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Branson Shows that Tell a Story - It’s Live Theater, Branson Style!

by  |  Shows & Entertainment
Branson Shows that Tell a Story - It’s Live Theater, Branson Style!

If you enjoy live theater...everything from slick Broadway-style productions to local community theater, you’ll want to know what Branson has to offer for your next visit!  Granted, the majority of Branson’s venues are filled with great music shows, dazzling magic shows, and scores of other live entertainment options, but live “theater” lovers still have options, and the best part is this - the options are phenomenal shows you’ll want to see more than once!  (If country music is more your style, here are some ideal shows for you: “Branson - Where to Get Your Country On in the Home of Live Entertainment!”)

You’re sure to love these live theater productions in Branson:

Branson Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre:  Their new 2019 production of Murder at the Town Vote features many of the popular, and outrageously hilarious, actors and antics from their previous production, plus a whole load of new features filled with frivolity and fanciful fun - it truly is a hoot of a good time!  And the best part, aside from getting a delicious meal, might just be watching the brave members of the audience who become volunteer actors for a day, creating an unforgettable experience for everyone in the theater!

When?  The doors open at 4:00 p.m. for dinner and a show that begins at 5:00 p.m. - the schedule runs from February 12 through December 31.

Where?  The Majestic Theatre - 2849 Gretna Road

Why?  If you love interactive theater, you can’t have more fun in Branson - if you’re a newbie, isn’t it about time you let your hair down and did something new and delightfully different?  Of course, it is!

Million Dollar Quartet:  Not a “theater” production by a typical definition, but this sensational show really does tell a story, and a true one at that!  And, if it’s a story you haven’t heard, you really must! There was one epic moment in the history of rock ‘n’ roll when four legends found themselves all together, along with a few others in the music industry, at Sun Studios in Memphis, and fortunately for all of us, the tape machine was rolling!  This re-creation of the brief time when Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash enjoyed an impromptu jam session makes for one memorable experience you’ll treasure forever!

When?  8:00 p.m. performances run from August 29 through December 5 - 2:00 p.m. performances run from September 4 through November 21.

Where?  Welk Resort Theatre - 1984 Missouri Highway 165

Why?  Did we mention Elvis, Jerry Lee, Carl, and Johnny….

Samson:  A bigger-than-life production of the biblical story of Samson, told in all its heartbreak, glory, and inspiration on a stage that literally wraps around the theater - and what a theater it is!  One of Branson’s most stunning venues is home to an epic tale of the world’s first true superhero - you don’t have to be a daily bible devotee to completely and thoroughly enjoy this brilliant show that’s filled with gorgeous sets and costumes, wonderful music, and real, lovingly cared for animals.

When?  Shows are held at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. depending on the month - the first show for the season is on March 2, and it runs through October 12.

Where?  Sight & Sound Theatres - 1001 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway

Why?  There is literally nothing else like it in Branson - beautiful and inspiring!

Sanders Family Christmas:  The clan from Smoke on the Mountain (see more below,) returns for the holidays!  These lovingly imperfect characters hit just the right notes with audiences, and deliver your two favorite feelings while watching live theater - they “touch” your heart and “tickle” your funny bone!  Experience the events taking place at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church following the 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor, as the Sanders’ family works to lift the spirits of the congregation while their soldier son heads off to war.

When?  8:00 p.m. performances are held from November 1 through December 28, mostly on Tuesday through Saturday.

Where?  IMAX Entertainment Complex’s Little Opry Theatre - 3562 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway

Why?  Just go - you can thank us later!

Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama:  Branson’s longest running live theater production, this story comes from the best-selling book, “The Shepherd of the Hills,” that tells the story of the hard lives lived by early Ozarks’ residents, and is largely based on the author’s real-life experiences during visits to the area in the late 1800s. It’s also part of the fabric of the community, with many of the performers coming from families who have called Branson home for decades - some have even followed in the footsteps of family members who played the very same roles in the past!  Integral to this town’s history of live entertainment, you truly haven’t been to Branson until you’ve experienced the Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama!

When?  The schedule is seasonal - it is outdoors, after all - with 8:30 p.m. performances from May through August, and 7:30 p.m. shows in September and October - usually on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Where?  The Shepherd of the Hills Homestead & Adventure Park - 5586 West Highway 76

Why?  Just read the last sentence above: ” truly haven’t been to Branson until…”

Smoke on the Mountain:  This is where you’ll first meet the Sanders family and learn just how colorful, hilarious, and absolutely lovable they can be!  You’re in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina around 1938 as the Sanders Family Singers perform for the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church at their first annual Saturday Night Gospel Sing.  The audience happily becomes the congregation as they’re invited to sing along to classic gospel songs, and prepares to laugh themselves sore at the family’s quirky nature and hilarious antics!

When?  8:00 p.m. shows take place from March 14 through October 19, and 5:00 p.m. performances can be seen from November 1 through December 28.

Where?  IMAX Entertainment Complex’s Little Opry Theatre - 3562 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway

Why?  Because our words are woefully insufficient to describe how wonderful and wacky this cast can be!

Yuyan - A Chinese Fairytale:  This show could trademark “a real feast for the senses” - there’s so much to delight the ears and dazzle the eyes - it defies a simple description.  The sets, the music, the costumes, the incredible acrobatics, not to mention, who doesn’t love a fairytale come to life? Whether your eyes are glued to the live action on stage, or the ginormous image on the wall-spanning LED screens, everyone from your “nothing’s like the good ole days” grandpa to your entertainment-jaded teenage daughter will be riveted to the action taking place before them!  

When?  7:00 p.m shows have the heaviest schedule and can be seen from May 20 through December 13, and 2:00 p.m. shows are mostly available on Saturday and Sunday from May 25 through December 14.

Where?  The White House Theatre - 2255 Gretna Road (right behind Tanger Outlets)

Why?  Entertaining the whole family with one show?  Need we say more?

And speaking of the White House Theatre, they have three new theatrical productions headed to Branson this year - Area 51 ¾, an After Hours Improv Show from Branson Comedy Company, and an immersive murder mystery experience that’s part show, part escape room - we can’t wait!  In addition to all of these giant shows in big theaters, Branson is the proud home of the Branson Regional Arts Council. The Council recently acquired the iconic and historic Owen Theatre in Historic Downtown Branson, and the active community theater group stages musicals and other live events throughout the year - coming up is Beauty and the Beast, Into the Woods, and Chicago - The Musical.