by VICTORIA HENLEY
Mountain of Entertainment Theater, a new dynamic destination for world class entertainment in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains offers two acclaimed shows in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.: the magical Illusionation (which the Backstage Pass Team spotlighted in the 2023 season) and the jaw dropping variety show, Array.
I was afforded the exclusive opportunity to return to experience this song, dance, and variety entertainment spectacular for the bittersweet finale show of the 2023 season.
Array, although a new addition to the entertainment roster in Pigeon Forge, has already firmly cemented its status among critics and guests alike as the premier destination for a diverse menu of talent, beautifully filling the void for its distinct and unparalleled entertainment format.
The two-and-a-half hour , high-octane show kicks off with a memorable ensemble performance of the Radio City Music Hall number, “Let Christmas Shine,” complete with dazzling Christmas costumes, boasting a festive color palette of red, gold and green paired with precise and perfectly executed choreography.
Hugh, the theater owner and Array show emcee, carried the show with an effortless blend of poise, professionalism and down home Southern charm, showcasing his undeniable vocal talents in numerous portions of the show.
Niels Duinker — an internationally acclaimed juggler and Juggling Hall of Fame inductee, and Guinness World Record holder — took the stage for a gravity defying segment that included 7 ball juggling, a stunning display featuring glow in the dark clubs as well as a laugh out loud act featuring a reluctant audience voluntee for an interactive “knife juggling” performance.
Additional stand out variety acts include the relentlessly high energy Argentinian group Go Gaucho, who wowed the crowd with a culturally immersive experience featuring synchronized dancing, pulse pounding drum performances, and even an adrenaline pumping art piece featuring bull whips.
Hey Buford, a ventriloquist with over 30 years of performance experience in the Pigeon Forge area and beyond, had the audience laughing with a segment featuring unconventional renditions of Christmas songs, accompanied by an inquisitive “Little Red Horse” who consistently steals the spotlight with his outrageous antics. This remarkable ventriloquist not only delivers every punchline with expert comedic timing, but also seamlessly provides voice narration for his puppet.
Ray Adams, a mustachioed magician, shines alongside precocious and talented-beyond -his-years 9 year old principal cast member, Jace.
Additional standout classic variety acts include an exceptional aerial artist who distributed daring feats of strength and dexterity on the aerial hoop, as well as a magic act featuring the Grinch, who miraculously materializes then vanishes before your very eyes.
Featuring a mind-boggling array of song and dance numbers spanning a vast catalog of genres, Array brings to life a concert of all your favorite Christmas classics.
Array concludes their masterpiece of a Christmas Show with an homage to the true “reason of the season,” featuring a plethora of spiritual, traditional Christmas hymnals and a nativity scene.
Although the final Christmas show marked the end of a wildly successful 2023 inaugural season, the journey has only just begun as the innovative Mountain of entertainment team brainstorms more creative and ground breaking concepts, performances and acts for the upcoming 2024 season.
Special thanks to the wonderful Emily, Kolette Debbie, Hugh, and the entire Mountain of Entertainment Theater team for facilitating this visit for our spotlight feature.
PHONE NUMBER: (865) 245-4386
INSTAGRAM @arrayvarietyshow @mtnentertainmenttheater