving up all the high quality and high-octane entertainment you could hope to experience on any trip to Branson, the Americana Theater is sure to become your “One Stop Shop” to take in some of the city’s most awarded entertainers bringing to life an assortment of soaring live vocals, zany comedy, rousing instrumentals, and exquisitely choreographed dance, spanning a wide array of genres.
Some of our favorite shows and stand out moments were:
ELVIS: STORY OF A KING:
Recipient of the highly prestigious Terry Award for “Best New Show,” “Elvis: Story of a King” stars New York based singer/entertainer Matthew Boyce, who is pitch perfect in a role he was born to play: the titular role of the legendary Elvis Presley. One element which sets this show apart from the plethora of Elvis tribute and impersonation shows is that Elvis: Story of a King, presents a beautiful storyline, chronicling Elvis’s meteoric rise to stardom, ranging from his humble upbringing, to his fateful first recording at Memphis Sun Studios in 1954 to his tumultuous signage to music management giant, RCA Records, all the way to his timeless poignant gospel ballads, ranging to his illustrious career heights, which led to his storied title as “The King of Rock and Roll”.
Boyce brings a delicate combination of ethos, swagger, charisma and aplomb to the larger than life role of Elvis, and sets the stage ablaze with a myriad of Elvis’s unbelievable array of chart topping hits, including a soul stirring rendition of “How Great Thou Art,” an unbelievably soulful performance of the timeless ballad, “My Way,” and the haunting “Suspicious Minds.”
The innovative Americana Theater team infuses the show with an array of videos providing an in depth look at Elvis’s plethora of career defining moments, ranging from appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” to his world-renowned “Live From Hawaii” special.
This powerhouse two- hour extravaganza also features a multi-piece band and a cast of brilliant supporting singers, including Terry Award winning Adrianna Fine. The stellar cast of female back up singers create memorable renditions of classic, toe tapping bops from throughout the decades including “Fever” and “Stupid Cupid” that are sure to have you dancing in your seat and filled with positive vibes long after the show has ended.
BROADWAY TO BUBLE: STARRING GEORGE DYER
One of the only productions in town where you can enjoy soul-stirring renditions of iconic ballads from the Italian opera “Pagliacci,” “Hamilton,” “Man of La Mancha” and “Phantom of the Opera.”
“Broadway to Buble” flawlessly executes the seemingly insurmountable feat of embodying the inimitable magic of the opera and Broadway within the mere span of a two-hour show.
Also starring Dyer’s wondrously talented wife, Christine, whose tremendous classical vocal range is a stunning match for her palpable energy and strong stage presence, the couple team together to bring to life some of the most legendary moments in the history of the theater.
Enthusiasts of Broadway, Opera, and truly top quality theatrical entertainment will delight in “Broadway to Buble.”
AMERICA’s TOP COUNTRY HITS
One of Americana Theater’s most dynamic and groundbreaking new shows, “America’s Top Country Hits” brings to life all the greatest chart-topping country tunes, ranging from beloved classics to pop-infused modern fare.
Starring the mustachioed “Leading Man of Branson,” Michael Frost (who recently accepted the coveted “Best Male Vocalist” trophy at the Terry Awards) America’s Top Country Hits also stars a vast array of additional top rated shows around town, his extraordinarily skilled wife, Jen, and ultra-talented power couple, Hillary and Josh Carroll, who can be seen headlining in numerous additional shows at the Americana Theater.
Featuring a grand scale live band paired with a concert, meets acoustic night aesthetic, America’s Top Country Hits offers a unique and exciting blend of high octane , high energy production value, paired with warm, personal and intimate audience interactions.
A few of the many standout numbers that comprise this two-hour country music spectacular include the relentlessly catchy “Hey Good Lookin’,” “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and a stellar fiddle solo accompanied by rampaging instrumentals on “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”
A neon, technicolor, high energy celebration of the palpable energy and style that made the ‘80’s so iconic, “Awesome 80’s” brings to life not only some of your favorite chart topping singles from the era, but also pays pitch perfect homage to some of the bands who dominated the decade, with unbelievably accurate manneristic , vocal and aesthetic resemblance to the many artists whose distinct essences they embody.
Featuring state of the art lighting and surround sound technology, Awesome 80’s combines the very best songs, dance moves, and carefully curated fashions of the era to pay homage to a time when big hair, neon colors, girl groups and boy bands all reigned supreme.
Starring most of the principal cast members from many of the other headlining Americana Theater production shows you have grown to know and love, Awesome 80’s is sure to bring to life a myriad of your favorite 80’s tunes.
Just a few of the many stand out numbers include, the dramatic, up tempo ballad, “Holding Out for A Hero,” the lighthearted chart topper, “Everybody Have Fun Tonight”, many of 80’s heartthrob, George Michael’s greatest singles, the haunting “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” by Eurythmics, the relentlessly peppy dance bop “Come On, Eileen”, “Every Breath You Take,” and the powerhouse number, “Roxanne.”
Awesome 80’s will transport you back in time to when music had a distinctive, upbeat, inimitable charm and was, well, totally awesome!
CJ’s CLASSIC COUNTRY AND COMEDY
The headlining show at the award winning Americana Theater stars acclaimed, award-winning “Female Vocalist of the Year” award winner, CJ Newsom as well as recently crowned Terry Award winning, hilarious and incredibly talented comedic, ten-time winner of “Comedian of the Year” Terry Wayne Sanders and “Male Vocalist of the Year” Michael J. Frost, a stellar line up of supporting vocalists, as well as a full scale, highly acclaimed band.
Filled with non-stop song, dance and comedy action from start to finish, CJ’s Classic Country and Comedy is a wonderfully compiled celebration of some of the finest country hits spanning the decades, uproarious slapstick comedy and impersonations, dazzling costumes and many more exciting elements that come together to create an inimitably upbeat, lively, and exhilarating show, which continues to thrill and delight critics and audiences alike.
A few of the stand-out moments in this high-octane two-hour comedy and music extravaganza include a rampaging rendition of “A Cowboy’s Sweetheart” by Patsy Montana, during which Newsom displays her second-to-none yodeling abilities, covers of some of the country music’s most legendary hits from mega stars such as Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash and Garth Brooks, highlighting tight harmonies and extraordinary vocals by the highly decorated cast of singers.
“Hee-Haw” star Terry Wayne Sanders, delights the crowd with pitch perfect impressions of the silver screen’s most beloved sheriff’s deputy, Barney Fife, as well as shockingly realistic impersonations of the late, great Joan Rivers and an original character of Sanders’ creation, Gramma Beulah, complete with a variety of hysterical, laugh-out-loud video packages.
Just as warm and friendly in person as he is enigmatic onstage, Sanders makes a special appearance during intermission in full-regalia as superstar Cher, where guests are afforded an opportunity to get a memorable photo op and up close and personal interaction with this highly awarded comic, a moment which is sure to be a highlight of any Branson vacation.
PHONE NUMBER: (417) 544-8700