by VICTORIA HENLEY
The Carolina Opry has been consistently ranked as one of the foremost entertainment destinations for quality entertainment on the Grand Strand of Myrtle Beach, S.C. by guests and critics alike.
The Carolina Opry (owned and operated by country music artist Calvin Gilmore) has delighted and excited legions of audiences from around the world since 1986.
The Carolina Opry features not one, but two, award winning signature shows (as well as a Christmas Spectacular and additional intermittent events), and I had the opportunity to attend both in order to give you the inside scoop on what to expect during your upcoming visit.
The Carolina Opry:
The theater’s namesake show features dazzling costumes, state-of-the-art lighting and stage design, breathtaking choreography, and 35 wildly talented performers (including Delvin Choice, finalist on NBC’s “The Voice,” hip hop clogging troupe All That from “America’s Got Talent,” powerhouse principal vocalists Christie Templeton, Tangena Church and Chas Croft Sorrells, national recording artist Brad Long, fiddling champion Trent Wideman and bluegrass virtuoso Gary Brown).
Each and every season, tourists and locals alike flock to this theater to enjoy world class entertainment to rival any Broadway production , with ever changing and evolving song selections, dance numbers, gorgeous costumes and fresh new content that guarantee a unique experience each season you visit.
Long, with a calm, affable, easygoing stage presence and smooth, polished vocals wears many hats during the show as the emcee and musician, seamlessly announcing acts in between musical numbers and instrumental interludes. Funnyman Eric Gumm brings hilarious, side splitting comedy to the show with witty life observations and parody songs, as he effortlessly plays the role of the hapless goofball to Long’s role as “The Straight Man.”
The dancers, adorned in a dizzying array of gorgeous costumes, perform each musical number (featuring styles ranging from contemporary, jazz, hip hop, swing and ballroom) with laser like precision and great aplomb. All That, arguably some of the nation’s most popular and critically acclaimed cloggers, steal the spotlight on numerous occasions throughout the show, including a toe tapping performance of the beloved classic, “Puttin’ on the Ritz” as well as numerous a cappella numbers that enable the audience to fully hear, feel, and experience the rhythmic power of the cloggers’ synchronized footwork.
Stand out numbers include a soulful rendition of Bonnie Raitt’s “Angel From Montgomery” by Croft -Sorrels, a powerful performance of Celine Dion’s “The Power of Love” by Church, “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder (performed by Choice), and a display of Gumm’s more serious side in a knee slapping rendition of “Working Man Blues” by Merle Haggard and the Strangers.
Country music fans will delight in a segment specifically devoted to the genre, including chart dominating hits such as Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” and “Jolene” to “Crazy” by Patsy Cline.
The show closes with a patriotic segment, honoring our veterans and our great country, complete with red, white, and blue attire, a salute to the troops, and rousing renditions of “To God Be the Glory”, and “Only in America.”
Featuring most of the same principal cast as the legendary Carolina Opry, Time Warp is a rocking, rolling, rampaging celebration of the greatest hits of the 1960’s, ’70s and ’80s.
Specially curated compilations of footage from concerts, music videos, and festivals from what many consider to be the nation’s greatest eras in music. Stunning costumes, show stopping original choreography, and dazzling renditions of all your favorite hits by some of the nation’s most talented live performers will keep you singing, dancing, and clapping your way through this two hour song and dance spectacular.
The show opens with a beautifully performed cover of U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name” by the show’s host, Brad Long, followed by a colorful performance of Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” ( featuring impossibly ornate costumes and high octane dance moves by the show’s principal dancers and clogging troupe “All That), and a soulful singing of “Think” originally from the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin.
Resident comic, Gumm, entertains with a telling of a the time he took a “trip” (literally) with the ballad of “The Wildwood Weed,” a rendition of “The Brady Bunch” theme song as stars like Bob Dylan and the Beatles might perform it, and a parody of The Beatles “With a Little Help From My Friends,” entitled “I Get By With a Little Help from Depends” (about the daily struggles of senior citizens).
ABBA fans will rejoice in a tribute to the band with pulse pounding performances (featuring the majority of the principal vocalists, dancers, and ensemble).
Additional stand out numbers include a bluesy rendition of “Blue Bayou,” an energetic performance of Tina Turner’s “Proud Mary,” a retelling of Johnny Cash’s legendary “Folsom Prison Blues,” and a haunting performance of Fleetwood Mac’s “The Chain.”
The second half of the show is comprised of a tribute to Woodstock, arguably one of the nation’s most legendary music festivals, featuring totally far out costumes, retro choreography, and a perfectly curated list of songs, including Janis Joplin’s passionate “Me and Bobby McGee,” “Everyday People” by Sly and the Family Stone, and a fantastic rendition of Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit,” performed by the remarkably gifted vocalist, Tangena Church.
(NOTE: Due to extremely large crowds and high demand, seats for both of these dynamic shows fill up extremely quickly; therefore, it is highly recommended by show production that you book your tickets before you arrive in Myrtle Beach. The best way to ensure you and your party get the absolute best seats in the house is to book your tickets as far in advance as possible.)
Special thanks to Jordan Gilmore Watkins and the entire Carolina Opry team for having us!
PHONE NUMBER: (800) 843-6779