For his multitude of fans, and for one of America’s most popular destinations, it felt like a treasured piece of Branson left us when Andy Williams passed away in 2012. The pain was real, but so was the love and respect, the memorable moments in a storied career, and now the legacy a good friend keeps polished for all to enjoy. Jimmy Osmond, of the famed musical family, now owns and operates the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center & Theatre, keeping alive the memories of an entertainment icon and the sensational family-friendly style of entertainment that Williams helped put on the map.
Once known as the Moon River Theatre, the renamed venue - to more clearly honor Andy - remains much like it was when Williams entertained big audiences night after night. He kept a personal hand throughout the construction process, creating a facility unlike anything Branson’s seen before or since...scores of trees dot the sloping Ozarks landscape...water flows under a bridge walkway...and other exceptional features inside and out that attracted the attention of Architectural Digest, which showcased the stunning structure on its highly-respected pages. The theater is a marvel, but it's what’s been taking place on the stage inside that has kept guests returning time and again. Andy maintained a regular season show, bringing in well-known guest artists throughout the year, and then he delivered his stage version of the unforgettable Christmas television specials he hosted for many years. Music fans of all ages are familiar with Andy’s work as a recording artist, a movie star, and a variety show television host - his long list of hits includes The Impossible Dream, Days of Wine & Roses, Where Do I Begin, and his signature song, Moon River.
Jimmy Osmond has done an incredible job of honoring his friend and mentor, bringing in high profile performers for concert appearances, as well as popular resident shows like Illusionist Rick Thomas and AYO - Voices of Glory. And he hasn’t forgotten the classic and beloved Christmas show that made Andy Williams a household name - this season, audiences are being treated to Jimmy Osmond Presents Andy Williams Ozark Mountain Christmas Show Starring The Lennon Sisters. The show also features The Lennon Granddaughters - the Lennon family was very special to Andy Williams, and they’ve been part of the theater’s Christmas productions for many years. Also appearing in the show is AYO - Voices of Glory, the trio of siblings that gained fame on America’s Got Talent, and a Britain’s Got Talent favorite, Charlie Green - championship skaters, The Ice Angels, round out the roster of phenomenal entertainment filling the stage for the holidays. The Andy Williams Ozark Mountain Christmas Show appears at the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center & Theatre through December 15.
Best-selling pianist and vocalist, Jim Brickman, will be in concert on December 9 at the Performing Arts Center; other big-name artists who’ve appeared in concert include Frankie Avalon, Tanya Tucker, LeAnn Rimes, Neil Sedaka, and The Lettermen, as well as many other music legends.
The American music legend may no longer be with us, but his spirit lives on as his life’s work in the entertainment industry is honored every time an artist takes the stage, and every time another excited guest walks through the door, at the Andy Williams Performing Arts Center & Theatre in Branson, Missouri.
(For more information on other popular shows appearing in Branson, check this out: “Branson - We’re Finding Your 30 Favorite SHOWS Before Your Next Visit!” Learn more about shows playing during the holidays here: “Christmas in Branson - 44 Exciting Shows with Extended Holiday Schedules!”)